Canada is confident that the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India would be worked out by 2013.
The bilateral trade between both the countries is set to touch $15 billion by 2015 from $ 4.5 billion in 2010. “Prime Ministers from both the countries are committed to conclude CEPA negotiations by 2013,” said Stewart Beck, the Canadian High Commissioner to India, during a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) meet here on Tuesday. According to him, negotiations between both the countries are on schedule regarding CEPA.
Regarding investment opportunities in West Bengal, he said, “Canada is looking forward to investments in education, agriculture and mining sector in the state. Today, I had a meeting with St Xaviers College and Calcutta University officials today.” While St Xaviers has a student exchange programme with York University, Calcutta University has tie-ups with Manitoba University.
“Currently, about 250 Canadian companies have investments in India, which we want to increase by 750 soon. Majority of those firms would be from small and medium enterprises,” added Beck. The SMEs would operate through partners in India, so that they can connect with the local markets faster.In education sector, Canada has issued 3,000 visas in 2008 while it has increased to 12,500 this year.
Meanwhile, a marketing delegation from the country is expected to visit West Bengal next year. He said that in a slated meeting with the state finance minister Amit Mitra, he will also invite a state government delegation to Canada to open up business relations between West Bengal and Canadian companies.