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Canada-India Joint Study Group Report: Exploring the Feasibility of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
Chapter 5: Other Areas of Economic Cooperation
A high-quality, high-ambition, broad trade agreement will typically cover a number of other issues outside of the traditional trade in goods and services and investment. This chapter examines Canada's and India's approaches with respect to a list of issues, which will continue to be discussed in the context of a CEPA.
5.1 Intellectual Property
Intellectual property (IP), from a substantive perspective, has been addressed in multilateral fora, particularly the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The increasing practice to include IP in bilateral CEPAs facilitates the continued growth and prosperity of local and international businesses in an intensively competitive world economy.
Canada and India agree to address intellectual property within the context of a comprehensive CEPA that would lead to clear benefits for both sides.
Canada maintains an extensive domestic intellectual property regime that is fully compliant with its obligations under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) and offers protection to rights holders for all forms of intellectual property. In its FTAs, Canada typically seeks to negotiate IP provisions that are consistent with its domestic IP regime and its obligations in other international IP agreements, such as TRIPS and various WIPO treaties. Canada is interested in establishing with India enhanced cooperation regarding IP issues in areas supported by international obligations, including enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR), as well as strengthening cooperation between our respective IP offices.
India recognises that effective protection and enforcement of IP rights is a key element in fostering creativity, innovation and technological transformation, which facilitates trade and investment and promotes sound economic development. Industry in India is becoming increasingly conscious of the value of intellectual property rights.
India has fulfilled its commitments taken under the WTO Agreement on TRIPS through the implementing legislations.
Overview of India's IPR regime
In India, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) administers the laws relating to Patents, Trade Marks, Designs and Geographical Indications. These are administered through the Office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (CGPDTM), in accordance with:
The Patents Act, 1970 (through the Patents offices)
An Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has been set up to hear appeals against the decisions of Registrar of Trademarks, Geographical Indications and the Controller of Patents.
Other IP Legislation includes:
Copyright is protected through the Copyright Act, 1957 (as amended in 1999), administered by the Department of Higher Education.
Layout of transistors and other circuitry elements is protected through the Semi-conductor Integrated Circuits Layout-Design Act, 2000 and is administered by the Department of Information Technology.
- New varieties of plants are protected through the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers' Rights Act of 2001 (PDF Version, 174 kb) *. This Act is administered by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation.
India's IP administration has been improved and modernised in a number of ways. The Indian Patents Act was amended in 2005 in order to make it compatible with India's international obligations. E-filing facility for patent and trademark applications was introduced in July 2007. Enforcement of Intellectual Property has been improved - civil and criminal provisions exist in various laws for dealing with counterfeiting and piracy. The Department of IPP has also set up an inter-ministerial Committee to coordinate IP enforcement issues.
Improved Indian policies, laws and resourcing for IP have had a significant impact in India. For example, the filing of patent applications increased from 4,824 in 1999-2000 to 36,812 applications in 2008-2009. The number of applications examined has gone up to 10,296 in 2008-09 from 2,824 in the year 1999-2000.
India's strategy in the area of Intellectual Property has been:
to meet international obligations;
to safeguard public interest;
to modernise her Intellectual Property Rights administration; and
to create awareness about Intellectual Property Rights.
Indian IPR laws contain appropriate provisions to prevent the grant or registration in India of copyrights, patents and trade-marks on Yoga related postures and accessories, Indian traditional medical practices and medicinal preparations, and other traditional knowledge. India has enacted the Biological Diversity Act (in operation since 2004), which is aimed at ensuring that the country's rich biodiversity is used in a sustainable manner. The National Biodiversity Authority, established to implement the Act, also seeks to prevent misappropriation of traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity. India considers that much remains to be achieved globally in this area. India therefore attaches importance to international discussions on the relationship between the WTO TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
India has also established a Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) consisting of about 200,000 formulations in the field of traditional medicines, with a view to prevent misappropriation of such knowledge. India has signed access agreements with EPO, USPTO, German Patent Office and UK Intellectual Property Office and is keen to provide access to TKDL to other countries/ agencies, after signing an access agreement.
India has in place a domestic regime to protect geographical indications for goods, including handicrafts, and so attaches importance to international discussions on ways to increase the protection given to geographical indications, for such products, including on registration of geographical indications (GIs) and extension of enhanced GI protection.
Given the importance of the subject, and in order to enhance cooperation in the field of IPR, a CEPA between India and Canada may address issues of capacity building, human resources development, public awareness, and outreach activities.
