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India Canada Bilateral Relations

Last Updated Tuesday, 17 January 2012 09:52

High Commission of India Ottawa

India-Canada Bilateral Relations

In Canada, India is represented by the High Commission of India in Ottawa and the two Consulates in Toronto and Vancouver.

In India, Canada is represented by the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi and the Consulates in Chandigarh, Chennai and Mumbai.

India established diplomatic relations with Canada in 1947. India and Canada have longstanding bilateral relationship based on shared democratic values, t he multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of two societies and strong people-to-people contacts. In recent years, both countries have been working to enhance bilateral cooperation in a number of areas of mutual importance.

Canada is endowed with vast natural reserves in potash, uranium, coal, oil and gas, diamonds,

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India Canada Bilateral Relations

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forest products, etc. and offers good opportunities for investments or joint ventures for India. Canada with its advanced technological base can become Indias natural partner in agriculture, food processing, education, science and technology, innovation, environment, cleaner technologies, etc. India would welcome investment from Canada in sectors such as infrastructure, energy, mining, health, education, communication, food processing, information technology, etc. India would like Canada to make use of Indias skilled and trained manpower base and establish manufacturing units or enter into joint ventures in India. Indian and Canadian companies can also join hands in taking up joint projects in other countries.

Several high level visits including at PM levels, have been exchanged over the past three years. About 18 Ministerial level visits including that of Premiers from Canada took place in 2009-10.

At the invitation of the Indian PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, Canadian PM Mr. Stephen Harper paid his first official visit to India from 15-18 November 2009. The two Prime Ministers reviewed bilateral relations and discussed regional and global issues of shared interest including G-20, counter-terrorism, etc. and agreed on initiatives to strengthen and diversify bilateral relations. Both the leaders recognized education as an area of new momentum, the need to facilitate mutually beneficial linkages in science, technology and innovation as well as to build synergies between institutions of higher learning in India and Canada. The two leaders set a trade target of $ 15 billion annually in the next five years. It was also announced that the Year of India will be celebrated in locations across Canada in 2011. Two important MoUs were signed, namely, MoU for Cooperation in the area of Energy and the MoU for the setting up of a Joint Study Group to explore the possibility of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement(CEPA) between India and Canada.

The highlight of 2010 was the historic visit of Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh to Canada from 26 28 June, 2010 to attend the G20 Summit followed by bilateral discussions. The two leaders issued a joint statement outlining a number of areas of cooperation. The

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India Canada Bilateral Relations

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highlights of the visit included the signing of the Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy and three MoUs concerning cooperation in the field of Earth Sciences and Mining, Culture, and Higher Education; reiteration to increase bilateral trade to $15 billion annually in the next five years. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the conclusion of the report of the Joint Study Group to explore the possibility of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between India and Canada.

PM Dr. Singh also held a meeting with the Canadian MPs and MLAs of Indian origin. He laid a wreath at the Air India Plane tragedy memorial in Toronto in the memory of the victims and conveyed his condolences to the family members of the victims present there. The two Prime Ministers met again at Seoul (G20 Summit) on 17 November 2010 and announced the launch of negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and Canada. Three rounds of negotiations have taken place since then.

In 2010, 6 Indian Ministers (Commerce & Industry, Mining, Surface Transport, Food Processing, Power and Civil Aviation) visited Canada. From Canada, Ministers of Agriculture, Finance, Sports, S&T, Citizenship and Immigration and International Trade visited India. In addition, Premiers of Alberta and Quebec Provinces visited India. A number of high level official visits from both sides also took place. The first Annual Ministerial Dialogue of Trade Ministers was held in Ottawa in September 2010 along with CEOs Roundtable. The Roundtable has now been upgraded to a CEOs Forum. Four Working Groups on Energy, Infrastructure, ICT and Education have been instituted under the Ministerial Dialogue.

The Canadian Minister for International Trade, Minister Ed Fast visited India in November 2011 for the second round of the annual trade ministerial dialogue. He met, among others, Finance Minister, Commerce and Industry Minister, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Overseas India Affairs, Minister of Human Resources Development, Minister of Non-Renewable Energy Resources, captains of Indian trade and industry and attended business events in Delhi, Gujarat

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India Canada Bilateral Relations

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and Mumbai. Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clarke had an equally successful visit to India (November 2011) including in the sectors of mining, forestry, education, agriculture and food processing, education etc. Earlier, the Premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall had a very productive visit in March 2011, including discussions with DAE. A number of high level official visits have also taken place this year. A DRDO delegation led by Dr. Saraswat visited Canada for technology tie ups; Shri R. Gangadharan, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries and Joint Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Shri R.K. Tiwari led delegations for technology tie-ups in Agriculture and allied areas. Commerce Secretary Shri Rahul Khullar visited Canada in October 2011 to inaugurate the EEPC-India Show. The Canada-India Business Council organized India Business Forum on the sidelines of the WEF in India in November 2011.

