Canada And India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement
Canada and India completed their ninth round of negotiations towards a Canada-India Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. Negotiations centered on a broad range of trade in goods and services issues and since completion, both sides have expressed a commitment to advancing the talks so a final agreement can be reached.
With a population of 1.2 billion and a GDP of $1.9 trillion, India is one of the world’s most populous countries as well as one of the fastest growing economies. Over 600 million of its population is under the age of 25 and the population is projected to grow to 141 million in the next 8 year.
India is a major potential market for Canadian Agriculture and agri-food products. With Canadian exports exceeding $914 million in 2014, India is a strong importer of vegetables and a growing market for feed oil cakes, canola oil and grains. Pulse crops account for over 95 percent of Canadian agri-food exports to India.
Currently India has food tariff policies and non-tariff barriers, which limit trade and growth of the sector for Canadian agricultural and agri-food producers. For example India currently applies a 30 percent tariff to all Canadian lentil exports. According to experts eliminating tariffs on just lentil products could potentially result in a 147 percent increase in exports over a period of 5 years. Additionally while exports to India have increased in the last 10 years, sales exports to India accounts for less than 1 percent of Canada’s trade. Additionally Indian populations remain highly sensitive to prices. Consequently, trade volumes with India vary dramatically annually. Implementing and ratifying the India Canada trade agreement has the potential to increase the GDP by $6 billion and result in export gains of up to 47 per cent (according to DFATD).
A successful trade agreement with India would allow Canadian farmers to more fully benefit from the economic opportunities offered by the growing nation as well as allow Indian consumer to benefit from high quality and lower priced Canadian exports.