5.2 Ayurvedic Products
India notes that, with regard to trade in Ayurvedic products, Health Canada, with certain exceptions, considers API (Ayurvedic Pharmacopeia of India) acceptable pharmacopoeia to support the efficacy of a traditional health product, and refers to API as well as other relevant sources of information regarding the safety and quality of a traditional health product. India looks forward to further bilateral trade in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine with Canada.
5.3 Electronic Commerce
E-commerce is a new way of doing business rather than a sector of industrial activity in and of itself. Activities vary from services provided over the Internet to business advertising, ordering, payments, etc. It uses information and communication technologies (ICT) as enablers to play a significant role on every aspect of the global value chain for goods and services. Consequently, it is important to ensure there is a supportive environment for the continued growth of trade conducted via electronic means.
As India is a significant ICT and ICT-enabled user, potential for Canadian industries involved in new technologies could be considerable. They could benefit from better access to the Indian market. Reinforcing linkages between both partners on issues related to e-commerce could have an impact on all Canadian industries using this way of doing business.
Canada is a world leader in the adoption, use and development of electronic commerce. Recognising the enabling role it plays in the trade of goods and services between partners, Canada is interested in promoting the growth of e-commerce as a means of doing business. Its main objectives are to build trust in the digital economy, clarify the rules of the domestic and international marketplaces, remove barriers to the use of electronic commerce in conjunction with the private sector, and benchmark both firm-level and national performance in the digital economy.
Trade linkages between the two countries could be intensified by adopting measures that support the growth in trade conducted by electronic means. Parties will continue to exchange information on possible measures as part of the CEPA negotiations.
Canada and India agree to exchange information on electronic commerce in the context of CEPA negotiations.
5.4 Competition Policy and Monopolies and State Enterprises
Consultations between India and Canada may be undertaken in the CEPA context as appropriate on various matters relating to competition policy and monopolies and state enterprises.
The Competition Act, Canada's competition legislation, is a federal law governing commercial marketplace activities in Canada. Its purpose is to prevent anti-competitive business conduct in the marketplace. In so doing, it fosters efficiency and innovation in the Canadian economy and promotes economic prosperity. The Competition Act contains provisions addressing both criminal offences, including conspiracies, bid-rigging, misleading advertising and deceptive marketing practices, as well as matters subject to civil review, such as mergers, abuse of dominant position, refusal to deal, exclusive dealing and tied-selling. The Competition Act is administered and enforced by Canada's Competition Bureau, an independent law enforcement agency headed by the Commissioner of Competition. In addition to the Competition Act, the Competition Bureau is responsible for three labelling statues, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act. For more information visit the Competition Act and the Competition Bureau web site.
Canada's general approach to its free trade agreements (FTAs) has been to include basic competition policy provisions, as well as obligations relating to monopolies and state enterprises. Given that the Competition Act and related case law may not cover certain activities regulated by government, the key disciplines in a trade agreement ensure that monopolies and state enterprises do not operate in a manner inconsistent with the agreement when exercising delegated governmental authority. This preserves the benefits achieved elsewhere in the agreement, and ensures that monopolies and state enterprises of each party give non-discriminatory treatment to goods and services of the other Party.
The competition policy provisions in Canada's FTAs generally include recognition of the importance of competition policy, an agreement to adopt or maintain measures to prohibit anti-competitive business conduct in the free trade area, and a commitment that those measures be consistent with the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and procedural fairness. Canada also usually commits to cooperating and coordinating on competition law enforcement matters and exempts the competition policy provisions from dispute settlement processes in an agreement, including state-to-state and investor-state dispute settlement. Finally, there is a non-disclosure clause that protects both the Parties from disclosing information protected under their competition laws and the competition authorities of the Parties from disclosing information that is privileged or otherwise protected from disclosure, should the Parties be required to participate in a dispute settlement proceeding under the agreement.
It is Canada's general objective to include disciplines on monopolies and state enterprises in its FTAs based on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) model. Key provisions Canada usually seeks to include are requirements for monopolies to act in accordance with commercial considerations in the purchase or sale of a monopoly good or service, and for state enterprises to give non-discriminatory treatment in the sale of its good or service. Both monopolies and state enterprises are also required to act in a manner that is consistent with the Parties' obligations, as provided for elsewhere in the FTA. Under Canada's approach certain defined disciplines pertaining to monopolies and state enterprises are subject to investor-state dispute settlement.
Canada's FTAs generally contain all provisions relating to competition policy, monopolies and state enterprises in one chapter, due to the interrelated nature of these disciplines.
