Minister Fast Celebrates Growing Canada-India Trade and Investment Relationship

Minister marks sixth round of trade negotiations and names Canadian members of the Canada-India CEO Forum

November 16, 2012 - Following his recent participation in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s trade mission to India, the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today highlighted the growing Canada-India trade and investment relationship by marking the sixth round of negotiations toward a Canada-India comprehensive economic partnership agreement, which is taking place in Ottawa from November 15 to 17, 2012. He also announced the Canadian members of the Canada-India CEO Forum.

“Opening new markets to increase Canadian exports and create jobs and prosperity for hard-working Canadians is at the core of Canada’s Economic Action Plan,” said Minister Fast. “Ensuring our workers and businesses have preferred access to the fast-growing Indian market is key to our efforts, and I am pleased to report that, after five productive rounds of negotiations, a sixth is under way. Both Canada and India are committed to concluding an ambitious agreement.”

A Canada-India joint study concluded that a trade agreement between the two countries could boost Canada’s economy by at least $6 billion. That translates to almost 40,000 new jobs across the country, or a $500 boost to the average Canadian family’s annual income. As stated by Prime Minister Harper on his recent trade mission, Canada has identified core economic opportunities in India in the energy, agriculture, infrastructure and education sectors.

As part of Canada and India’s shared goal of tripling bilateral trade to $15 billion annually by 2015, Minister Fast also named the Canadian participants in the Canada-India CEO Forum, which will act as a vehicle through which both countries can further grow private-sector cooperation.

“More than 500 Canadian companies are currently doing business in India, and many more are making plans to do so,” said Minister Fast. “The Canada-India CEO Forum will help us reach our shared goal of tripling our trade, and that will create jobs and prosperity in both our countries. Through business-to-business and people-to-people ties fuelled by the nearly one million Canadians of Indian descent who enrich our communities in cities and towns across Canada—many of whom are celebrating Diwali this week—our government will continue to work hard at making the Canada-India relationship even stronger in the years ahead.”

Minister Fast accompanied Prime Minister Harper on his trade mission to India, which was held from November 3 to 9, 2012.

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A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-7332
rudy.husny@international.gc.ca

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

Backgrounder - The Canada-India CEO Forum

The Canada-India Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Forum will serve as a vehicle for the private sector to help foster increased trade and investment ties between Canada and India. The CEO Forum comprises top Canadian and Indian business representatives, under the leadership of Canadian co-chair Tom Jenkins and Indian co-chair Hari Bhartia, and supported by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Confederation of Indian Industry.

The first meeting of the Forum was held on November 6, 2012.

Canadian members

Co-chair Tom Jenkins
Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer, Open Text Corporation

Murad Al-Katib
President and Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Grain Traders

Pierre Beaudoin
President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc.

Robert Card
President and Chief Executive Officer, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.

Steven Dechka
President and Chief Executive Officer, Canpotex

William A. Downe
President and Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group

Tim Gitzel
President and Chief Executive Officer, Cameco

Serge Godin
Founder and Executive Chair, CGI

Vikram Khurana
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Prudential Consulting Inc.

The Honourable John P. Manley, PC, OC
President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Council of Chief Executives (Secretariat to the CEO Forum)

Marc Parent
President and Chief Executive Officer, CAE Inc.

Indira Samarasekera
President and Vice Chancellor, University of Alberta

Baljit Sierra
President and Chief Executive Officer, Novo Plastics Inc.

Steve M. West
Chief Executive Officer, Nordion Inc.