International Trade Minister Ed Fast Concludes Trade Mission to India

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During seven-day visit, Minister advocates for deeper bilateral trade and investment ties, makes progress on trade and investment agreements, highlights capabilities and expertise of Canadian companies in India, and encourages greater cooperation between Canadian and Indian businesses

MUMBAI.- International Trade Minister Ed Fast wrapped up a week-long trade mission to India by delivering a keynote address to Indian and Canadian business leaders and by personally welcoming a shipment of high-quality agricultural products arriving from Canada to Mumbai Port.

During his seven-day, four-city visit to Delhi, Ahmedabad, Pune and Mumbai, Minister Fast advocated for closer economic ties between the two countries and promoted Canadian expertise in a focused set of key sectors, including agriculture and agri-food, energy and natural resources, infrastructure, information and communications technology, education and manufacturing.

“As Canada’s trade minister, I can say that strengthening the Canada-India partnership is one of my top priorities,” Minister Fast told Canadian and Indian business leaders. “Throughout my week-long trade mission to this country, I have become more convinced than ever that an exciting future awaits both our countries—a future based on deeper trade and investments ties.”

On the final day of his trade mission, Minister Fast visited Mumbai Port to watch the tanker Ocean Crown, newly arrived from Vancouver, unload its cargo of Saskatchewan chickpeas.

“Seeing first-hand the demand here in India for Canadian products, such as our high-quality agricultural goods, demonstrates clearly how Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway is connecting Canada to high-growth markets and is helping to secure jobs and prosperity for hard-working Canadians,” said Minister Fast. “We will continue to respond to the demand for Canadian expertise and exports in high-growth Asian markets to ensure that as these markets grow, so too do the jobs and opportunities for Canadian workers and companies at home.”

While in Delhi, Minister Fast took part in the second annual ministerial dialogue with India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma. The two ministers share a commitment to completing a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement as soon as possible, a pact that will boost two-way investment by giving both Canadian and Indian companies the predictability, stability and protection they need to expand their operations in each other’s markets.

The two ministers also announced that the third round of negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between Canada and India would take place December 13, 14 and 15 in Delhi, with further rounds taking place at regular intervals.The Canada-India joint study report, issued in September 2010, concluded that a trade agreement could help boost the economies of both countries by at least $6 billion, creating jobs and prosperity for hard-working Canadians and Indians alike.