Stalled Trade Talks Between Canada and India


Despite signs of improved bilateral relationship, trade talks between Canada and India remain stalled with no clear timeline for resuming, following a diplomatic rift sparked by accusations against India in the Vancouver killing of Sikh activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Strained Relations since Accusations

The strained relations between the two countries began in September when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly accused India of involvement in Nijjar’s killing. This accusation led to the pause in trade negotiations, which have yet to be resumed.

Priority Market for Canada

Canada has designated India as a priority market for its exports, with India ranking as its 10th largest trading partner in 2022. Total imports from India amounted to $6.4 billion, while exports totaled $4.1 billion, highlighting the significance of the bilateral trade relationship.

A Glimmer of Hope

Despite the current impasse in trade talks, there are some signs of improvement in the bilateral relationship. Both Canadian and Indian officials are working towards addressing the diplomatic tensions, with Canada’s Trade Minister Mary Ng planning to meet with her Indian counterpart at a ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization in Abu Dhabi.

While the situation remains uncertain, both countries are committed to resolving the issues and fostering a stronger trade relationship in the future.

India’s Trade Talks with Canada on Hold

India’s High Commissioner to Canada, Sanjay Verma, expressed confusion regarding the halt in trade talks between the two countries. Verma stated that India is eager to resume negotiations but is waiting for Canada to make a decision.

Important Markets for Canada

Verma highlighted that India serves as a significant market for Canadian metallurgical coal, lentils, and potash. Despite this, trade discussions remain at a standstill.

Denying Allegations

India has vehemently denied allegations made by Canada regarding its involvement in Nijjar’s killing. Verma emphasized that Indian officials have not been updated on the progress of the investigations.

Diplomatic Conversations

Discussions surrounding the Nijjar affair are ongoing, with Verma noting that foreign ministers from both nations recently convened at the Munich Security Conference.

Addressing Concerns

These diplomatic dialogues indicate a complex relationship between India and Canada, with trade talks hanging in the balance.

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