Canada Plans India Trade Pact, Nuclear Deals

Source:

"India has defined the need for may be 2530 reactors and we can be part of this plan."

Canada plans to sign a free trade agreement with India and help New Delhi expand its civil nuclear energy sector, its trade minister said on Tuesday.

Canadian firms including federally owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd, Cameco Corp and SNC-Lavalin are eager to forge joint ventures or work with Indian firms to help build billion-dollar nuclear reactors and supply uranium, Stockwell Day told Reuters in an interview.

A major uranium producer, Canada lifted a ban on trade in nuclear products with India after New Delhi signed a landmark civil nuclear deal with the United States last year.

"India has defined the need for may be 2530 reactors and we can be part of this plan," Day said.

India, which industry bodies say will need investment of about $150 billion over the next 15 years to help it bridge a power shortfall, has seen a rush of global companies on its shores since the U.S. deal was signed, ending 30 years of nuclear isolation.

Day said Canada would keep in mind the sensitivities of India while framing the free trade pact, referring to a wide range of farm products that New Delhi may keep off the table to protect local farmers.

Asked if the trade pact could be concluded this year, Day said: "Possible but difficult. It's going to take months."

The minister said Canada would like to sign a Foreign Investment Protection Agreement with India by the end of this year.

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