Cooperation in competition law enforcement is a positive feature of economic partnership. In addition to its trade agreements, Canada has negotiated a number of separate cooperation instruments between States and between competition authorities, to deal with matters of day-to-day competition law enforcement. For example, Canada has State-to-State cooperation agreements with the European Union, Japan, Mexico and the United States, and agency-to-agency arrangements between the Commissioner of Competition and law enforcement authorities in Australia and New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. Agreements or arrangements typically contain provisions such as: mutual notification obligations when the interests of one party are affected by an investigation of the other; coordination of enforcement efforts; consultation upon request; or the mutual sharing of information. There have not, to date, been movements toward such an agreement with India.
Cooperation with counterpart competition authorities in other countries to counter anti-competitive business conduct that cross borders is important to Canada, which strives to keep lines of communication open. Furthermore, the Competition Bureau, on behalf of the Government of Canada, participates in international fora such as the WTO, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Committee on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Competition Network (ICN) to develop and promote coordinated competition laws and policies in the increasingly globalised marketplace.
Recognising the importance of competition law as the key driver to ensure economic efficiency and consumer welfare, the Competition Act was promulgated in 2002 and the Competition Commission of India was set up under the Competition Act. It has already started enforcement of the Competition Act.
The Competition Commission of India may enter into any memorandum or arrangement with the prior approval of the central government, with any agency of any foreign country. The Competition Commission of India encourages consultations between countries and the respective competition authorities on various matters relating to competition including capacity building, exchange of information and notification of procedures.
5.5 Government Procurement
In relation to the area of Government Procurement (GP), Canada and India have differing points of view, but have agreed to continue to discuss GP as we progress toward a bilateral CEPA.
Government procurement accounts for a significant portion of the gross domestic product for many countries. The value of Canada's federal government procurement in 2008 was US$16.4 billion25 or 1.03% of GDP.
Canada has negotiated a Chapter on Government Procurement, containing market access commitments at the federal level, with the following trading partners: Chile, Colombia, Peru, Panama as well as in the NAFTA. Canada is also a signatory to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA).
Canada has, in the past, negotiated comprehensive chapters on government procurement which addressed the core principles of national treatment, non-discrimination, transparency and included market access commitments. It is Canada's objective that its FTAs should include provisions that would liberalise the government procurement sector, which would benefit both Parties in terms of fostering innovation and collaboration and generating economic growth. Canada, however, could consider an alternative approach, for example a Government Procurement Chapter that focuses on transparency commitments for specific procurement at the union and federal levels for India and Canada respectively, with no market access obligations. Such transparency commitments would serve to apply the principles of non-discrimination and national treatment with respect to the availability of information and a limited number of provisions applicable to specific government procurement projects. The types of information that transparency commitments would apply to could include: procurement measures, procurement notices for competitive opportunities, tender documents including criteria for selection, and award information. A review mechanism could potentially be established to track the progress of the implementation of this chapter.
India has not included government procurement as a negotiating subject in its bilateral FTA negotiations to date.
5.6 Labour and Environment
In the areas of Trade and Labour and Trade and Environment, Canada and India have different points of view, but have agreed to continue to discuss these issues as we progress toward a bilateral CEPA.
As founding member States of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and members of the ILO's Governing Body, India and Canada have played an active and constructive role since the formation of the ILO, working consistently in support of the Organization's aims, values, and tripartite structure.
The Government of Canada has taken an international leadership role in addressing the social and, in particular, the labour dimensions of globalisation. This leadership role is integral to the Government's overall foreign and trade policy.
Canadians expect their federal government to credibly address labour practices, human rights and other social issues in the context of trade liberalisation initiatives. Canada's trade-related Labour Cooperation Agreements (LCAs) pursue these aims by promoting respect for fundamental labour principles and rights, and by supporting equitable economic growth. LCAs' overall objectives are:
to defend Canada's competitive position by ensuring that legitimate government policies and actions to balance the interests of workers and employers do not become a disadvantage in competition for international trade and investment;
to support an international sustainable development strategy based on social and economic growth, good governance, and the rule of law;
to build upon Canada's commitment to fundamental human rights, in particular the principles and rights set out by the ILO in its 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work; and
to respond to widely held beliefs by Canadians that coherent policies which meet the social and economic challenges of globalisation should accompany Canada's international trade policy.
As a result of domestic pressures and emerging global trends in regard to the labour provisions of FTAs, recently-concluded Canadian LCAs include comprehensive labour commitments and robust enforcement mechanisms. Recently concluded LCAs with Peru, Colombia, Jordan, and Panama are part of this new generation of labour agreements and serve as reference points for all current and future labour negotiations.
Canada views the pursuit of liberalised trade and the promotion and protection of labour rights as mutually reinforcing and equally important. LCAs provide an opportunity to demonstrate that trade liberalisation and the protection of labour rights can go hand-in-hand. In this light, the Government of Canada's policy is to address labour in the context of trade liberalisation by including the following two essential elements:
a principles-based, non-binding labour chapter in the CEPA itself that outlines the labour provisions found in the LCA; and
a legally-binding, parallel LCA that has international treaty status.
