India, Canada agree to boost annual bilateral trade to 15 billion dollars by 2015

     India and Canada have agreed to achieve an annual bilateral trade target of 15 billion dollars by 2015 to encourage two-way flow of investments. Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Stephen Harper welcomed the submission of the report of the Joint Study Group to study the feasibility of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) on Sunday, saying that it should be seen as an important step in bringing the two economies closer together. Both leaders said that they have directed their officials to examine the report and expedite the next steps. A joint statement issued after the bilateral meeting said that the two leaders were committed to expanding a range of activities and institutional frameworks that will contribute to the shared goal of increasing bilateral trade. Both leaders also committed themselves through the joint statement to take the next steps in the Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Joint Study Group on CEPA. Welcoming the conclusions of the report in which substantial potential economic gains have been identified, the two leaders noted the recommendations made and said the two countries would examine the necessary processes for obtaining approvals immediately and expressed the hope that this would be completed by October this year. Both Prime Ministers' also announced their commitment to go ahead with an annual dialogue on trade and investment at the commerce ministerial level and also welcomed the possibility of holding an India-Canada CEO Roundtable later in the year. Both Dr. Singh and Prime Minister Harper said that they looked forward to the early signing, ratification and implementation of the Social Security Agreement, and also noted that the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement is under negotiation and looked forward to its early conclusion. They said the signing of these two agreements would significantly contribute to the commercial and economic interaction between the two countries.

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