Toronto: India and Canada will soon sign the Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement. The agreement is aimed at accelerating investment flow between the two countries and provide a “new impetus” to bilateral economic ties.
“The agreement, designed to protect investors by defining their legally binding rights and obligations, would be signed soon,” said R L Narayan, India’s high commissioner to Canada.
It would give “a new impetus to Indo-Canada economic relations,” the envoy said ahead of foreign secretary-level talks between the two countries next week.
The agreeement once implemented will fulfill a key demand of businesses in the two countries. Canada has been eagerly eyeing India’s growing market.
Both the countries had declared during commerce minister Kamal Nath’s visit to Canada in June last year that negotiations over the agreement had concluded. However, it was not inked then.
“The agreement has been finalised and would intensify investment flows to the mutual benefit of both the countries by creating a favorable environment,” Narayan said.
He said India’s long term objective was to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Canada and it would be possible only after the Doha round of talks and submission of a special committee report.
Narayan said India already had FTAs with Sri Lanka, Thailand and Singapore and was in the process of signing it with European Union (EU) and other countries.
Stressing that India was committed to building a new strategic partnership with Canada based on equality and mutual trust to achieve common goals, Narayan said both countries had accelerated dialogue at the highest level to boost trade and investment.
Leonard Edwards, Canada’s foreign secretary would visit India next week to discuss bilateral and regional issues.
Several other high-level visits from Canada to India are also planned in the next couple of weeks.
Direct investment between the two countries had reached $528 million in 2006 while trade grew to $3.6 billion. Over seven lakh Indian immigrants are residing in Canada