India, Canada start FTA talks

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    http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20101114/biz.htm#1

    Toronto, November 13
    India will join China in filling up Canadian stores with cheaper goods once New Delhi and Ottawa sign a free trade agreement to do away with many taxes and duties. The prime ministers of the two countries announced the start of talks for a comprehensive economic partnership agreement during their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Seoul.


    The two countries aim to push trade more than three-fold from the current $4.2 billion in the next five years. Canadian exports to India include machinery, fertilizers, wood pulp and vegetables, Indian exports comprise garments, metals, precious stones and jewellery, and electrical equipment.

    Welcoming the decision, the Toronto Star said, “While it may take many months before the details are worked out, when it does happen Canadians can expect to see more Indian-produced products on store shelves, and perhaps cheaper prices for items already imported from the Asian country. The agreement should be a boon for business owners, who could open India-based offices, or simply target consumers in the country.”

    A free trade agreement is expected to add about $6 billion each to the economies of the two countries. But more than anything, Canadian banks and insurance companies will benefit immensely from a free trade pact with one of the fastest growing economies in the world, as they want access to the south Asian market.

    After the global meltdown triggered by the US which is Canada's main buyer, Ottawa is trying to lessen dependence on its big neighbour by signing free trade agreements with many other nations. Economics experts here have described the talks with India as an ‘important development’ for Canada. Scotching fears that a free trade agreement will lead to more outsourcing of jobs to India, these analysts say this loss, if any, will be more than offset by Indian companies opening offices in Canada and creating jobs. — IANS
     
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