G20 in Italy: Piyush Goyal speaks to Canadian Mary Ng ahead of CEPA | World news

India and Canada held ministerial-level talks to secure a trade deal as Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal met with Canadian International Trade Minister Mary Ng in Sorrento, Italy on Monday . They attended the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Investment and also held bilateral discussions on the sidelines of the event.

Mary Ng tweeted that they had discussed “working together for economic recovery, which includes advancing bilateral trade, including the flow of agricultural products”.

She also said they spoke of World Trade Organization (WTO) reforms and “ambitious results” ahead of its 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva, Switzerland, later this year.

Piyush Goyal tweeted about the meeting, saying the talks were on “a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), with energy, new technologies and manufactured goods and services being key areas for future cooperation.”

Ajay Bisaria, Indian High Commissioner to Canada, described the meeting between Piyush Goyal and Mary Ng on the sidelines of the G20 summit as “excellent” and added that CEPA, if sealed, “will strengthen economic engagement. “.

After languishing for nearly four years, Indian and Canadian negotiators resumed discussions in June for a possible trade agreement between the two countries.

The discussions, held virtually, were led by officials from India’s Ministry of Commerce and officials from Canada’s Ministry of International Trade. They had reconsidered the CEPA project, which has been under consideration for a full decade after talks began under the leadership of then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada at the time. ‘era.

The last round of negotiations took place in August 2017. While Canadian authorities wanted to conclude a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) ahead of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to India in February 2018, New Delhi was more interested in sealing CEPA. first.

However, as bilateral relations turned sour after the visit, further talks were not planned.

In the context of Piyush Goyal’s meeting with Mary Ng alongside the G20 summit in Italy, a senior Indian official said discussions were now underway for a “CEPA-lite”, a simplified version of the agreement, which would take into account areas of convergence and interest for both nations.

The last ministerial-level dialogue on CEPA took place in September 2016 by two leaders who are now both finance ministers – Nirmala Sitharaman, then trade minister, and Chrystia Freeland, then international trade minister.

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