InTouch April 2021


In a year marked by social distancing, ICBC functioned with a cohesive and motivated team. We established new partnerships, overcame obstacles, and strengthened our presence in existing sectors. We overpowered time zones and managed to get India and Canada together in crucial meetings, virtually!

As we forge ahead in 2021, we will focus on delivering unique and innovative virtual sessions, organising sector focussed business meets, promoting new relationships and partnerships, and adding value to our services for all members.

The ICBC Annual Gala 2021 was held on 19th March and streamed live from The Leela Palace New Delhi. More in this newsletter.
Despite the difficult situation, we continue to develop and prioritise enhanced bi-lateral relations between India and Canada in the year ahead. There have been exciting developments and a paradigm shift in how we conduct business today. The Canadian Chambers of the Indo-Pacific region have come together to form an umbrella body which will provide a larger network for exchange of ideas to help strengthen opportunities for Canadian businesses. On 8th April, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s Asia Business Leaders Advisory Council convened virtually for their annual meeting. 2021 promises to be an interesting year as the world around us continues to change and evolve. Meanwhile,

stay home and stay safe!


10 Years of Effective Leadership! CONGRATULATIONS!


At the ICBC Annual Gala 2021, Team ICBC proudly called upon the High Commissioner of Canada to India, H.E. Nadir Patel, to felicitate Nadira Hamid commemorating her 10th year as the Chief Executive Officer of the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber.

“One thing that we’ve seen tonight is the very very important role that ICBC plays in advancing the Canada-India relationship, and that wouldn’t happen without an extremely strong team. And of course that team’s leadership is absolutely critical in navigatiing the growth in this relationship. I am very very honoured on behalf of all the members of ICBC and the entire board to acknowledge that Nadira has completed 10 years as CEO of ICBC….Congratulations and thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for all the work that you have done.”

– H.E. Nadir Patel


The Chamber organised a hybrid version of its flagship event – the Annual Gala on Friday, March 19th at The Leela to begin 2021 on a positive note. Adhering to social norms and precautions, the Gala attracted the presence of H.E Nadir Patel, High Commissioner of Canada in India, along with members from Trade Commissioner Services Canada, leading representatives from CDPQ, Tech Mahindra, Government of Delhi, Invest India and select members from the private sector. The formal program was the highlight of the Gala with key remarks from Hon. Minister Anita Anand (Minister of Public Services and Procurement and the Receiver General for Canada), Hon. Minister Victor Fedeli (Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade), H.E Ajay Bisaria (High Commissioner of India to Canada), and a constructive fireside chat between Deepak Bagla (MD & CEO, Invest India) & Ian McKay (CEO. Invest in Canada). The discussion centered on strategic economic goals for industries to achieve in the bilateral corridor. As the Canada-India economic growth is based on sustainable mutual understanding, the discussion focused on important sectors like CleanTech, Life Sciences, Infrastructure, Financial Services, and global mobility. Additionally, the Gala also felicitated High Commissioner Nadir Patel for his support to the Chamber as patron during his tenure in India and marked the 10th anniversary for Nadira Hamid as CEO, driving several important initiatives and responsible for the Chamber’s growth in recent years. The Gala attended by 30 individuals in person, was broadcasted live and viewed by over 200 viewers from India and across Canada.



New Brunswick Strengthens its Ties to India with New Partnership

With a rapidly rising middle class and strong consumer market, India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The country is already Canada’s 9th largest export market and 10th largest trading partner overall. In 2018, India was the largest source of international students for Canada’s universities and colleges.

That’s why India is one of the key markets New Brunswick is looking at as we seek to grow our population, diversify our trade and exports, and attract private sector investment to our province.

Leveraging the New Brunswick Advantage
Great companies continue to grow their international footprints in New Brunswick by tapping into our highly educated bilingual workforce, our telecommunications infrastructure, startup-friendly innovation ecosystem, and everything else that makes up the cost-effective New Brunswick Advantage.

Since 2017, new restrictions on the H-1B visa in the U.S. have forced some of the most dynamic companies in the world to re-think their global footprints. The Province of New Brunswick has stepped up to be their solution.

“Canada is simply more predictable and safe right now. A lot of people back home with H-1B visas are finding Canada a more attractive option for them and their families,” notes Mani Kandaraman, CFO of Sedin Technologies.

