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Canada and India sign two trade agreements today

The Canwest News Service reports today that, “Canada and India signed two trade agreements Tuesday…”

“The two countries said they intend to establish a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement — a free-trade agreement in all but name — and have set up the first study group that will set the parameters for full-scale negotiations that will likely get underway in about a year.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, “India’s rapidly growing economy and its commitment to expand its investment regime will provide significant opportunities for investors in a variety of sectors, including infrastructure, education, life sciences, science and technology and natural resources among many others.”

“The two countries also signed a deal to foster co-operation in the energy sector.”

No details on this agreement were noted in the news article.

“But Harper will leave India Wednesday without inking two key deals: one on nuclear co-operation and another on investor protection.”

“On Monday in Mumbai, Harper said a deal on nuclear co-operation would happen ‘soon’ but did not elaborate.”

“In Delhi on Tuesday, Harper held a meeting with key players in India’s nuclear energy sector. Canwest News Service has learned that senior executives from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., Saskatchewan uranium company Cameco Ltd. and Montreal-based engineering and construction firm SNC-Lavalin also attended that meeting. The prime minister’s aides did not publicize that meeting and, while they’ve allowed photographers to attend other business and education roundtable meetings hosted by Harper, the PMO did not inform reporters about the nuclear energy meeting nor would PMO officials provide any details about topics discussed.”

“The other deal — a foreign investor protection agreement — is also close to being signed, trade minister Stockwell Day said in an interview before leaving for the India trip.”

The news report can be read at http://www.theprovince.com/mobile/business/local/Canada+inks+trade+deal+with+India/2231961/story.html.