India To Raise Visa Issue With Canada

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | January 31, 2013 9:47 PM EST

Days before the upcoming Free Trade Agreement Talks, Indian High Commissioner to Canada, Nirmal Verma, Tuesday signaled environmental and visa issues would be discussed during the upcoming bilateral talks between the two countries. 

Nirmal told reporters that issues relating to environmental clearances and work visas were the main factors deterring bilateral trade and Indian investment into Canadaaccording to Business Standard.

Nirmal Verma said that he has received complaints from many of the Indian companies in Canada that they were unable to invite workers from India due to visa issues.

Urging the Canadian government to liberalize the visa procedures, Nirmal said that the Canada and India are committed to address the issues in an effort to reach the trade target set by the two countries.

Ottawa and New Delhi have set $15 billion as trade target by 2015, and trade between the two countries is currently worth over $5 billion. 

The proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries is scheduled to hold this February, according to Canadian High Commissioner to India, Stewart Beck.

However, Verma reportedly said that environmental clearances are the factors that substantially discourage influx of genuine Indian investors and businesses to Canada.

Terming the civil nuclear cooperation agreement between the two countries as 'landmark achievement', Verma told reporters that the text of the agreement and negotiations had  been already concluded.

"Canada is several steps ahead from US, France and Australia in the field of civil nuclear cooperation. Both countries were committed to complete remaining steps necessary to ensure its early implementation," the Hindu quoted Verma as saying.

Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram is likely to visit Canada in April to boost the economic cooperation between Ottawa and New Delhi.

"India intends to increase the nuclear power generation capacity from the current 3 per cent to about 25 per cent by 2050 and this provides a great opportunity for Canadian nuclear industry," the diplomat further said, according to the Hindu.

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