Bilateral trade between India and Canada stands at USD 10 billion currently and there is tremendous potential to take it to much higher levels, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.
He also said both sides have discussed the possibility of concluding the India-Canada comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA), a kind of free trade pact, in two stages.
“An initial interim agreement covering goods and services, deeper economic partnership in several sectors and a much larger and comprehensive agreement at the second stage, a little later.
“This way we can harvest the low hanging fruits and areas of mutual interest and provide opportunities to our business on both sides and enable greater degree of trade in goods and services,” he noted. The minister said a few rounds of discussions have happened and now he hopes to take it forward on a fast track basis.
“The bilateral trade with Canada currently stands at USD 10 billion. There is tremendous potential to grow mutual trade to much higher levels,” Goyal said while speaking at the 11th Canada-India Business Forum.
He added that agri and food processing, digital innovation, bio sciences, supply chain and logistics, education, skill development and renewable energy are areas of opportunities for businesses in both the countries.
India’s competitive advantage in areas like textiles and footwear, and sectors where it has traditional strengths and where “we are building modern technologies” like services sector, agri-tech and edu-tech are showing tremendous potential, he said.
The minister further said Canadian pension funds have pledged over USD 55 billion in investments between 2014 and 2020. Out of that, over USD 32 billion have already been realised.
India’s exports to Canada include pharma, iron and steel, chemicals, gem and jewellery, nuclear reactors and boilers. Imports comprise minerals, ores, vegetables, fertiliser, paper and pulp.