India and Canada pursue bilateral relations through the mechanism of annual Foreign Office Consultations, Trade Policy Consultations, Strategic Dialogue and meetings of S&T Committee, Joint Working Group on Counter-terrorism, Environment Forum Committee, Energy Forum, Steering Committee on Mining and Earth Sciences; Joint Working Groups on Pulses, Plant Protection, Health, Agriculture and SPS issues etc.

India and Canada have also signed the Air Services Agreement, Extradition Treaty, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, Agreement on Patents, Agreement on Agriculture, S&T Agreement, MoU on Energy, etc. Other agreements under negotiations are: Foreign Investment Promotion Agreement, Social Security Agreement, MoU on Cooperation in Combating Drug Trafficking, Transfer of Prisoners Agreement, Road Transportation, and Audio-Visual Co-Production.

Among the agreements recently signed include MoU for India Chair at Canada-India Centre of Excellence at Carleton University, MoU between Indian and Canadian Public Service Commissions for sharing experiences and expertise in civil services matters, MoU between Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Canadian Institute of Health Research

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India Canada Bilateral Relations

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(CIHR) to establish new and/or strengthen existing collaborations in special health related fields of research, etc.

From the Canadian side, a 30 member business delegation led by 6 Canadian MPs for the Vibrant Gujarat 2011 event in Ahmedabad, an Atlantic Canada Exploratory Mission, a 60-member business delegation from Quebec Province to India led by Mr. Clement Gignac, Minister for Economic Development, Innovation and Trade of Quebec Province, Saskatchewan Premier Mr. Brad Wall led a 40-member trade mission to India, Dr. Maria Barrados, President of the Public Service Commission of Canada visited India and signed MOU on civil services exchanges. BC Premier Christy Clark led a trade and job delegation of about 300 persons from approximately 150 institutions from November 10 16, 2011.She was accompanied by BC Minister of Health, Mike de Jong and Deputy Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, Ms Dana Hayden. BC Premier visited Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Amritsar and Chandigarh. During the visit a MoU was signed between Ministry of Mines India and the Ministry of Energy and Mines, British Columbia for cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources.

On the Indian side, Ms. Preneet Kaur Minister of State for External Affairs, accompanied by Mr. Arun Maira, Member, Planning Commissioner, 2 Members of Parliament and senior officials of Government of India represented GOI for the Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas in Toronto on June 9-10, 2011. Dr. D Purandeswari, MOS (HRD) represented GOI at the Canada India Education Summit and Canada-India Innovation Summit in Ottawa in June 2011, apart from the presence of Dr.R.Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, former Minister of Power and Environment, India, Dr.M.S.Swaminathan, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and 21 Vice Chancellors of eminent Indian Universities etc.

In the education field, the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) was founded in 1968 to promote academic relations mainly through funding research and linking academic institutions

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India Canada Bilateral Relations

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in the two countries; as of today, 50 universities from India and 40 from Canada are members of the Institute. SICI broadly meets its objective by promoting Canadian Studies in India and Indian Studies in Canada. As on June 2010, there are 10,050 Indian students studying in various Canadian universities/colleges. India is the fourth largest source of foreign students in Canada after China, Korea and the US.

India Chairs were sanctioned including for Carleton and McGill Universities where Indian Centres have been opened. Canadas Sports Minister led one of the largest contingents to the Delhi Commonwealth Games in October 2010. The Canadian Exhibition Masters of Inuit Art was hosted in Delhi coinciding with the Commonwealth Games. A 17 University Presidents delegation of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada visited India to forge university linkages; several MoUs were signed and scholarships announced.

Representatives of University of Alberta, Ryerson University and Carleton University visited India in November 2011. A MOU between Carleton University and TERI and Symbiosis International University of Pune was signed for providing opportunities to combine expertise and real-world experience in the areas of technology management, alternative energy, economics, public policy and engineering.

