BHUBANESWAR: The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which would give a huge push to Indo-Canadian trade ties and partnerships in other strategic sectors, is expected to come into being by 2013-end.
Negotiations on the agreement have entered final stages and would be completed by next year-end. The fourth round of negotiations is taking place in New Delhi this week, Deputy High Commissioner of Canada to India Jim Nickel said on Thursday.
The CEPA would strengthen bilateral relations between Canada and India across a wide range of trade and commerce sectors. “It has already been projected that, once the treaty comes into being, it will add at least $ 6 billion each to India and Canada’s GNP. Trade would increase by at least 50 per cent,” Nickel said.
Both the countries are also in advanced stages of negotiations for another Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) to drive the ties further in trade and commerce. Canada has realised the immense potential offered by India in sectors like infrastructure, power generation and distribution, water treatment and supply, etc.
Currently, Indo-Canadian trade accounts for only around $ 5 billion. Prime Ministers of India and Canada Manmohan Singh and Stephen Harper have committed to triple bilateral trade to $ 15 billion by 2015.
“We see partnerships where India has a need and Canada has comparative knowledge advantage in education, mining, energy, infrastructure, agro-processing and ICT,” the Deputy High Commissioner told this paper on Thursday in the midst of his two-day visit to Odisha.
“Odisha holds tremendous promise for furthering ties specially as Canada and this part of India have huge similarities.
We are keen to explore the opportunities in mining, energy, education and agro-processing sectors in the State. We are planning to bring in a Trade Mission to the State by the year-end to facilitate exchanges and interactions on the Government as well as enterprise levels,” he said.