Trudeau heads to India strengthening the bond

Justin Trudeau leaves today for his first official visit to India as prime minister — a six-day trip expected to focus on cultural and economic ties between the nations.

Trade between Canada and India has doubled in the last 10 years to about eight-billion dollars in 2016, and preliminary free trade talks have been underway since 2010.

Trudeau will meet with a number of Indian CEOs and business leaders and visit some of India’s biggest tourist sites.

He is also scheduled to meet with the prime minister and president in Delhi.Canadian officials have been laying the groundwork for a free-trade agreement with the world’s second-most populous country since long before Trudeau was elected, kicking off talks back in 2010 under Stephen Harper.
But experts suggest that the current prime minister’s “comprehensive and progressive” approach to trade could present fresh challenges in India — much as it has in China and, to a certain extent, with partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
As Trudeau’s trip looms, however, there are not many hints that an agreement is imminent. The prime minister is expected to make stops in Agra, Amritsar, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and New Delhi, and is set to participate in several business roundtables during his trip.
Trudeau’s state visit marks the fourth such drop-in by one or other country’s prime minister in the last decade.