Hardeep Nijjar killing row: India-Canada relations in numbers | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Hardeep Nijjar killing row: India-Canada relations in numbers

Sep 21, 2023 04:43 PM IST

Indian students make up 40 per cent of overall international enrolment in Canada, according to Canadian Bureau for International Education.

Relations between India and Canada are at their lowest point in decades since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged on Monday that Ottawa was investigating “credible allegations” about the potential involvement of Indian government agents in the murder of Khalistani extremist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia in June.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau in New Delhi on February 23, 2018.(AFP)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau in New Delhi on February 23, 2018.(AFP)

The Indian government has categorically rejected Canada's suspicions that Indian agents had links to the murder.

On Wednesday, India urged its nationals in Canada, especially students, to exercise “utmost caution” as ties deteriorated after each nation expelled one of the other's diplomats in the escalating row over the Nijjar incident.

"In view of growing anti-India activities and politically condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there, and those contemplating travel, are urged to exercise utmost caution," the ministry of external affairs said.

Just hours after India's travel advisory, Canada's public safety minister Dominic LeBlanc told reporters that Canada is a safe country.

On Thursday, India's visa processing centre in Canada suspended services. "Important notice from Indian Mission: Due to operational reasons, with effect from 21 Sept. Indian visa services have been suspended till further notice,” the BLS Indian Visa Application Center in Canada said. It gave no further details. BLS is the agency that processes visa requests for India.

The Canadian High Commission in New Delhi said all its consulates in India are open and continuing to provide services, but staff safety is being assessed.

Recently, Canada also paused talks on a trade deal with India. The two nations, however, have long-standing relations.

Here’s a look at the relationship:

Indian students

Canada is an attractive destination for Indians, especially students. In 2022, nearly 300,000 Indians were pursuing higher education in Canada, according to India’s Bureau of Immigration.

India was the first among the top 10 origin countries of study permit holders in 2022 in Canada.

Indian students make up 40 per cent of overall international enrolment, according to the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), Indian students contributed USD 4.9 billion to the Canadian economy in 2021.

India and Canada have a strong education partnership. There are over 200 educational partnerships between Indian and Canadian institutions.

Canadian tourists in India

In 2021, 80,000 Canadian tourists visited India, making them the fourth largest group, according to India’s Bureau of Immigration.

Trade relations

A priority market for Canada, in 2022, India was Canada’s 10th largest trading partner.

Bilateral trade between India and Canada has seen significant growth in recent years, reaching $8.16 billion in 2022-23, news agency PTI reported. India's exports ($4.1 billion) to Canada include pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery, textiles, and machinery, while Canada's exports to India ($4.06 billion) include pulses, timber, pulp and paper, and mining products.

In Q1 FY2023-24, India’s exports to Canada were worth about $911 million, while imports from Canada were worth $990 million.

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