For reference, recently-concluded LCAs comprise:
Commitment that domestic labour laws will embody and provide protection for fundamental labour principles, particularly those set out in the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work:
the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining;
the abolition of child labour;
the elimination of forced or compulsory labour; and
the elimination of discrimination.
Additional provisions, as required, including commitments to provide acceptable protections in the areas of occupational health and safety, wages, hours of work and migrant workers, and commitments in regard to the ILO's Decent Work Agenda;
Binding commitment to not lower labour standards or their enforcement in order to encourage investment;
Specific and enforceable obligations to protect fundamental principles and effectively enforce domestic labour laws;
A mechanism through which the public can raise concerns;
An independent third-party review as a means of dispute resolution;
Remedies, including the possibility of monetary assessments, to encourage the fulfillment of obligations as a conclusion to dispute resolution. Those remedies would be deposited into a cooperation fund to resolve the matter raised in a complaint;
International cooperation in support of agreement objectives; and
Periodic review of implementation.
Of note, the inclusion of monetary assessments for non-compliance does not undermine the cooperative nature of Canada's labour agreements. Monetary assessments provide an incentive to prevent systemic failure in implementing domestic and international labour obligations and bolster the credibility of the dispute resolution mechanism of the LCA. They are not intended to substitute domestic processes. Funds levied through monetary assessments are meant to strengthen capacity in the partner countries to address challenges with respect to labour enforcement. This problem-solving approach is substantially different from the trade sanctions employed for trade and investment matters or for the labour provisions of trade agreements negotiated by other countries.
Canada is committed to helping, subject to the availability of resources, its free trade partners through technical cooperation to help them meet their labour-related obligations and achieve high labour standards. Cooperation in support of the agreement's objectives can take various forms, including joint capacity-building workshops, training seminars, exchange of official delegations, and study visits on well-defined labour and employment matters. To this end, Canada is currently providing significant resources for technical assistance programs in the Caribbean region, Latin America and the Middle-East.
India's current policy is not to include labour issues in FTA negotiations.
The environment was recognised as a key area for expanded bilateral engagement in the 2005 Joint Declaration between the leaders of Canada and India, resulting in the creation of the Canada-India Forum for Environmental Cooperation in 2007. Through constructive Forum discussions, Canada and India have established a joint work plan to guide future collaborative activities on the environment. Initiatives under the work plan focus on capacity-building in air quality monitoring and mercury air emissions control as well as information sharing on a wide variety of topics. Canada anticipates future activities will include enhanced cooperation in these areas and a possible expansion of collaborative actions to include waste management and biodiversity and wildlife issues. Effective use of the Forum will provide concrete opportunities to enhance bilateral environmental relations between the two countries; Canada continues to be interested in expanding cooperation activities with India in this area.
Other key environment-related initiatives include the Canada-India Agreement on Scientific & Technological Cooperation (which includes sustainable and alternate energy and environmental technologies as key themes).
Additionally, Canada and India have an emerging relationship within international technology partnerships such as the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (APP), the Methane to Markets Partnership (M2M), and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).
When entering into bilateral or regional free trade negotiations, Canada's policy is to incorporate environmental components to ensure that liberalised trade and protection and conservation of the environment can be mutually supportive.
Canadians expect that the Government will pursue its bilateral trade agreements in a manner that is consistent with the objectives of environmental protection, conversation and the promotion of sustainable development. In this regard, Canada has taken a leadership role in negotiating environmental provisions in its trade agreements.
Our overall objectives for incorporating environmental considerations into trade negotiations include:
ensuring that liberalised trade and environmental protection and conservation are mutually supportive; and
engaging strategically with partners countries on key environmental issues.
Canada's current model for incorporating environmental considerations into its trade negotiations consists of:
negotiating an Environment Agreement parallel to the FTA;
including a principles-based Environment Chapter within the FTA; and
including trade-related environmental provisions in the FTA (e.g., in the preamble, as well as in the investment and exceptions chapters).
A parallel agreement on the environment commits the Parties to pursue high levels of environmental protection and to strive to continue developing and improving their environmental laws and policies. It typically includes obligations relating to:
the effective enforcement of domestic environmental laws;
non-derogation from domestic environmental laws to encourage trade or investment;
environmental impact assessment procedures for projects;
domestic measures to sanction or remedy violations of environmental laws;
public awareness and civil society engagement;
voluntary corporate social responsibility and incentive-based measures;
accountability and transparency;
framework for cooperation on topics of mutual interest; and
dispute resolution based on a consultative and cooperative approach.
