Harper Government Continues to Deepen Canada-India Partnership

A Canada-India trade agreement would create new jobs and opportunities for workers and small and medium-sized businesses

May 17, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), met today in Brampton, Ontario, with members of the Indo-Canadian business community to highlight the benefits for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of an ambitious Canada-India comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA). The event’s hosts were the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and the Brampton Board of Trade.

“With SMEs accounting for more than 99 percent of companies in Canada, our government understands the crucial role that these businesses play in generating jobs, growth and prosperity in every region of our country,” said Minister Fast. “That’s why we continue to work hard to open new markets for our exporters in the largest, most dynamic and fastest-growing economies in the world, including India.”

To date, the Canada-India trade negotiations have undergone seven official rounds. A CEPA would benefit Canadian workers and SMEs by eliminating or reducing tariffs on goods, cutting red tape and facilitating trade in services. Canada has identified core economic opportunities in India in the energy, agriculture, infrastructure and education sectors.

“Further fuelling Canada’s growing trade with India are our strong people-to-people ties,” said Minister Gosal. “Nearly one million Canadians of Indian descent enrich our communities in cities and towns across Canada, and our government is committed to utilizing these strong links to build a partnership that will lead to new opportunities and new sources of prosperity in both countries.”

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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