The India-Canada CEOs Forum will submit a report to the government after 90 days on ways to increase economic engagement and boost bilateral trade between the countries.
The forum, which met in New Delhi on Tuesday for the first time, identified few sectors including infrastructure, ICT, natural resources, education, life sciences and banking and financial services to increase co-operation.
“CEOs of both the sides will work on these sectors. We will submit a report to the government after 90 days. We will study each sector separately,” India-Canada CEOs Forum Co-Chair Hari Bhartia said after the meeting.
From Canadian side, Tom Jenkins has Co-Chaired the meeting. Jenkins is Executive Chairman of Open Text Corporation.
The meeting took place in the presence of Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Canadian Trade Minister, Ed Fast, who is leading a business delegation to India.
Bhartia said the CEOs recommendations will help both the governments in negotiating the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).
“Huge opportunities are present for businessmen of both the countries,” he added.
Both the sides launched CEPA negotiations in November 2010 to further boost bilateral trade and investment. The pact aimed at slashing or eliminating duties on maximum number of products traded between the two countries, besides opening the services sector and facilitating investment proposals.
The negotiations for the pact are expected to conclude by 2013. As per a joint study group report, both countries will benefit from the CEPA. According to the report, India and Canada’s GDP are likely to get benefits in the range of $6 billion and $15 billion a year, respectively from the trade pact.
Both sides expect that bilateral trade between the countries will triple to $15 billion by 2015 from $5 billion at present.
Canada primarily exports vegetables, fertilisers, machinery and wood pulp, while its main imports from India are organic chemicals, knit and woven apparel, precious stones and metals, electronics and machinery.
Further, Bhartia added that Indian entrepreneurs can explore areas like energy, coking coal, natural gas and fertiliser raw material. The forum will meet again next year.
Earlier India and Canada on Monday explored ways to treble bilateral trade volume to $15 billion in the next three years. Canada’s Minister of State for Democratic Reforms Tim Uppal and Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, during a meeting in New Delhi emphasised the need for expanding bilateral trade considering the “huge potential” and also discussed to further improve people-to-people contacts.
From Gulf Today