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Top Canadian corporates to travel to India during Trudeau’s visit this month

Trudeau will attend and deliver remarks at business fora in Mumbai and New Delhi on February 20 and 22.

world Updated: Feb 08, 2018 07:50 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Anirudh Bhattacharyya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,Canada,Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, Canada on February 5, 2018.(Reuters)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will hold centre stage during his weeklong visit to India later this month, but there will be plenty of business conducted on the sidelines, underscoring the importance of India’s emergence as an investment destination for Canadian companies in recent years.

Trudeau will attend and deliver remarks at two business fora within a space of three days, to be held in Mumbai and New Delhi on February 20 and 22, respectively. There is also the possibility that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may also be at one of these events, though that has yet to be confirmed. Nearly 100 delegates from Canada are expected to arrive in India for these events, which are being held on a parallel track to Trudeau’s bilateral visit.

Trudeau’s ministers — including three or four who are of Indian-origin — are also likely to make the trip, and nearly two dozen MPs have expressed an interest in joining in. Trudeau’s cabinet colleagues are also expected to be present at the fora.

The business forums will be hosted jointly by Toronto-based Canada-India Business Council (C-IBC) and New Delhi-based Indo-Canadian Business Chamber, and FICCI and CII are also partners. C-IBC’s president and CEO Kasi Rao said: “The emerging Canadian brand is a compelling one that is responsive to India’s growth and development agenda. The Prime Minister’s participation at the two business fora will provide an extraordinary platform to build on this engagement with India.

“This upcoming state visit by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is taking place at a most opportune time. In a fluid global environment, Canada and India stand out for the shared values that both countries possess — democracy and pluralism, a renewed focus on the ideas and innovation agenda, and, the tangible increase in our economic ties.”

The Mumbai forum will focus on sectors like fintech, media and entertainment, and infrastructure financing. The Delhi edition will be heavier on Government representatives and areas like innovation and transportation will be on its agenda. Canadian majors like Air Canada and Bombardier are expected to be among the participants. Given the burgeoning presence of Indian students in Canada, leading educational institutions like the University of Toronto will also have a presence.

Even as these fora are held, the Canadian high commission will organise a CEO roundtable that may feature some heavy-hitters of Canadian corporate world, including Prem Watsa, the Indo-Canadian founder and CEO of Fairfax Financial Holdings, known as the Warren Buffett of the North.

While bilateral trade between the two nations is at a sub-optimal $ 8 billion, over 1000 Canadian companies are active in India. In addition, “Canadian investment into India has increased by over $15 billion over the past three years mainly through institutional investors,” according to the Canadian high commission in New Delhi.

First Published: Feb 08, 2018 07:49 IST