“Strengthening relations between Canada and India has been the primary objective and rationale for the formation of Canada India Foundation and we have been proactively working towards that objective over the past 16 years. Recent announcements by both the Indian and Canadian governments regarding the pause of the trade agreement talks and the cancellation of the planned trade mission from Canada to India are serious setbacks towards that objective” said Mr. Satish Thakkar, Chair of Canada India Foundation.
“CIF has been privileged to be briefed by the Government of Canada of ongoing developments on the Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement discussions between the two countries and had provided valuable inputs during the briefing. These include presentation made by CIF to the Standing Committee on International Trade in 2012
,and more recently a roundtable discussion with Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Hon. Mary Ng. in 2022 among many others. We hope that both governments would come forward with reasons for suspension of the talks and give us hope that they are making an earnest attempt to resume them.” Mr. Thakkar said.
Mr. Ritesh Malik, CIF National Convener said, “Both Canada and India have successfully concluded trade agreements with other countries in the past years. While there have been unfortunate incidents in parts of Canada, some directed at India, which should be condemned, CIF believes that the larger interests of the peoples of Canada and India are better served by resumption of trade talks and early conclusion of a trade agreement, overcoming any domestic political compulsions”.
“Canada can ill-afford not to have close and friendly trade ties with India, which is well on its way to become one of the top three economic powerhouses in the world, in the coming decades”, he added.
CIF has been a passionate promoter of a free trade agreement between Canada and India and sincerely hope that the current pause apparently caused by political considerations, is a temporary one, and that the two nations will quickly resolve the issues and restart the talks.
CIF is joined by other prominent organizations in the Canada India space, The Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and The Indian Institute of Technology Alumni Association Canada, in requesting the two governments to resume negotiations and conclude a trade agreement, for mutual economic benefit of the two countries.
Mr. Murarilal Thapiliyal, President of the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the oldest Indo-Canadian organization devoted to promoting Indo-Canadian businesses, said, “A successful conclusion of the Canada India trade agreement will open the floodgates for enterprising Indo-Canadian and other businesses to leverage their networks to further Canada-India trade and bring prosperity to Canadians.”
Mr. Pankaj Agarwal, President of IIT Alumni Canada, whose fellow alumni, graduates of the most prestigious institute in India, occupy top positions in numerous business houses in India, Canada and globally, said, “The importance of a formal Canada-India free trade agreement cannot be understated, as it sends a strong and encouraging signal to businesses in both countries to leverage their best assets to avail of the free trade. We hope the pause in negotiations are temporary and issues causing the pause can be quickly resolved.”
Canada India Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan, public policy organization dedicated to promoting Canada–India relations.