Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday said his country owes its prosperity to the hard work and grit of about 1.2 million Punjabi immigrants.
"1.2 million Punjabis out of which more than eight lakh are from Indian Punjab are settled in Canada and making significant contribution to strengthening the Canadian economy," Harper, who was in Amritsar to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, said at a meeting with Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Describing Punjabis as partners in the progress of Canada, the premier said they have been contributing to the country's development through their hard work and grit for more than a century.
He also evinced keen interest in exploring feasibility of setting up joint ventures with the state government in Punjab for the promotion of agro-based industries and boosting its power sector, an official release said.
The Deputy CM told the visiting Premier that farmers in Punjab were not getting remunerative price for their produce and asked him to explore the possibility of transferring technical expertise from Canada to help farmers in the state add more value to their products.
Citing the state's growing power needs, he said it could benefit immensely from Canadian expertise in the power sector.