Aug 04, 2022

By Jeremy Logan

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A new report from two Canadian business associations is calling for Canada to lock down a free-trade agreement with India.

The joint report from the Business Council of Canada and the Canada-India Business Council calls India “one of Canada’s largest untapped trade opportunities” and compares its economy to where China was two decades ago.

Canada began negotiations with India in 2010, but has faced some obstacles in securing a deal, including India’s reluctance to engage in free trade.

However, trade negotiations were revived when International Trade Minister Mary Ng visited India in March, sparking new rounds of negotiations over an early progress trade agreement.

Carleton University economist Vivek Dehejia says there are some signs that India is showing more openness to trade agreements, with an agreement between India and the United Kingdom expected to be reached in the fall.

The economist cautions, however, the countries should avoid mixing social issues into its negotiations, citing criticism of the Indian government contributing to a sour relationship between the countries.

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