“Tech Mahindra chose, in part, to expand in New Brunswick because of the strong international connections and working relationships the province has developed over the years,” said company representative Deepa Khosla. “We very quickly discovered the benefits of doing business in a well-connected and welcoming region. I’m excited to see our organization continue to grow and succeed here.”

New Brunswick understands the critical importance of India-based companies accessing great local and international talent. That is why ONB created a Client Engagement Team to support clients’ workforce development and talent recruitment efforts. Companies can turn to our Client Engagement Specialists for guidance and support on several immigration-related needs, including:

  • Immigration solutions for current staff looking to make the move to New Brunswick;
  • Finding the best local, national, and international talent to further expand their team;
  • Retaining international students on a permanent basis; and
  • Helping newcomers connect with multicultural associations and settlement services to provide soft landings for newcomers and family members.

New Brunswick’s smaller size is an important advantage in our value proposition to Indian companies. Things move quickly here and connecting with decision-makers, subject matter experts, and stakeholders is much easier than in larger urban centres. ONB is well-connected, serving as their single point of contact connecting them to the people that will help them thrive in Canada.

A Welcoming Community Awaits
Multiple New Brunswick communities have been ranked among the best places in the world to live. Enjoying a desirable work-life balance is easy here and we continue to let global companies know that their New Brunswick employees can be 10 minutes from work and 10 minutes from hiking, biking, the ocean, and some of Canada’s mightiest rivers.

New Brunswickers have welcomed newcomers from India and around the globe with open arms and celebrate the diversity these people bring to our province. Cultural markets across New Brunswick showcase local offerings as well as food and beverages from around the world. Most cities have multicultural festivals in the summer and a host of multicultural associations offer settlement services to help new arrivals with the transition to life in Canada.

Come meet us on 22nd April at 5.30PM IST and know more about
The New Brunswick Advantage

CanChams of Indo-Pacific (CCIP)


In March 2021, 19 Canadian Chambers of Commerce covering the area from Japan to Australia to India came together on an inaugural call to form the CanChams of the Indo Pacific (CCIP). The new organization will be geared towards promoting trade and investment between Canada and the Indo Pacific region, and provide a network for exchanging ideas for the elected chair heads of the country Chambers across the region.The membership of CCIP is exclusive to the Board elected Chair or delegate of each member chair as ex-officio and is focused on the Canadian Chambers of the region only. This will be done by the 19 Chamber Heads that make up the CCIP board, in addition to the two industry representatives helping to coordinate and facilitate the actions, to grow CCIP further.

The Chambers all came together with the intent of helping to create more information sharing and best practices. In addition, CCIP will help the Chambers to collaborate on elevating the informed voice of Canadian business leaders in Asia back to Ottawa and the business community in Canada, focusing on the “on the ground” insights in the region.

Part of the mandate of CCIP will be to help develop policy and market insights on respective countries to help provide each Canadian Chamber with a new set of tools to help promote SMEs challenges and opportunities in individual markets and regions to the Trade Commissioner Service and to the Department of International Trade in Ottawa. The aim will be to ask for government assistance on promoting easier operating environments in Asia for Canadian businesses.

CCIP will also aim to help strengthen the opportunity and network for Canadian businesses to organize new Canadian Chambers in countries without Chambers (i.e., New Zealand, Pakistan, Laos, Myanmar).

The timing of this launch during the COVID-19 pandemic is well timed with the use of video conference solutions such as Webex and Zoom. However, once the pandemic subsides and travel restrictions are eased to allow for business travel, CCIP aims to host the first annual CanChams of the Indo Pacific Business Summit to help facilitate more network, host its annual AGM, conference, and to help develop future CCIP policy statements. The next host Chamber is yet to be decided, but each year a Chamber will play host to the business summit, allowing delegates from each Chamber to attend and partake in the conference activities. We hope to see you at the first inaugural summit hopefully in 2022!


Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada - ABLAC 2021


Last week, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s  Asia Business Leaders Advisory Council  convened virtually for their annual meeting, focused on “Broad Diversification: Strengthening Canada-Asia Engagement after COVID-19.” The two-day meeting included three regional sessions, in which members of the council and distinguished guests discussed how Canada can excel in engagement with specific regions of interest in Asia.

