Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to visit India in February
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Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to visit India in February

While the visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been anticipated for nearly two years, its scope and expanse are evidence of the Canadian leader wanting to make his presence felt in India.

world Updated: Jan 22, 2018 22:15 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India-Canada relations,Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves from the steps of his plane as he departs Ottawa, Ontario, for Davos, Switzerland, for the annual World Economic Forum on January 22, 2018. (AP)

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will arrive in India on February 17 for a weeklong visit that will span five cities and involve plenty of work and some play.

While Trudeau will be in India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his visit will include a stop in Ahmedabad, the latter’s home state and now increasingly featuring on the itineraries of foreign dignitaries.

Trudeau will pay to visit to Swaminarayan Akshardham in Ahmedabad. There will also be a bit of romance in the air for the charismatic Canadian leader as he will visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, and there is a distinct possibility he will be accompanied by his wife Sophie Gregoire.

Also on the schedule for the visit, which will conclude on February 23, are New Delhi, Mumbai and Amritsar. He will visit the Golden Temple and, as with the temple in Gujarat, this reflects the importance given to the large number of Sikhs and Gujaratis within the Indo-Canadian community.

A large business delegation will accompany Trudeau, and trade ties will be an important facet of his Mumbai stop.

Some of Trudeau’s cabinet colleagues, including Indo-Canadian minister for innovation, science and economic development Navdeep Bains and minister of international trade Fançois-Philippe Champagne, are likely to join the trip. In addition, nearly a dozen members of Canada’s Parliament, of Indian heritage, will also arrive in India with Trudeau.

In a statement released by the Canadian Prime Minister’s Office, Trudeau said, “Canada and India share a special bond and are linked by tremendous people-to-people connections. The more than one million Canadians of Indian origin make the relationship between our two countries a truly special one. I look forward to meeting with Prime Minister Modi and further strengthening the Canada-India friendship.”

It added this visit will provide an opportunity for Trudeau to “connect with Indian leaders in government and business, promote the empowerment of women and girls, and strengthen Canada and India’s close economic ties”.

Trudeau and Modi will “reaffirm the close friendship between our two countries, and discuss ways to create good middle class jobs for Canadians and Indians”, it said.

Besides multiple roundtable discussions to promote bilateral trade and investment, the Canadian delegation will work closely with Indian leaders to advance mutual growth and prosperity. Trudeau will also address students while in India.

In a statement released by the Canadian mission in New Delhi, its envoy Nadir Patel said, “Canada greatly values its strong relationship with India. This visit reflects the high level of priority that Prime Minister Trudeau places on this strategic partnership. Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit builds on visits by 11 cabinet ministers of the Trudeau government in the past 18 months.”

Trudeau also tweeted details of the visit: “Next month, I’ll travel to India to meet with leaders in government & business to strengthen the close friendship between our two countries.”

While this visit has been anticipated for nearly two years, its scope and expanse are evidence of Trudeau wanting to make his presence felt in India.

First Published: Jan 22, 2018 22:05 IST