India and Canada will enhance coordinated investment promotion activities, information exchange and mutual support for economic partnership. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise the enhanced cooperation will be signed during the year, trade ministers of both the countries have said.

The decision was the outcome of the sixth India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment (MDTI) held on May 8, 2023 in Ottawa. Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, Government of Canada, co-chaired the ministerial dialogue.

The ministers emphasised the solid foundation of the trade and economic relationship between Canada and India and recognised the significant opportunity to deepen bilateral ties and economic partnership, an official statement issued after the meeting said.

Both ministers agreed to rework and relaunch the Canada-India CEO Forum with renewed focus and a new set of priorities. The CEO Forum could be announced at a mutually-agreed early date. The CEO Forum would be a platform to enhance B2B engagement.

The ministers emphasised enhancing cooperation in sectors such as clean technologies for infrastructure development, critical minerals, electric vehicles and batteries, renewable energy/hydrogen, and AI. The ministers asked their officials to discuss trade remedies issues of bilateral importance on a regular basis.

The ministers reviewed the progress so far achieved in the India-Canada Free Trade Agreement negotiations in the seven rounds of negotiations so far. They reaffirmed that EPTA would cover, among others, high level commitments in goods, services, investment, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and dispute settlement, and may also cover others where mutual agreement is reached.

The Canadian minister expressed her support for India as G20 Chair and the priorities pursued by India in the G20 Trade and Investment Working Group. She indicated that she is looking forward to participating in the upcoming G-20 Trade and Investment Ministerial meeting in India scheduled to take place in August 2023.

India-Canada bilateral trade in goods reached about US$8.2 billion in 2022, registering about 25% growth compared to 2021. The ministers also underlined the contribution of the services sector in furthering the bilateral relationship and noted the significant potential for increasing bilateral services trade which stood at about US$6.6 billion in 2022.

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