ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP WITH INDIA MAY LEAD TO FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

Canada and India have agreed to begin discussions and the government is seeking comments concerning a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with India.

Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and India was $4.6 billion in 2008. Imports from India were $2.2 billion consisting mainly of organic chemicals, precious stones and metals, knit and woven apparel, machinery, iron and steel products, and electrical and electronic equipment. Exports from Canada in 2008 were $2.4 billion consisting mainly of fertilizers, pulses, paper and paperboard, machinery, wood pulp, electrical and electronic equipment, and precious stones and metals.

Issues to consider include the following:

  • Import tariff phase-outs for goods from India
  • Liberalization of exports to India
  • Trade in services
  • Temporary entry of business travellers
  • India’s import licensing and other technical barriers to trade such as phytosanitary measures
  • Rules of origin o Customs procedures
  • Investment barriers and foreign ownership issues
  • Government procurement o Intellectual property rights
  • Competition policy
  • Environmental protection and conservation
  • Human rights, commercial practices and other social concerns
  • Trade remedies such as anti-dumping and countervailing duties
  • Science and technology

Interested parties are invited to submit their views by April 6, 2009.

Additional information concerning this and other recent developments is available from our technical consulting group.