Minister Fast Holds Pre-Budget Consultation with Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce in Brampton

Deeper Canada-India ties part of Harper government’s plan to open new markets for Canadian businesses

January 22, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, met today in Brampton, Ontario, with members of the Indo-Canadian business community for pre-budget consultations and to reiterate the Harper government’s commitment to a strengthened Canada-India trade and investment relationship. Minister Fast also announced that a seventh round of negotiations toward a Canada-India trade agreement will be held in New Delhi from February 5 to 7, 2013.

“The economy remains our government’s top priority, and securing access to large, dynamic and fast-growing markets, such as India, is a key part of the most ambitious trade expansion plan in our nation’s history,” said Minister Fast. “That is why I am pleased to be hearing from business leaders as we discuss the best way to continue to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadian families.”

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. Canada has identified core economic opportunities in India in the energy, agriculture, infrastructure and education sectors.

Satish Thakkar, Immediate Past President of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, recently returned from a trade mission with Canadian municipal leaders to India, where he said businesses are very excited about the opportunities that would come from a Canada-India trade agreement.

“Canada and India complement each other, and a stronger trade and investment relationship will benefit both countries greatly,” said Mr. Thakkar. “Canada has the resources and expertise to propel India’s development and fast-paced growth, and India has the young talent that Canada needs.”

Minister Fast continues to meet with business leaders across Canada in the lead-up to the next Budget. In order to ensure that all Canadians can participate in the process, the Department of Finance Canada has launched an online pre-Budget consultation process.

In less than six years, Canada has concluded free trade agreements with nine countries: Colombia, Honduras, Jordan, Panama, Peru and the European Free Trade Association member states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. In addition to India, Canada is engaged in negotiations with large, dynamic and fast-growing markets such as the European Union, Japan and the countries that comprise the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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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
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