In a bilateral meeting
with Canadian Minister of International Trade and Minister for Asia –
Pacific Gateway Mr Edward Fast, Union Minister of Commerce, Industry &
Textiles, Shri Anand Sharma suggested that substantial pension funds in
Canada – private and public – could be usefully channeled through the
Infrastructure Debt Fund. It is to be noted that both the sides have
finalised a tripartite agreement for an infrastructure debt funding
mechanism linking both lenders and borrowers through the IDF. The IDF
would source most of its funding from pension funds, insurance funds and
sovereign wealth funds. Shri Sharma also highlighted the need to address
the investment asymmetry. Indian investment in Canada is estimated at $
14.2 billion and Canadian investment in India at nearly $ 4.3 billion.
Owing to Canada’s healthy banking sector and private equity funds, Shri
Sharma also encouraged greater Canadian investment into India.
Shri Sharma expressed satisfaction over the negotiations on
Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). “The negotiations
on CEPA are proceeding smoothly, and we hope that it would be finalised
by 2013,” said Shri Sharma. The sixth round of CEPA negotiations are
going to be held in Ottawa from November 14-16, 2012. The fifth round of
CEPA negotiations between India and Canada was held recently in New
Delhi from 24th to 26th July, 2012.
Shri Sharma hoped that an early conclusion of Foreign Investment
Promotion & Protection Agreement (FIPPA) between India and Canada would
help in providing a fair and equitable treatment to bilateral foreign
investments on a reciprocal basis.
The issue of Social Security Agreement was also discussed between Shri
Sharma and Mr. Fast. Shri Sharma was also optimistic that the SSA is
signed at the earliest. “This step would reinforce faith in the
bilateral negotiation process,” said Shri Sharma.
The bilateral trade between India and Canada during 2011 stood at USD
5.216 billion as against USD 4.088 billion in 2010, registering an
increase of 28.35% over the year 2010. In 2011, India’s exports to
Canada showed an increase of 25%, while the imports from Canada
registered an increase of 31.7%, over 2010. The total bilateral trade
for the first eight months of this year stood at USD 3.640 billion – a
16.4% increase as compared to the same period for last year.