Diversification is the key word in Canada's trade policy. Cameron Mackay, Canada's high commissioner in the US, said, "We do a lot of business with the US."
The commerce ministers from India and Canada, Piyush Goyal and Mary Ng, and their top trade negotiators met in Geneva on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial to talk about trade.
Follow stoptechy.com for best world news.
There have been two rounds of talks since New Delhi and Ottawa started trade talks again in March after almost a decade. The third round will start next month, according to Canadian high commissioner Cameron Mackay.
Mackay said that talks are still early, but if there is real political will, a trade deal could be made. He said that Canada feels the same way as India about dairy imports. Cut-down versions:
How long-lasting could trade between India and Canada be if negotiations are going on while Canada's relationship with China is getting worse and supply chains around the world are being changed?
Diversification is the key word in Canada's trade policy. We do a lot of business with the United States. We do a lot of important business with the European Union, Japan, China, and many other countries. The Indian economy is growing so quickly and has so much potential, and our economies are so similar that we see India as a really important country for Canada's plan to diversify its trade.
How far along are the talks for an FTA between India and Canada? Are we looking at a free trade agreement or an early crop?
Since our trade ministers started talking again in March, there have been two rounds of talks, and the third one is being planned for the next few months. We're still pretty early in the process of negotiating.
Trade talks between two countries are like climbing a mountain with a partner. You have to work together to reach the top. And as you go up, only you and your partner can get to the top. As always, the last few hundred meters are the hardest. So you start from the bottom, where it's easier. The harder it is, the higher you go. We are still kind of at the bottom of the mountain. But if we both want to do it and there is real political will, we can do it.
How would you respond to people who say that developed countries don't understand developing countries and their priorities, especially when they want full market access?
We have a lot of experience negotiating trade deals, even with countries that are still developing. Canada already has FTAs with countries in the Americas like Peru and Colombia. So, we have a lot of experience negotiating with both developing countries and countries that have a lot of money.
Will the plan to compete with Russian oil in India include sending oil and gas to India?
Almost all of our oil goes to refineries in Texas in the US. From there, it goes to markets around the world. In the past, Indian Oil and some other Indian companies did bring in a few shipments of crude oil from Canada. Because Canada doesn't have a state-owned crude oil supplier, Indian importers can't sign long-term contracts with Canadian crude oil suppliers, which is a requirement from the Indian government.