Canada's approach seeks to ensure that the Parties' domestic environmental management systems function with integrity and effectiveness, while respecting their sovereign right to establish and maintain their own levels of protection. In this regard, the environment obligations are based on the Parties' existing domestic legislative, regulatory and policy frameworks.
While the Agreement on the Environment is negotiated parallel to an FTA, the former is a separate, stand-alone international treaty.
The principles-based environment chapter highlights the importance of environmental conservation and protection and the promotion of sustainable development, and affirms both countries' commitments to multilateral environmental agreements. It outlines the relationship between the trade and environment agreements, and point to the objectives of, and binding obligations in, the latter.
Key environmental provisions within the preamble, objectives, general exceptions, and investment chapters of a FTA further ensures that the flexibility to establish and maintain environmental policies and measures is not adversely affected.
India's current policy is not to include environmental issues in FTA negotiations.
5.7 Institutional Provisions
The Joint Study Group was of the opinion that any agreement should include institutional provisions for its effective administration, including a binding state-to-state dispute mechanism.
Canada's comprehensive FTAs generally exclude taxation measures from the application of the FTA. There are, however, exceptions to this exclusion. For example, under the current Canadian model, taxation measures are subject to the FTA provisions on expropriation, provided that, before an investor submits a claim to arbitration, the taxation authorities of the Party of the investor and of the other Party have not determined that the taxation measure is not an expropriation.
Under the current Canadian model, to the extent that the FTA may apply to a taxation measure that is also covered under the double taxation agreement in force between Canada and the FTA partner, the FTA gives precedence to the double taxation agreement. The FTA also provides for a mechanism under which taxation authorities may make a determination of whether the double taxation agreement prevails over the FTA, before the issue can proceed to the dispute settlement procedures of the FTA. A similar mechanism is also provided whereby taxation authorities may make a prior determination of whether a measure is a taxation measure.
Under the current Canadian model, the taxation article also confirms that a Party's laws to protect the confidentiality of taxpayers' information take precedence over the provisions of the FTA.
India's current policy is not to include taxation in FTA negotiations.
Dispute settlement provisions typically encompass both informal and formal settlement procedures. Proper dispute settlement mechanisms will thus generally contain both consultation procedures as well as formal and binding arbitration procedures.
The broad purpose of dispute settlement is to provide a formal and legally-binding mechanism to resolve disputes over the interpretation or application of the trade agreement, including the possibility of the use of remedies where a dispute cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of both Parties. Effective dispute settlement promotes adherence to the obligations set out in the agreement, and enhances certainty and predictability for commercial actors whose activities may be affected by the trade agreement.
Common areas addressed by dispute settlement provisions include: jurisdiction, consultation, arbitration, outcomes (including possibly, retaliation/withdrawal of concessions, withdrawal of measures, compensation etc.), constitution of panels, procedures and timelines.
A Canada-India CEPA should include a comprehensive and binding State-to-State Dispute Settlement Chapter.
Canada's model FTAs include a Chapter on Dispute Settlement that reflects Canada's basic negotiating position.
Canada's commitments under the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding as well as dispute settlement chapters under recently concluded and existing FTAs are all pertinent and should guide future negotiations. While some FTAs (e.g. NAFTA) include multiple forms of dispute settlement (e.g. investor-State under Chapter 11, Bi-national Panel judicial review for trade remedy cases under Chapter 19, and State-to-State under Chapter 20) others only focus on State-to-State dispute settlement.
Canada's approach to dispute settlement provisions is to ensure consistency with the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding and other bilateral FTAs to which it is a Party while pursuing, where possible and appropriate, greater transparency and innovative solutions to challenges such as providing effective remedies.
In all of Canada's FTAs concluded to date (and in ongoing negotiations), Canada has included strong and extensive dispute settlement provisions similar to those found in the NAFTA, with various incremental improvements.
Canada prefers extensive and clear dispute settlement provisions so that it can be certain that, if a dispute arises, the process for resolving that dispute: (1) does not itself become a barrier to resolution; and (2) is fair, efficient, and effective.
Canada is also a strong proponent of transparency measures in dispute settlement, such as making submissions and hearings public, and permitting interested parties to file material with a dispute settlement panel.
Canada also advocates an approach to enhance dispute resolution provisions by advocating new and innovative means of dispute resolution and remedies.
