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The Comprehensive Trade Agreement with India: What's in it for Canada (or India for that matter)?

Eugene Beaulieu ()

SPP Communique, 2012, vol. 4, issue 3

Abstract: Prime Minister Stephen Harper is leading a mission to India from November 3 to 9, 2012. On this, his second official visit to India, Harper will meet with the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, with the stated goal of strengthening trade and investment links between the two countries. In fact, the two countries have been negotiating a trade agreement known as the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) since November 2010. The case for Canada to pursue a comprehensive trade agreement with India appears to be ironclad. India is a rapidly growing, very large economy with the second largest population and tenth largest GDP in the world. India is open for business and began economic reforms to liberalize trade and investment, deregulate industry and privatize state-owned enterprises in the early 1990s. India has been growing at an average rate of more than seven per cent per year since 1997. Moreover, India is a democracy and shares a colonial past with Canada. However, bilateral economic relations between the two countries have historically been very weak, but with the potential to grow substantially. It seems like India has all the right ingredients for Canada to make the CEPA a priority. So, what can Canada really expect from these negotiations? The answer: Unfortunately, not much.

Date: 2012
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