Canadian trade mission to India postpones indefinitely amid tensions
A Canadian trade mission to India is postponed indefinitely due to tensions
The suspension of trade negotiations and worries about pro-Khalistan actions forced Canada to postpone its trade mission to India indefinitely.
The Canadian government has now indefinitely postponed a trade mission to India slated for October after putting a "pause" on the Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) in August.
On October 9, Mary Ng, the minister of international commerce, export promotion, small business, and economic development, was to take the helm of the five-day Team Canada trade trip. But on Friday, Canadian media claimed that it had been delayed. Canadian Press reported Ng's office in this respect, noting that it provided no explanation for the delay. According to a top Indian official, they were only made aware of the decision through the media.
The declaration came hours after New Delhi officials claimed that trade negotiations with Canada had been put on hold until subversive operations were permitted inside of Canadian territory.
This delay is the most recent instance of the relationship's breakdown due to pro-Khalistan efforts in Canada. During their pull-aside discussion in Delhi on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' conference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed to his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau New Delhi's "strong concerns about continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada." Sikhs for Justice, a secessionist organization, rapidly organized the so-called Khalistan Referendum at a gurudwara in Surrey, British Columbia, and then declared a second round of voting for October 29 in the same city.
"Canada and India share a deeply rooted and mutually beneficial economic partnership with a strong history and a bright future," said Goldy Hyder, President and CEO of the Business Council of Canada, in response to the news that the trade mission has been temporarily postponed. Regardless of any occasional political tensions, we anticipate this relationship to last.
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