India and Canada today announced plans to formally launch negotiations on a free trade agreement and take their bilateral ties to new level. The decision was taken at a meeting of prime minister Manmohan Singh and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper.
The two leaders, who met on the sidelines of the fifth G-20 summit in Seoul, South Korea, discussed the entire gamut of bilateral ties.
"The free trade agreement would be of enormous benefit for both the countries, particularly for the Indo-Canadian business community," Harper said, adding the decision is a "key milestone" in the growing bilateral relationship.
"It is a historic step. We look forward to working hard and coming to successful and conclusive negotiations as soon as possible," he said.
The "momentous decisions" as Manmohan described it comes in the wake of the Indian prime minister to Canada and Harper' return visit to India in June this year.
The mutual visits also ended in the two countries signing an agreement on cooperation in civil nuclear energy, Manmohan noted.
India currently exports organic chemicals, knit and woven apparel, precious stones and metals, electronics and machinery to Canada while Canada exports mainly vegetables, fertilisers, machinery and wood pulp to India.