One of these discussions centred upon Canada-India trade and investment, and featured a panel discussion between ABLAC members Mairead Lavery (President and CEO, Export Development Canada), Hari Bhartia (Founder and Co-Chairman, Jubilant Bhartia Group), N Ganapathy (NG) Subramaniam (COO & Executive Director, Tata Consultancy Services), and guest panellists Ian McKay (CEO, Invest in Canada) and Suyi Kim (Senior Managing Director & Head of Asia Pacific, Canadian Pension Plan Investments). This was followed by a general dialogue open to all participants.

There was an overall consensus that stronger two-way trade and investment relations should be a priority. Key recommendations from the session included:

  • Accelerated discussion on a bilateral trade agreement is important in order to support businesses;
  • Leveraging expert organizations and services to help exporters and investors is critical, as well as people-to-people ties such as diaspora communities and stationing business representatives in-region;
  • Developing “Brand Canada” in India to help differentiate Canada from the North American market more broadly; and,
  • Keeping a narrow focus initially, and scaling up as engagement builds.

The other regional sessions included a deep dive into opportunities for Canada in the technology industry in Southeast Asia, and the sustainability sector in Northeast Asia. In both cases, strong opportunities for collaboration were identified and a similar suite of recommendations were shared. Encouraging like organizations to work together for success, uniting Canadian technology and capital, engaging diaspora communities, and positioning Canadian talent in Asia were all recurring themes.

The Closing Plenary Session featured a keynote presentation by Mark Carney, Vice Chair and Head of ESG and Impact Fund Investing, Brookfield Asset Management; Former Governor of the Bank of England; and, Former Governor of the Bank of Canada; followed by a lively fireside chat between Mr. Carney and Ambassador Dominic Barton, ABLAC Honorary Chair & Ambassador of Canada to China.

The Nova Scotia International Program

Canada ranks at the top in international tests in Reading, Mathematics and Science, higher than any other English-speaking country ( )

Nova Scotia, on the east coast, is respected for its quality education, innovative curriculum and excellence in teaching and learning. The quality of education is demonstrated in the excellence of the programs and individual courses, and in the diversity of the educational experiences in which students are actively involved. This is an exciting time for education in Nova Scotia as the province continues to implement changes intended to increase student achievement, engagement, and career readiness and to bring its curriculum to new international markets. We look forward to engaging with potential partners in India through the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber.

Our education system will ensure that students have the skills they need to lead a productive life in a changing world. The Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development regulates the approval and delivery of the Nova Scotia program internationally which is guided by the Public School Program– a framework that outlines the principles and policies, and describes the programs and courses, for Primary-12 education in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia believes in preparing students for a lifetime of learning. Today’s graduates must be able to identify and solve problems, and they need to be able to effectively adapt to change. They need well-developed organizational and interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with others and to assume leadership roles. Today’s graduates need to be able to communicate clearly, competently and confidently from a broad knowledge base.

Students in the Nova Scotia program explore citizenship, communication, creativity and innovation, personal-career development, critical thinking and technological fluency. Students are provided opportunities to develop a set of attitudes, skills and knowledge beyond foundational literacy and numeracy that will prepare them to engage in a lifetime of learning.

The goals of the Nova Scotia international programs are to:

  • support the development of international relationships and create opportunities for global learning experiences that benefit students, teachers, schools and communities;
  • increase international recognition of Nova Scotia’s high-quality education; and
  • provide opportunities for more international students to study, work and live in Nova Scotia.

We look forward to meeting you virtually to explore partnerships and talk to you about the various advantages of incorporating the Nova Scotia Program in your curriculum. Please reach out to us through:

Cybersecurity in New Brunswick


In 2016, Opportunities NB (ONB) visited Israel to learn how to best model that country’s world-leading cybersecurity approach. The result was the creation of a Canadian ecosystem that now stands among the best in the world.

The unified efforts of ONB and our partners at CyberNB are designed to strengthen and expand our world-class industry cluster led by IBM — whose global cybersecurity practice reports in to its New Brunswick office — and leverage the incredible research being done at the University of New Brunswick (UNB).

Together, we work with government, industry and academia to ensure we are protecting critical infrastructure, supporting innovative startups like Beauceron Security and Kognitiv Spark, and facilitating leading cybersecurity R&D.

