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NEWS: Third round of Canada-India free trade talks start

Agence France Presse reports, “Canada announced the start on Wednesday of a third round of free trade negotiations with India, while eyeing deeper trade ties with Japan in a major push to boost exports to Asia. …Trade negotiations (with India) started in November 2010 and aim conclude in 2013, Trade Minister Fast said.” According to the report, Canada-India trade now includes “sectors ranging from agriculture, resources and chemicals, services, transport equipment, machinery and equipment.”

This past June, the Times of India reported, “The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, participated in a round table on business prospects between Canada and India (on June 13 in Toronto), where he underscored the Harper government’s aim to complete free trade negotiations with India in 2013.” This echoes the June 3 Speech from the Throne statement that, “(Our government) will seek to complete negotiations on a free trade agreement with India in 2013.” The Canadian Deputy High Commissioner to India Jim Nickel says, “So far, we have completed one round of talks and other round is expected soon.”

The Toronto Star reported in November 2010, “Canada is officially opening free-trade negotiations with India, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Negotiations to establish the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will begin in a few days, federal officials said. A free-trade pact with India would increase sales of a Canadian exports sectors such as forest products, minerals, manufactured goods, agricultural products, fish and seafood products, machinery, construction materials, aerospace and environmental technologies, the federal government said. The Harper government cited a Canada-India joint study that estimated that an agreement could increase economic output in each country by approximately $6 billion a year and increase two-way trade by 50 per cent.”

In November 2009, 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.”

There are approximately 1 million Indo-Canadians, with about half that population living in Toronto.