India's approach to Dispute Settlement Mechanism has been somewhat similar to what Canada has outlined. Generally India's other FTAs will provide for State-to-State Dispute Settlement text. These provisions will normally include jurisdiction, consultation, arbitration, outcomes (including possibly, retaliation/withdrawal of concessions, withdrawal of measures, compensation, etc.), constitution of panels, procedures and timelines. As regards jurisdiction, in some of the FTAs the choice of forum of dispute resolution is provided i.e., either the WTO DSU provisions or the Bilateral Dispute settlement, whichever may give comfort to either Party. As regards arbitration by Panels, the Dispute settlement text should provide option to Parties to nominate one Panelist of their choice and the third presiding Panelist may be an independent one. India has not been supportive of public hearing of panel proceedings nor do we encourage private interested parties' unsolicited representation to the Panel unless may seek information. We have also supported inclusion of a Mediation Mechanism for non-tariff measures.
5.8 Trade Policy Consultations
The decision to hold Canada-India Trade Policy Consultations (TPCs) was agreed in April 2002 by Canada's Minister of International Trade and India's Minister of Commerce. The first annual Canada-India TPCs took place in February 2003 in India, and have been held yearly since then, with the venue alternating between the two countries.
The TPCs provide a platform to discuss, at the Deputy Minister/Secretary level, bilateral and multilateral trade policy matters and work toward resolving a number of trade irritants. They also provide an opportunity to strengthen the Canada-India relationship with a view to ensuring a regular dialogue with a sustained commitment to follow-up. Since the inception of the TPCs, a variety of topics have been discussed, such as labelling requirements, intellectual property, science and technology cooperation, air transport relations, and more. The TPCs allow India and Canada to discuss topics of mutual interest in all sectors that are related to the Canada-India commercial relationship.
The sixth annual Canada-India Trade Policy Consultations took place in Ottawa on September 29, 2009. The consultations proved once again to be a very good and flexible forum to discuss a large number of issues of mutual interest to both India and Canada, including limitations on foreign direct investment, insurance and banking industry regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, visa and work permit issues, and export inspection certification systems. Commitments were made by both parties on many issues and timelines were established to conclude a number of ongoing bilateral negotiations and initiatives such as the Canada-India Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) and the CEO Roundtable. Additionally, the 2009 TPCs prompted a mission to Canada regarding the direct sourcing of rough diamonds.
5.9 Air Transport Agreement
The 1982 agreement between Canada and India on air services was last updated in 2005, which resulted in a significant expansion of rights, notably additional points of service, increased frequency entitlements (to 35 flights per week), unlimited cargo rights, code-sharing rights, and multiple airline designation rights. Air Canada does not currently operate own-aircraft service to India, but offers extensive code-share services through its Star Alliance partners, Swiss and Lufthansa, as well as with JetAirways. Air India and Jet Airways operate up to daily own-aircraft service to Toronto, with Air India stopping en route at London, and Jet Airways at Brussels.
Canada and India, having recently signalled mutual interest in the possibility of revisiting the bilateral air transport agreement, and negotiators will be exploring opportunities in the coming months to further discuss this interest.
With close to 700,000 one-way passenger trips in 2009, India ranked as Canada's 11th largest air transport market.
5.10 Science and Technology Agreement
Science and Technology (S&T) cooperation between Canada and India has existed since India's independence in 1947. It was formalised with the signing of a Canada-India Science and Technology Agreement in 2005.
A Joint S&T Cooperation Committee is responsible for overseeing and implementing bilateral S&T activities under the Agreement, with representatives drawn from private industry, academia and government research and development laboratories. Areas for mutual collaboration include: biotechnology/health research/medical devices; sustainable environmental technologies and alternative energy; nanoscience/nanomedicine; information communications technologies (wireless, rural connectivity, infotainment); earth sciences and disaster management; aerospace; photonics; synchrotron science; and biopharma. The Agreement also contains provisions regarding Intellectual Property. Canadian funding for the Agreement has been administered through the International Science and Technology Partnerships Program (ISTPP) and has amounted thus far to US$ 5.9 million. ISTPP is delivered by ISTP Canada, an arm's length non-governmental organisation under contract to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The Indian government is matching Canada's S&T funds under the Agreement. Other Canadian government departments and agencies (federal and provincial), and private sector (Canadian and Indian) have also allocated funding for joint Canada-India R&D projects.
India believes in international cooperation with strategic partnership based on principles of reciprocity and synergy.
India's Science and Technology (S&T) relations with other countries and international bodies are guided by the principles including leveraging international expertise, financial resources, access to large-scale advanced research facilities and international mega-science projects, cross-border training opportunities for (i) strengthening nationally important on-going research programmes, (ii) accelerating institutional and human capacity building, (iii) reflecting on global practices relevant to technology and innovation-based demands and infrastructural requirements.
