ICCC - Hon. John Baird highlights Canada-India relations - 18-03-13

18 Mar 2013 2:53 PM | Anonymous

Foreign Minister John Baird and Parliamentary Secretary
Deepak Obhrai highlight Canada-India relations
at Toronto meeting with Indo-Canadians

DP Jain, Aditya Vasudev, Rakesh Joshi, Tony Chawla, Hon. Deepak Obhrai, Hon. John Baird, Naval Bajaj,
Hon. Patrick Brown, Jagdish Bajaj & Rakesh Goenka

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Parliamentary Secretary Deepak Obhrai on Monday met with leaders of the Greater Toronto Area’s Indo-Canadian community for a discussion on Canada-India relations.

Minister Baird and Parliamentary Secretary Obhrai attended a roundtable in Brampton, Ontario with more than 85 Indo-Canadian business and community leaders and discussed the state of Canada-India bilateral relations, and the prospects of increasing economic and people-to-people ties.

Among those present were executives from the National Council of Indian Canadians, the Canada-India Foundation, the Indo Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Canada India Business Council, heads of various Hindu temples and Sikh gurdwaras, Indo-Canadian War Veterans and members of Indo-Canadian media.

Minister Baird discussed the importance of deepening Canada’s ties with India and responded to questions from participants.

ICCC President Naval Bajaj with Minister Baird. Rakesh Joshi of
the Chamber is also in the photograph

“Canada and India have longstanding bilateral relations, built upon shared traditions of democracy, pluralism and strong interpersonal connections,” the minister said. He added Canada’s priorities in India include infrastructure, energy, food, education, science and technology. He addressed questions on energy, science and technology, education and research. “Energy will be a big part of our relationship with India,” Minister Baird said.

Deepak Obhrai, M.P. and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that Canada considers India a priority partner and the two countries were well on their way to unlocking the full potential of Canada-India trade through the realization of an ambitious free trade agreement. Mr. Obhrai also pointed out that Indo-Canadian diaspora networks were critical to achieving the full potential of this partnership and welcomed the participation of the one million strong Indo¬Canadian diaspora.

Naval Bajaj, President, ICCC, emphasized, the need to create awareness of Brand Canada in India and Brand India in Canada. He said during the India Mission 2013, ICCC created several avenues for the creation of the brand awareness among small businesses in both countries. He also said that the Chamber was keen to facilitate direct trade between Canada and India in the diamond sector. The two-way trade target of $15billion would easily be met if the two countries directly traded diamonds instead of routing the trade through Europe.

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