New Delhi: Canada is postponing a trade mission to India that was planned for early October, a move that comes as broader trade talks between the two countries have stalled.
It also follows a contentious meeting between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the recent Group of Twenty summit in New Delhi.
In a statement released Friday afternoon, a spokesperson for Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng gave no explanation for calling off the trade mission, and did not give a future date for sending one. The trip had been planned to go to Mumbai beginning October 9, and focus on sectors including automobiles, agriculture and information technology.
“At this time, we are postponing the upcoming trade mission to India,” said Alice Hansen, Ng’s spokesperson. “In the next year we will be taking businesses to Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, and Vietnam.”
Canada and India had also been holding formal talks toward signing an early progress trade agreement, but shortly before Trudeau’s trip to India it was revealed those talks have been paused.
Ng told reporters this week that the two sides are taking time to “reflect” on the negotiations, in part to consult with more stakeholders. “It’s a normal part of these conversations,” she said.
India’s Trade Minister Piyush Goyal said in an interview with Indian media outlet Firstpost that the pause was needed to make sure that “geopolitically and economically” the countries are on the same page.