Year of India 2011 in Canada (YOI)

Pursuant to the announcement made by Indian and Canadian Prime Ministers in November

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India Canada Bilateral Relations

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2009, the Year of India 2011 in Canada was launched on 24 January 2011 coinciding with the signing of a MoU for establishing Canada-India Centre for Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy at Carleton University. On 4 March 2011, Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Stephen Harper formally inaugurated the Year of India 2011 in Canada in Ottawa in the presence of Federal Ministers, Members of Parliament, Diplomatic Corps, community leaders and general public. The event began with the lighting of the lamp by PM Stephen Harper at the Canadian Museum of Civilization followed by the Sarod recital by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.

A number of events have been held in different cities of Canada, namely, Shakunthalam Dance Drama, Parikrama Rock Band, Ticket to Bollywood Musical, Fusion Dance of Tanusree Shankar, the Festival of Indian Writing, and Nomadic Orchestra of the World Chinh India at the Ottawa Tulip Festival, performance by Violin Maestro Dr. L. Subramaniam and India Diaspora Event.

Other YOI events held include India-Canada Education Summit and India-Canada Innovation Summit in June 2011, Kathak, Kuchipudi and Rajasthani folk performances, Indian film th birth anniversary of Gurudev festival, EEPC- India Show, commemoration of 150 Tagore, Indian Writers festival by Sahitya akademi, eminent lectures series, Moderns Exhibition by Lalit Kala Akademi, installation and unveiling of statue Mahatma Gandhi etc. The Prime Minister of Canada, the Rt Honorable Stephen Harper also officiated at the closing ceremony of Year of India 2011 with National Diwali Celebrations.


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India Canada Bilateral Relations

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Bilateral trade during the calendar year of 2010 touched US$ 4 billion mark. Indias exports to Canada in 2010 were up 17.8 per cent and imports from Canada registered an increase of 5.9% over 2009. Total bilateral trade during 2010 registered 11.6 per cent increase over the previous year.

India-Canada Bilateral Trade during 2006-2010 (January-December)

[Figures in billion US Dollars]







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India Canada Bilateral Relations

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Indias Exports

to Canada






Indias Imports

from Canada



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India Canada Bilateral Relations

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[Source: Statistics Canada]

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India Canada Bilateral Relations

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India-Canada bilateral trade grows in 2011

India-Canada bilateral trade continued to show an upward trend. During the first ten months of 2011 (Jan-Oct), the total bilateral trade stood at US$ 4.212 billion as against US$ 3.309 billion, up 27.3 per cent during the same period in 2010. Indias exports to Canada at US$ 2.140 billion registered 29.0 per cent increase whereas Indias imports from Canada at US$ 2.072 billion were up by 26.6 per cent over the same period in 2010.

Major Items of Indian Exports are: Garments, diamonds, chemicals, gems and jewellery, made-up, sea food, engineering goods, auto parts, marble and granite, knitted garments, rice, electric equipment, carpets, etc. Major items of Canadas export to India are: Pulses, fertilizers, newsprint, ores and concentrates, wheat, communication equipment, wood pulp, nickel, ferrous waste, asbestos, laboratory equipment, worn clothing, aviation equipment, diamond, silver, etc.


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India Canada Bilateral Relations

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Canadian investors are present in the Indian banking, insurance and financial services sectors, as also in engineering and consultancy services. Canadian investment in India has targeted telecommunications, environment, energy and mining. Indian investment in Canada has increased steadily in the recent years, especially in the information technology and software sectors.

As per 2009 figures, India figured 13 th in terms of FDI inflows of C$ 2.97 billion into Canada nd among the FDI destinations of while India figured 42 Canadian outflows at C$ 601 million. The cumulative figure of Indian investments in Canada since 2000 is estimated at C$ 7.67 million as against Canadian investment of C$ 3.80 billion in India.

Indian community

Canada is home to 962,670 people of Indian origin (2006 Census). Out of this population, 50% are Sikhs , 39% are Hindu s , and the remainder are Muslim , Christian , Jain , Buddhist , etc. Majority of them live in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary. There is also a presence of ethnic media, both print and electronic, in different regions of Canada. There are currently 8

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Indo-Canadian MPs in the House of Commons and two in the Senate.

Air India and Jet Airways have regular flights to Canada from India. State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Government of India Tourist Office, Air India and Jet Airways have offices in Canada. Many renowned Indian companies have presence in Canada such as Tata, Aditya Birla, Reliance, Essar, etc. and reputed Indian IT companies such as Infosys, Wipro have opened branches in Canada.

Canada has established Trade Offices in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. Reputed Canadian companies such as Bombardier, SNC Lavalin, CAE, Inc., etc. have a presence in India for the past several years.


January 2012

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