India gives priority to the specialised fields such as space research, civil nuclear energy research, pharmaceutical research, biotechnology, nano technology, agricultural and water research and information technology. More than 250 projects with several partner countries are currently under implementation. For furthering research and innovation, Government of India is considering two important initiatives: (i) National Science and Engineering Board and (ii) Nano Mission (Nano Science and Technology Initiative).
India-Canada bilateral cooperation in the field of science and technology through several institutional research linkages are already in place. Canada has been a strategic partner of India in the Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA). A memorandum of understanding (MOU) exists with Canadian Light Source, Saskatoon, for enhancing bilateral scientific cooperation.
The visit of premiers of Canadian provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec during 2007-08 has further strengthened the process of bilateral cooperation between these two nations. With rising global prosperity and technological advancement, the importance of sharing and disseminating scientific knowledge among countries has assumed tremendous significance in recent years.
The niche opportunities for engagement between research communities of India and Canada need to be explored in detail to determine the future direction for an expanded bilateral relationship between Indian and Canada.
The aerospace sector has been highlighted as an important area of cooperation under the S&T Cooperation Agreement between India and Canada. Under the Agreement, joint projects in the field of creation of a common modelling and simulation tool to test multiple aircraft and air related equipment for a new generation of regional aircraft, use of biofuels in aircraft gas turbine engines made from Canadian and Indian feed stocks, etc. have been projected/undertaken.
Canada and India can work in close cooperation in the aerospace sector primarily in establishing exclusive or on partnership basis production units for manufacturing aerospace components, research and development facilities, software programming, pilot training institutes, servicing, etc. Already, Indian and Canadian companies have formed joint ventures in the training sector such as HAL, India and CAE, helicopter training centre in Bangalore, CAE, Canada and GOI for managing the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi, a joint venture between CAE and the Airport Authority of India to develop a facility for the Rajiv Gandhi National Flying Training Institute, etc.
In March 2010, Bombardier Aerospace announced that it will open a new Regional Support Office in Mumbai to further strengthening its support for its customers in India. The new office will align Bombardier Aerospace's existing business aircraft and commercial aircraft support services in the region situated in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.
5.12 Social Security Agreement
Canada and India are in the process of negotiating a Social Security Agreement. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada is mandated, through the Old Age Security Act and the Canada Pension Plan, to negotiate Canada's social security agreements with other countries. Social security agreements, once signed, are considered treaties in international law and as such, are important to the foreign affairs of both Canada and other countries. To date, Canada has signed 53 social security agreements, 51 of which are currently in force.
Canadian or Indian employees posted to work in the other country will remain covered under their domestic pension system during their postings. Detached workers and their employers will be exempted from contributing to the other country's social security system, thereby eliminating incidences of double coverage. The number of people who will be covered under a social security agreement is expected to grow as trade with India increases. An agreement will also help people in Canada and India to qualify for pensions from either or both countries. The number of people who will initially qualify is expected to be small; however, that number is expected to grow in the future as more people contribute to the applicable Indian Pension System which was only created in 1995 and began paying benefits in 2005.
In May 2009, a Canadian delegation travelled to India for preliminary discussions towards a social security agreement, during which Parties exchanged detailed of information on their respective social security programs and legislation. During those meetings, the two delegations agreed to enter into formal negotiations towards the conclusion of a social security agreement. An Indian delegation came to Ottawa during the week of October 19, 2009 for a first round of formal negotiations, at which time a draft text of an agreement was concluded. A Canadian delegation returned to India in February 2010 to finalize the text of the agreement and discuss operational procedures, including a final version of the administrative arrangement. The Agreement is expected to be signed in 2010 and will likely enter into force in early 2011 pending legislative approval from both countries.
The recent Education Roundtable, which was attended by twelve of India's key education leaders and three Canadian university presidents and chaired by Prime Minister Harper during his visit to India in November 2009, underscored the growing importance Canada places on forging deeper and more meaningful academic relations and research collaboration with India. Areas of common interest which were discussed during the roundtable included student mobility, partnerships in conducting doctoral programs, collaboration in capacity development at new and emerging Indian institutions and the application of technology in delivering programs through distance learning.
Canada and India have a history of innovative initiatives which have helped to strengthen ties:
The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and the Association of Indian Universities (AIU) have had an agreement since November 2008 to further explore possible collaboration.
Canada was the country of honour at the Higher Education Summit of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Delhi in November 2008.
Since 1991, the Canada-India Institutional Cooperation Project (CIICP), a joint venture by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges and the governments of India and Canada, has contributed to human resource development in India's polytechnic system.
The Association of Community Colleges Canada (ACCC) Canadian Immigration Integration Program is a pilot project aimed to facilitate integration of Indian immigrants to Canada by providing vocational training while still in India.
