Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng will host India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food, and Public Distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyal, in Canada from May 8 to 11, according to a release from Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry.
The release also noted that the two ministers will meet in Ottawa on May 8, for the sixth Canada-India Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment (MDTI).
An interim trade pact will be an important aspect of the agenda. As the release stated, “Minister Goyal’s visit provides an opportunity for Canada and India to further their work towards an Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA).”
It pointed out that at the fifth MDTI held in March 2022, when Ng visited New Delhi, both ministers re-launched negotiations regarding a Canada-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). “In pursuit of that goal, negotiations towards an EPTA, as a transitional step towards the CEPA, have been underway. Seven rounds of discussions have taken place with the most recent round taking place from April 3 to 6, 2023, in Ottawa,” it said.
Strengthening bilateral trade and investment ties helps create new opportunities and deepen economic relations between our two countries,” it added.
Ng will visit India in August for the trade ministers vertical of the G20 in Jaipur.
Indian officials are hopeful Goyal’s visit will give “political momentum” to the EPTA negotiations.