Canada’s Senior Trade Commissioner Mario Ste-Marie on Thursday hinted that all the ground work relating to finalisation of the Indo-Canada civil nuclear deal, signed in November 2008, would be completed by June this year.

“By June, all the work that needs to be done will be done and we could officially conclude that the Indo-Canada nuclear deal has been given a final shape,” Mario Ste-Marie told journalists here on the sidelines of the roundtable discussion on “Fostering India-Canada Trade: Role of SMEs,” organised by the CCII in association with the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce. However, the Canadian official did not elaborate on what work was required to be done.

The announcement about conclusion of the agreement was made when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper in Port of Spain on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet (CHOGM). Dr. Singh described the civil nuclear agreement as a very important step forward, a milestone for the development of Indo-Canadian relationship.

Canada, which is the world’s largest producer of uranium, became the eighth country with, which India reached civil nuclear agreement since the NSG lifted a 34-year-old ban on India to join global nuclear trade in September 2008. The other countries with, which India has already signed the civil nuclear deal are the U.S., France, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Argentina and Namibia.

Similarly, a joint study panel examining the feasibility of India’s market opening trade pact with Canada is likely to come up with its report in May, paving the way for signing of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

The Joint Study Group formed in November 2009 has already met once and is expected to complete its work in the next few months. Asked about when the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and Canada can be signed, Mr. Ste-Marie said it would depend upon the recommendations of the JSG. The two nations had signed a memorandum of understanding here in the presence of Mr. Harper and Dr. Singh. The bilateral trade stood at $4.6 billion in 2008.

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