Canada, India launch talks on free trade deal

November 12th, 2010 - 6:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh By Ravinder Singh Robin

Seoul, Nov.12 (ANI): Canada and India on Friday launched talks on a free trade deal which according to them could boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in each nation by six billion Canadian dollars a year and increase existing trade flows by 50 percent.

The announcement of the talks came during the bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Seoul.

Harper said this deal would have enormous benefits for both the countries.

“We are pleased to announce that Canada and India are formally launching negotiations on a free trade agreement. This would be of enormous benefit to both of our countries and obviously of particular interest to Indo-Canadian business community,” said Harper.

“This is key milestone in our relationship and demonstrates our increasing cooperation. It is a historic step and we look forward to working hard and coming to successful and conclusive negotiations as soon as possible,” he added.

Prime Minister Singh said close economic ties would bind both countries closely together.

“The landmark agreement on the cooperation on civil nuclear energy is one indication of the sea change that has come about in our relationship. And as Prime Minister Harper has just now mentioned, we are now ready to launch negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement, which will be of enormous benefit not only to the business communities of our two countries, but will also be a powerful instrument to bind our countries together into closer economic ties,” said Dr. Singh.

The leaders of the two countries made the announcement in a news release, which reads, “both sides expect a timely conclusion of an ambitious agreement”. It gave no further details on timing. (ANI)

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