Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said negotiators have been asked to redouble efforts to finalise comprehensive economic partnership agreement as well as investment protection pact with Canada. “To realise the full potential of bilateral trade and investment, both sides will renew efforts to expand and diversify bilateral economic and commercial relations. They will also intensify negotiations to finalise a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and a BFIPPA (Bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement),” said a joint statement.
The statement was issued following talks between PM Modi and visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Earlier in a press statement, Modi said negotiators have been asked to redouble efforts for finalising the two agreements. “We need to have an institutional framework for bilateral economic cooperation. In this context, negotiators should redouble their efforts to finalise Bilateral Investment and Promotion Agreement, and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement,” he said.
As per the joint statement, the two prime ministers welcome the conclusion of, and progress on, cooperation agreements/MoUs in areas such as civil nuclear science and technology, education, audio-visual co-production, information technology, intellectual property and sports. The two leaders agreed to encourage the private sectors to further explore investment opportunities in both countries, including through India’s flagship programmes such as Make in India, Start-Up India, Digital India and Smart Cities, as well as Canadian programmes such as the Innovation and Skills Plan, the Canadian Technology Accelerators, the Start-Up VISA Program and the Global Skills Strategy.
“The leaders welcomed the signing of commercial agreements which will create new economic opportunities and jobs in both countries. They applauded the launch of the Canada-India Accelerator Program for Women Tech Entrepreneurs, as well as the decision to convene a Canada-India Track 1.5 Dialogue on Innovation, Growth and Prosperity,” it said.
Modi and Trudeau emphasised the importance of ensuring access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for all, and noted that transparency and predictability of market access conditions, including sharing of information on production of agricultural commodities, are key in advancing the food security goals of both countries. “India and Canada will work closely together to finalize an arrangement within 2018 to enable the export of Canadian pulses to India free from pests of quarantine importance, with mutually acceptable technological protocols,” the joint statement said.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will continue to work closely with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority to facilitate access for Indian organic products.