Doing Business with India

Government-to-government agreements will open the door to valuable opportunities for Canadian businesses like yours

With an Indian diaspora of more than one million, Canada is well placed to take advantage of emerging business opportunities in India's rapidly expanding manufacturing and services sectors, as well as in the infrastructure and natural resource sectors.

With one of the world’s youngest and largest populations, and one of the fastest-growing economies, India represents tremendous opportunities for Canadian exporters and investors.

Government-to-government agreements between Canada and India will help Canadian companies profit from the great potential of this market. Currently under negotiation, the Canada-India comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) and the Canada-India foreign investment promotion and protection agreement (FIPA) will give Canadian companies a competitive edge.

Similar to a free trade agreement, the CEPA is expected to eliminate or reduce tariffs on trade in goods and liberalize trade in services. A Canada-India joint study found that a trade agreement between the two countries could boost Canada’s economy by at least $6 billion. The CEPA negotiating agenda is broad and ambitious. During his November 2012 visit to India, Prime Minister Stephen Harper met with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and the two leaders reaffirmed their desire to conclude negotiations by the end of 2013.

A Canada-India FIPA will enable investors from both countries to invest in each other’s markets with greater confidence. Bilateral investment between Canada and India reached a record $5 billion in 2011, and a FIPA will encourage further investment—investment that will facilitate the creation of new jobs and economic growth. Canada recognizes that India is currently reviewing all of its bilateral FIPAs and looks forward to finalizing the agreement on a priority basis.

Canadian companies are well positioned to be trade and investment partners of choice for India, especially in key strategic sectors where Canada is a world leader and where India will require assistance. These sectors include construction, architecture, design, engineering and telecommunications.

During Prime Minister Harper’s November 2012 visit to India, additional government-to-government agreements were announced in education, science and technology, and nuclear cooperation. These agreements are already opening the door to increased Canada-India commercial relations. Prime Minister Harper and Prime Minister Singh have set an ambitious goal of increasing two-way trade to $15 billion per year in 2015.

Canada-India Trade Relations

  • In 2011, the value of trade between Canada and India was more than $5 billion, an increase of more than 23 percent over 2010.
  • India is Canada’s 13th-largest export destination and its 20th-largest source of imports.
  • About 500 Canadian companies are currently doing business in India, and many more are making plans to do so.
  • Top Canadian merchandise exports include vegetables (mostly peas and lentils), fertilizers, paper and paperboard, and aircraft.

For more information about new business opportunities or how a Canada-India CEPA, FIPA or other government-to-government agreement can help your company in India, check out market facts and reports for India on the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) website or contact a trade commissioner. You can also subscribe to the TCS India bulletin.

Additional Information

Contact Us

Trade Policy and Negotiations Division I (TPE)
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa ON  K1A 0G2
Fax: 613-944-0757