Continuity in bilateral relations and prospects of a richer dialogue in the context of a nation’s foreign policy is always welcome. It is with this sense of comfort and anticipation that ICBC welcomes the return of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA Government. While India-Canada ties have registered several milestones during Prime Minister Modi’s first tenure, highlighted by the visit to Canada in 2015 followed by Premier Justin Trudeau’s first visit to India in February 2018, it is satisfying to note these high-level exchanges have been accompanied by increased and highly diversified bilateral cooperation. With so much more to do in the existing and expanding parameters of this relationship, I believe that India and Canada are set to chart a higher orbit of partnerships — from the WTO to G-20 from skill development to climate change.
As part of ICBC endeavour to build on the India-Canada bilateral momentum, I will be leading a multi-sectoral business delegation to various cities in Canada in partnership with other leading organisations both in the Canadian and Indian business communities. The delegation will have prominent trade and industry heads and representatives across the focus sectors like advanced manufacturing, information and communication technology (ICT), higher education and healthcare, apart from other areas such as product and service export and import that demonstrate a high degree of trade and investment potential. On the agenda are extensive business-to-business (B2B) meetings, briefing and networking sessions on a wide range of themes and potential business and investment opportunities.
The delegation is also an opportunity to explore some of the ideas that flowed from a very meaningful conversation I had with Hon. Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade and Government House Leader, Government of Ontario at an “Interactive Breakfast Roundtable” organised by the ICBC on 30th April. Minister Smith put out a comprehensive presentation of Ontario’s attractiveness as the economic engine of Canada — accounting for about 40 per cent of the country’s economic activity — and big opportunities in education, skill development, innovation as well as healthcare and housing. During his discussions with some prominent Indian businesses and investors across sectors like infrastructure, information technology, aviation and education, I discovered a great degree of synergy in these areas that industry on both sides needs to tap. India is a priority market for the Government of Ontario which wants to grow that relationship even further and I think ICBC is positioned well to leverage on this.
As India looks towards five years of dynamic governance, I am sure the India-Canada equation is going to get bolder and richer.
Chief Executive Officer