India, Canada to re-launch CEPA negotiations

India and Canada have agreed to formally re-launch the negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Both the countries might also consider entering into an ‘Early Progress Trade Agreement’.

The development comes after India and Canada held the fifth Ministerial Dialogue on Trade & Investment (MDTI) here on Friday.

According to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal and Canada’s Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Minister Mary Ng co-chaired the MDTI.

“The Ministers agreed to formally re-launch the negotiations for India-Canada Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and also consider an ‘Interim Agreement’ or Early Progress Trade Agreement that could bring early commercial gains to both the countries,” a ministry statement said.

“The Ministers highlighted the existing trade complementarities between India and Canada and emphasised that the trade agreement would help in expanding bilateral trade in goods and services through unlockingAthe potential across sectors.”

According to the ministry, the interim agreement would include high level commitments in goods, services, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and dispute settlement, and may also cover any other areas mutually agreed upon.

“A range of other bilateral trade and investment issues were discussed during the meeting. Both countries agreed to undertake intensified work with respect to the recognition of Canada’s systems approach to pest risk management in pulses and market access for Indian agriculture goods such as sweet corn, baby corn and banana etc.

“Canada also agreed to examine expeditiously the request for Conformity Verification Body (CVB) status to APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) for facilitating Indian organic export products,” the statement said.

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