The Ontario-Maharashtra-Goa (OMG) Exchange Program is an agreement between a consortium of 16 Ontario universities and 9 Indian universities.
In addition, since 1968, the independent bi-national Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) funded by both governments, has fostered bilateral education linkages and administered the Canadian Studies Program in India. With over 80 active bilateral agreements currently in place between Indian and Canadian institutions, India has become a growing priority in many Canadian institutions' internationalisation strategies. Student Mobility programs through scholarships and exchanges are in place. A growing number of Indian students are pursuing studies abroad, including in Canada.
Canada is attracting a growing number of Indians students with significant increases over the last year. While the impact of these students on the Canadian economy is significant (as much as US$212 million in 2008), Indian students also contribute significantly to the internationalisation goals of Canadian post-secondary education, particularly in the promotion of Canada-India research collaboration. Indian students also gain access to Canada's advanced education and research system. Discussions are under way to facilitate recognition of Indian academic credentials by Canadian post-secondary institutions, particularly for graduate studies.
Though the number of Indian students studying in Canada is increasing rapidly, the number remains quite small, compared to that of Indian students studying in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Areas for possible future collaboration:
For augmenting substantial flow of students, close cooperation and exchanges among educational institutions of the two countries are important. One way of facilitating exchanges of human resources can be to recognise the degrees awarded by accredited and registered educational institutions in India and Canada. In this regard, an effort to share information on each country's institutions and their educational programs can be taken up at various levels.
Both governments should promote the infrastructure to accept students from the other country and support the efforts by universities and colleges for enriching their exchange programs which would contribute to educational and scientific accomplishment in universities and colleges in both countries. Relevant institutions of the two countries are encouraged to make efforts to share information on each other's institutions and their educational programs.
India is embarking on a significant education infrastructure expansion. The two countries are exploring a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate academic cooperation and mobility in higher education.
5.14 Agricultural Cooperation
The comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors was signed between India and Canada on January 13, 2009. The MoU provides an institutional mechanism for encouraging cooperation towards knowledge sharing on emerging technologies, agricultural marketing and animal development.
The cooperation envisaged in the MoU is expected to be mutually beneficial for the two countries. It can also lead to increase in bilateral trade by creating new marketing opportunities benefiting the farmers and businesses of both countries.
The MoU provides for setting up of working groups to address specific areas dealing with sharing of knowledge on emerging technologies, agricultural marketing and animal development. It will have representatives from all stakeholders including private sector. The first working group was held in March 2010, and work has begun on several projects.
5.15 Energy Cooperation
India and Canada agreed to establish an Energy Dialogue, to strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation in this important area and to set up an India-Canada Energy Forum. The issue of cooperation in energy has been a part of the agenda at annual Canada-India Foreign Policy Consultations. During the December 2008 round, this issue was discussed in detail laying emphasis on Canadian investment in various energy sectors in India such as hydro, thermal, nuclear, solar, wind, new and renewable energy including collaboration in clean technology.
In November 2009, Canada and India signed a Memorandum for Cooperation in Energy during Prime Minister Harper's visit to India. The salient objectives of the MoU are:
To establish a working relationship based on equality, overall reciprocity and mutual benefit.
It aims to strengthen a dialogue in energy to promote energy security and stable energy markets, enhance bilateral trade and investment opportunities in energy related activities and advance the sustainable development of energy sector in both countries.
It also aims at the use of market mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism.
It underlines establishment of an India-Canada Forum on Energy as a primary mechanism for cooperation. The Forum will develop a workplan to coordinate the activities outlined in this MoU and will meet each year. Meetings to be held in each country by rotation.
The activities under the proposed MoU will be consistent with the provisions of the S&T Cooperation Agreement between India and Canada.
It was further proposed that cooperation under the proposed MoU may include the following:
Energy policy: To provide a framework for discussions and exchanges of information on energy matters, policies, programs and regulatory practices of both countries and to identify and promote conditions to increase bilateral trade and investment
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency:
To promote opportunities for cooperation in renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technologies particularly in hydrogen fuel cell technology, biofuels, wind and solar energy.
Power Generation, Transmission Distribution and End-use: To expand and strengthen cooperation in power generation which includes hydro, thermal and co-generation as well as clean coal and other forms of energy and related services and equipment.
Energy Research Development: To promote clean energy initiatives such as in the areas of coal bed methane and coal gasification.
Oil and Natural Gas: To facilitate and promote enhanced sustainable exploration and production, mining and drilling under mutually agreed terms and conditions.
Other Energy Related Issues: To hold discussions on energy related bilateral and multilateral issues as agreed upon between two side
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