Canada-India Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of India on the Establishment of a Joint Study Group to Examine the Feasibility of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

The Government of Canada (Canada) and the Government of the Republic of India (India) hereinafter referred to as the “Participants”,

Further to the announcement by Canada’s Minister for International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry on January 21, 2009, initiating exploratory discussions toward a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA);

Recognizing the role of a CEPA in accelerating overall economic growth of their respective countries;

Desiring to further expand and develop bilateral relations and cooperation in the fields of trade, industry, investment and other economic fields;

Pursuant to the prevailing laws and regulations in their respective countries;

Have come to the following understandings:

1. The Participants will establish a Joint Study Group (JSG) to examine the feasibility of a CEPA.

2. The objectives of a CEPA are to:

  • i. Broaden and deepen cooperation in all economic fields;
  • ii. Encourage trade and investment flows, bilaterally and regionally;
  • iii. Contribute to trade and investment facilitation through minimizing tariff and non-tariff barriers, reducing any administrative costs;
  • iv. Improve business climate in the two countries;
  • v. Enhance transparency of regulation and promote cooperation among relevant institutions.

3. The JSG will comprise delegations of both Participants, consisting of government officials. The participants will ensure, where appropriate, that members of the delegations consult with representatives from the private sector, academia and non-governmental organizations. Each Participant will select the members of its delegation. The Participants intend the JSG to be chaired by the Joint Secretary of the Department of Commerce of India and Chief Trade Negotiator, Bilateral and Regional of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada or their representatives.

4. The terms of reference of the JSG will be to:

  • a. Identify the strategic and economic benefits that India and Canada can derive from the establishment of a CEPA;
  • b. Develop a proposed policy framework for enhancing trade in goods, services and investment;
  • c. Review the existing institutional framework, infrastructure and mechanisms in bilateral trade and economic relations and how to optimize such cooperation;
  • d. Identify opportunities to expedite the expansion of trade in services, and progressively liberalise trade in services on a preferential basis with substantial sectoral coverage;
  • e. Evolve modalities for investment cooperation with a view to creating a favourable climate for encouraging investment flows across borders;
  • f. Explore the possibilities and scope of a CEPA, covering all areas of the bilateral economic relationship as listed in the following non-exhaustive list:
    • i. Trade in Goods;
    • ii. Trade in Services;
    • iii. Investment;
    • iv. Intellectual Property Rights;
    • v. Technical Barriers to Trade;
    • vi. Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues;
    • vii. Trade Facilitation and Customs Procedures;
    • viii. Competition Policy, Monopolies and State Enterprises;
    • ix. Dispute Settlement;
    • x. Government Procurement; and
    • xi. Opportunities to strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
  • g. make other recommendations for closer cooperation on issues of common interest in multilateral and commercial forums.

5. The Participants will ensure that the meetings of the JSG alternate between India and Canada. The Participants will decide on the frequency of the meetings. The JSG will submit its report within six months of its constitution.

6. (a) This Memorandum of Understanding will become effective on the date of its signing by the Participants.
(b) Each Participant may terminate this Memorandum of Understanding by giving a six-month written notice to the other Participant.
(c) The Participants may amend this Memorandum of Understanding upon their mutual written consent.

Signed in duplicate at __________ on this _____ day of ______________ 2009, in the English, French and Hindi languages, each version being equally valid.

For the Government of Canada

For the Government of the Republic of India