Nov 22, 2010 -First it was talk of freer trade with the European Union, and now, a Free Trade Agreement with India. According to executives with Pulse Canada, such an agreement has been a high priority, ensuring continued and competitive access for Canadian pulses.
November 23, 2010 By Pulse Canada
November 22, 2010
Winnipeg, Manitoba –The Canadian pulse industry welcomes the recent launch of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with India. Prime Minister Harper announced the launch of negotiations November 12, 2010 and the first round of negotiations took place during the week of the week of November 15th. Canada is India’s largest supplier of pulses and India is Canada’s largest market for pulses, accounting for more than $530 million and more than 1.5 million tonnes in 2009. Approximately 35 per cent of total Canadian pulse exports and 50 per cent of Canadian pea exports moved to India in 2009.
“The pursuit of strategic bilateral free trade agreements has been a high priority for the Canadian pulse industry in order to ensure continued competitive access for Canadian pulses,” notes David Nobbs, chair of Pulse Canada. “We are pleased that Canada has chosen to pursue an FTA with our sector’s largest market.”
An agreement with India could secure the permanent elimination of import duties for Canadian pulses. It is also an opportunity to strengthen ties between governments and establish mechanisms to deal with market access issues in an expedited manner.
“Continued competitive access to the Indian market is critical for growers and exporters,” says Gordon Bacon, CEO of Pulse Canada. “India is a market in which the industry faces market access issues on a regular basis. An agreement could help reduce the incidence of these issues and ensure that we have rapid resolution of problems when they arise.”
With rising middle class incomes and strong population growth, import demand for pulses in India is expected to continue to increase. Globally, food companies are increasingly interested in using pulses in food products due to pulses’ health, nutrition and environmental sustainability attributes.
The pulse industry also supports current exploratory talks regarding FTAs with Morocco and Turkey and to encourage the government to continue FTA negotiations with Dominican Republic, where an agreement with the United States is impacting Canadian market share.