Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, meet with Salman Khurshid, India’s Minister of External Affairs. In 2012, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and India exceeded $5.2 billion. As of July 2013, bilateral trade is up 21 percent over the first seven months of 2012.
The two ministers exchanged views on key areas of common interest for Canada and India, including food security, energy security, infrastructure, innovation and trade and investment. Ministers Fast and Khurshid recognized that, with more than one million Canadians of Indian origin, vibrant and long-standing people-to-people ties are among the greatest strengths of the Canada-India relationship.
Canada and India are negotiating a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) to create jobs, growth and prosperity in both countries. Both ministers agreed that a CEPA could be a building block to expanding the long-standing commercial relationship between both countries.
The ministers also expressed support for the work of the Canada-India Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Forum. The CEO Forum, which comprises top Canadian and Indian business representatives, was launched last year to assist the private sector in fostering increased trade and investment between Canada and India.
Earlier, Khurshid also met John Baird, Foreign Minister. “ In a challenging neighborhood with an abundance of opportunity, the importance of the Canada-India relationship is underscored in this first official visit of my counterpart in 15 years,” said Baird. “The frequent and diverse range of economic, security and global issues that Canada and India are now interacting on represents only the beginnings of the great potential of our bilateral relations.”
Canada and India hold a variety of annual bilateral consultations to discuss areas of mutual interest, including the Strategic Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue, the potential of the Canada-India economic relationship and key global international security issues.