India and Canada held the sixth Ministerial Dialogue on Trade & Investment (MDTI) in Ottawa on May 8, 2023. The meeting was co-chaired by Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food, and Public Distribution and Textiles, Government of India, and Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business, and Economic Development, Government of Canada. The two ministers emphasized the solid foundation of the trade and economic relationship between the two countries and recognized the significant opportunity to deepen bilateral ties and economic partnership.
India-Canada trade and investment set to deepen with renewed focus on cooperation and partnerships
The ministers acknowledged the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine. Despite these challenges, Canada-India bilateral trade in goods reached nearly C$12 billion in 2022, a substantial 57% increase over the previous year. The ministers also recognized the significant growth of two-way investments and their contribution to deepening economic and trade ties.
The trade-related strengths of India and Canada are complementary, and there is real potential for trade in both goods and services to expand significantly in both traditional and emerging sectors. With that goal in mind, the ministers called for boosting the commercial ties between the two countries through enhanced cooperation and by forging partnerships to take advantage of the complementarities in such sectors as agricultural goods, chemicals, green technologies, infrastructure, automotive, clean energy, electronics, and minerals and metals.
Recognizing the need for a comprehensive trade agreement to create vast new opportunities for boosting trade and investment flows between India and Canada, in 2022 the ministers formally re-launched the India-Canada Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) negotiations. In pursuit of that goal, negotiations towards an Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA), as a transitional step towards the CEPA, have been underway, and several rounds of discussions have already taken place.
The two sides also agreed to explore enhanced cooperation through measures such as coordinated investment promotion, information exchange, and mutual support between the two parties in the near future. This cooperation between India and Canada will be finalized by way of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) preferably in Fall 2023.
Critical minerals, clean technologies, and innovation partnerships on the agenda at India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue
Global supply chains remain under the threat of disruption from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the effects of the ongoing war in Ukraine. In this context, the ministers discussed the continued importance of working together to promote international rules-based order and supply chain resiliency in critical sectors. They emphasized enhancing cooperation in sectors such as clean technologies for infrastructure development, critical minerals, electric vehicles and batteries, renewable energy/hydrogen, and AI.
The ministers also agreed to explore options for business to business engagement on critical minerals between the two countries and committed to an annual dialogue between the appropriate points of contact at the officials' level on the margins of the Prospectors and Developers Association Conference in Toronto to discuss issues of mutual interest.
India and Canada seek to strengthen ties through initiatives for SMEs and Startups
The two sides discussed the potential for strengthening cooperation in the field of science, technology, and innovation in priority areas by building on the ongoing work in the Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) and seeking enhanced collaboration in the areas of Startups and innovation partnerships. The ministers agreed that there is significant potential to strengthen such cooperation and to enhance collaboration between their research and business communities in support of a sustainable economic recovery and the prosperity and wellbeing of their citizens.
The India-Canada MDTI provided a forum for both countries to discuss ways to deepen their economic partnership. The ministers agreed to explore options to enhance bilateral trade and investment ties and to work together to promote international rules-based order and supply chain resiliency in critical sectors. They also recognized the importance of deepening cooperation in the fields of science, technology, and innovation and to support startups and
Source: PIB Release