India ends FTA negotiations with Canada due to disruptive actions

The change occurred only a few days after Modi voiced to Trudeau his deep worries regarding anti-Indian groups encouraging secessionism.

PM Modi and Justin Trudeau

Free trade negotiations between India and Canada have been put on hold because Ottawa is supporting individuals who are carrying out anti-Indian actions there, according to two officials on Friday. They said that the negotiations will only begin if the deadlock has been overcome.

One of the officials mentioned above stated, “New Delhi will not engage in trade talks with any country that allows subversive activities against India or its people.” The other person claimed that India has objected to specific political developments in Canada and has “paused” FTA negotiations while the issue is being addressed. Both asked to remain anonymous.

Just a few days prior, on the fringes of the G20 conference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed to his counterpart Justin Trudeau his grave worries about anti-Indian elements encouraging secessionism from Canadian territory and instigating violence against diplomats.

In order to eventually result in a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) or a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA), India was negotiating an interim Indo-Canada Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA). Nine rounds of negotiations have already taken place up till July of this year following the resumption of FTA talks between India and Canada in March 2022.

“This is a new India with an active democracy, a strong economy, and a capable government. At the G20 conference earlier this month, it demonstrated this. The second source referred to the unanimous Delhi Declaration made at the G20 Leaders’ Summit on September 9–10 as saying, “Trade discussions and extremism will not go together. It has been sufficiently made plain to Canada, and for that matter any other country, that. Trudeau was present as well.

On September 10, outside the G20 conference in New Delhi, Modi spoke to Trudeau in the strongest terms possible to express New Delhi’s concerns. After the discussion, the Prime Minister’s Office released a statement saying that PM Modi had expressed New Delhi’s serious concerns regarding the persistence of anti-Indian activities by extremist groups in Canada.

The subversive elements are threatening the Indian population in Canada and their places of worship, encouraging secessionism, provoking violence against Indian diplomats, and damaging diplomatic facilities. Canada should be concerned about the connections between these forces and organized crime, drug cartels, and human trafficking, the statement had stated.

The statement had said that the PM also made reference of the need of mutual respect and trust for the development of relations between India and Canada.

Before the break, the India-Canada FTA negotiations were going very well. The ninth round was conducted virtually from July 12 to July 21. Up to this point, the two nations had spoken about trade issues involving goods, trade remedies, rules of origin, origin procedures, services, institutional requirements, and core provisions. On May 8, Canada hosted the preceding and sixth Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment (MDTI). In 2022–2023, the two nations’ bilateral trade was $8.16 billion.

readmore- lPM Modi claims the G20 summit reached agreement on the leaders’ declaration.

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