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Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development Mary Ng, right, hosts India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, in Ottawa, on May 8.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

India and Canada are aiming to seal an initial agreement this year to increase their trade and expand investment while setting out a mechanism to deal with disputes, they said in a statement on Wednesday.

India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal met his Canadian counterpart, Mary Ng, in Ottawa on Monday, along with business leaders.

“The EPTA would cover, among others, high-level commitments in goods, services, investment, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and dispute settlement,” they said in a joint statement, referring to their early progress trade agreement.

They said they would like to finalize a memorandum of understanding on their co-operation this year.

The two countries last year relaunched negotiations on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

The proposed comprehensive trade pact could boost bilateral trade by up to $6.5-billion, according to Indian government estimates.

More than 600 Canadian companies and organizations have a presence in India.

Bilateral commercial relations between the two countries are worth $100-billion, which includes $70-billion of Canadian portfolio investment in India, according to Indian figures.

Bilateral goods trade between Canada and India rose to $8.2-billion in 2022, up 25 per cent from a year earlier.

Ms. Ng is scheduled to visit India in October with a trade delegation.

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