“If you’re in the critical infrastructure space, either as an operator or a supplier of services to a critical infrastructure protection operator, and you’re interested in cybersecurity, New Brunswick is where you need to be.” – Tyson Johnson, COO,

Building a Strong and Resilient Cyber Workforce

New Brunswick has invested in education reform, with cybersecurity curriculum now embedded in our schools from kindergarten to the post-secondary level. New Brunswick now leads the country in the number of students engaged in CyberTitan, a middle and high school competition led by Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) in Ottawa. Over the past three years, New Brunswick has fielded approximately 65-70 per cent of participating CyberTitan teams. No other province comes close to New Brunswick’s level of participation. Interest is so strong, the province launched its own homegrown CyberDefence League program, with an additional 1,500 students representing grades 7 through 12 actively engaged in cybersecurity skills development, training, and mentorship relations with industry.

All this activity is creating the long-term cybersecurity talent pipeline companies will need to close the global cybersecurity vacancy rate, which is expected to be 1.8 million by 2022 (Source: 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study). Siemens chose New Brunswick for its Global Cybersecurity Centre in part due to the talent pool.

A Safe Place to Innovate

Large-scale cyber attacks have become more frequent. The bad guys keep finding new ways to hit their targets. Business interruptions caused by these cyber attacks have enormous consequences for governments and companies of all sizes. Cybersecurity firms need to innovate frequently to keep ahead of bad actors.

The $37-million-dollar Cyber Centre in Fredericton’s Knowledge Park will house the Cybersecurity Centre for Innovation and cybersecurity companies looking to locate in New Brunswick. This highly secure facility will have state-of-the-art critical infrastructure protection, providing tenants a high-security, high-resiliency operating environment.

Canada’s first Critical Infrastructure – Security Operations Centre (CI-SOC), a project launched in 2018 is focused on innovation, creating a model in which to integrate SOC’s from different verticals, and sharing best security practices across organizations. This project is unique in establishing a high level of collaboration between ecosystem partners from New Brunswick and beyond. It enables interconnected participating SOCs to collaborate in gathering, coordinating, and consuming cybersecurity intelligence, producing high quality-threat intelligence for coordinating responses.

All of this is supported by our greatest telecommunication asset – a vast fibre optic network reaching every corner of the province. The Fibre Centre, the first carrier-neutral colocation and network interconnection facility in Atlantic Canada, is housed in New Brunswick. It provides a strategic access point to the numerous fibre-based submarine and terrestrial carrier networks.

New Brunswick is also home to F6 Networks, connecting Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John with New England; providing the lowest latency route between New Brunswick and Boston. That is crucial as over $11 billion worth of goods is exported from New Brunswick to the U.S. annually, making it one of Canada’s major gateways to our southern neighbour. (Source: Trade Data Online).

Our Cybersecurity Sector Lead

Corina Zagaievschi, our Business Development Executive and Cyber Sector Lead located in Fredericton, oversees developing and implementing coordinated strategies to win new investment to New Brunswick within the cybersecurity sector. Corina is collaborating on a regular basis with all the ecosystem stakeholders and is happy to introduce her new clients to all the partners. A graduate from Institut d’Administration des Entreprises (IAE), the school of business at Jean Moulin University Lyon 3, Corina is fully bilingual in addition to speaking Russian, Romanian, and having a good knowledge of German. Corina joined ONB from Carrefour Supply Chain in France, where she worked as the Supply Chain Project Manager.

Great Things are Happening in New Brunswick


The New Brunswick Advantage

22 April 2021 at 5:30 pm IST

Brand India Nova Scotia

The Indo-Canadian Business Chamber in partnership with the Consulate General of India is organising the next session of the Brand India series in Nova Scotia on April 27th, 5:30 pm IST on a virtual platform. The Province of Nova Scotia will be represented by key officers from the Nova Scotia Business Inc. as well as domestic exporters from the seafood, agri-food & beverages sectors. Participation from Indian importers in these sectors would be great as we can expect high-value B2B interactions. Additionally, the Government representatives are keen to meet Indian companies who would like to explore setting up operations or investing in Nova Scotia specifically in the ICT, CleanTech, Life Sciences, Agri-food & Advanced Manufacturing sectors. Indian importers, businesses seeking partners in Nova Scotia will greatly benefit from these B2B interactions. The Brand India session is a step towards enhanced multiple engagements in the future. We look forward to welcoming you at the session.

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