FIPPA will conclude soon: Canadian Minister

"We are currently working to finalise FIPPA with India that Canada believe will benefit Canadian and Indian investors by providing greater certainty for Canadian firms with existing investments in India," Peter Van Loan, Canadian Minister for International Trade said addressing the business professionals at a function organised by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) here.

He said that it would also promote Canada as a destination for foreign investment, opening up markets for Indian corporations looking for new opportunities abroad.

The agreement would promote economic relations between the two countries and accelerate two-way investments and bring a new "legal regime" that would boost bilateral investment, although some issues like taxation and expropriation were yet to be resolved, Van Loan added.

"The agreement, designed to protect investors by defining their legally binding rights and obligations, would give new impetus to Indo-Canada economic relations," he said.

After this agreement, Van Loan said, the bilateral commercial ties would grow exponentially and be helpful in achieving the country's goal to triple bilateral trade and investment to USD 15 billion in next five years.

The deal would protect and promote two-way foreign investment. It would stimulate trade and investment with India. The agreement is intended to protect foreign investments against exportation or nationalisation and improve access for Canadian firms in a rapidly growing Indian market, the Minister said.

"We have both agreed Canada and India have an enormous amount of economic and commercial potential," Van Loan said.

Dismissing concerns that the deal would jeopardise Canadian job market, he said, instead he felt that Indian investment would help the Canadian economy and bring more jobs to Canada.

Referring civil nuclear cooperation agreement signed between the two countries during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visit to Canada in June this year, the Minister said: "Our government is currently on course to ratifying the agreement with India for cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy."

"We are looking to provide access for members of Canada's nuclear industry to India's expanding civilian nuclear market," he said.

Van Loan said: "We are collaborating in the science and technology sectors so that both the countries will benefit from the new knowledge and technologies that are helping drive economic growth. Canadian businesses are excited about doing more business with India."

The Minister said that India would benefit from Canada's many business advantages like an open and attractive free-enterprise environment, the strong fiscal position in the G-7 countries, low corporate taxes, the fastest predicted economic growth in the G-7 this year, a skilled workforce, a vibrant environment for innovation, and an outstanding quality of life.

Speaking on the occassion Consul General of India Preeti Saran, said "it (agreement) was great for bilateral relationship between the two countries."

Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel would be in Canada later this month to enhance business ties between the two countries.

She said the visits were part of the efforts of the two countries to triple their bilateral trade from less than USD 5 billion now within the next five years.

The two countries have identified civil nuclear energy, mining, higher education, science and technology, innovation, clean technology and renewable energy as the thrust areas.

Saran said the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here in June as part of the G-20 Summit has given "fresh impetus" and "content" to the bilateral relationship between India and Canada.

She said that India was committed to creating more investment opportunities for Canadian companies in the country and invited Canadian investment in infrastructure, energy, agriculture, and food processing.

"A closer economic relationship with Canada could deliver commercial benefits to citizens on both sides," Sharan said.

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