Advancing the long-standing economic and investment relationship with India is a priority for Canada, as it “deepens key partnerships in the Indo-Pacific”, Canada’s minister of international trade Mary Ng told Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal in a virtual meeting on Tuesday.
A readout of the conversation, released by Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry, said the two countries “noted progress in negotiations on a Canada-India Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) while working toward a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)”.
Ng “expressed her appreciation for India’s openness to explore diverse trade issues and advance the long-standing economic and investment relationship between Canada and India — a priority as Canada deepens key partnerships in the Indo-Pacific”.
As “Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine threatens the rules based international order, it is more important than ever for democracies to strengthen ties”, the statement said.
Ng also emphasised the importance of advancing discussions on an investment protection agreement between Canada and India, which would improve predictability and transparency for Canadian investors in India.
“Discussions were held on ways to further strengthen bilateral trade ties, explore new opportunities & attract greater investments as both sides work towards a mutually beneficial trade pact,” Goyal said in a post on Twitter after the call.
Formal relaunch of negotiations for a CEPA — along with the agreement to consider the interim pact, EPTA — was announced when Ng visited New Delhi in March and held a ministerial dialogue on trade and investment with Goyal. While the EPTA will serve as a transitional step towards the CEPA, the two countries also agreed to intensify negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty.
Ng’s trip to India was the first visit by a Canadian minister since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit in February 2018.