India is one of the emerging markets
that Canada has been looking at to
increasing its trade ties, giving
the longstanding economic cooperation
between India and Canada a fresh impetus.
Indo-B.C. Trade & Investment Set-up
Very recently the British Columbia
(B.C.) Trade and Investment representative
Office was opened in Bangalore. It's
the first of its offices opened by
B.C. Trade & Investment in India
headed by Pratap Raju who has been
appointed Trade and Investment Representative.
Raju, who has a proven track record
of establishing business relationships
between Indian and international organizations,
heads a dedicated panel of professionals
with international business and consulting
The Bangalore office is B.C.'s sixth
Trade and Investment Office in Asia.
The establishment of the office is
a component of the province's Asia-Pacific
Initiative, a landmark effort to position
B.C.'s economy to benefit from the
unprecedented opportunities arising
in India and Asia as the balance of
economic power shifts towards the
region. The initiative builds upon
B.C.'s legacy of strong economic,
cultural, and personal ties with India
in order to strengthen its competitive
position as the preferred economic
and cultural gateway between North
America and the Asia Pacific region.
The Bangalore Office helps Indian
investors form joint ventures with,
and make investments in B.C firms.
The team also helps firms from British
Columbia achieve their business objectives.
The office focuses on the following
sectors: information and communication
technology (ICT); biotechnology and
life sciences; advanced energy and
environmental technology; and advanced
B.C.'s bilateral trading relationship
with India was worth $410 million
in 2008, an increase of 120 per cent
compared to 1999. Over the same period,
total exports to India from B.C. have
more than doubled to reach $170 million.
Imports from India to B.C. also increased
substantially - from $103 million
in 1999 to $240 million in 2008. B.C.
plans to capitalize on its strong
and open economy and unique geographical
location by becoming the preferred
gateway to North America. Further,
B.C.'s multicultural population, dynamic
SME sector and highly skilled workforce
have proven to be critical elements
in the success of many Asian (and
Indian) companies located in the province.
Bangalore is India's third most populous
city and is known around the world
as the 'Silicon Valley of India' due
to the numerous research institutes
and information technology (IT), software,
aerospace and telecommunication companies
headquartered in the city.
Stockwell Day Launches Trade Office
The Ministry opened its trade office
in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on 25 September
coinciding with the penultimate day
of Navratri (An Indian festival comprising
of dancing and singing for a period
of nine nights). Since Prime Minister
Stephen Harper announced last year
to deepen trade ties with India, Canada
has already opened two trade offices
in Hyderabad and Kolkata. This will
be the third such office to be opened
in India. Prior to these three offices,
Canada had a trade office in Bangalore.
'The opening of a trade office in
Gujarat fulfils our long-standing
demand. It is a great news for Canadian
companies looking for trade with India's
fastest growing state,'' said Winnipeg-based
Hemant Shah who lobbied with the Canadian
government for the Ahmedabad office.
Canada's top companies such as Bombardier
and McCain Foods have plants in Gujarat.
Trade Office Opened at Kolkata
Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary
to Stockwell Day, Minister of International
Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific
Gateway, concluded a successful visit
to India, where he opened a new Canadian
trade office in Kolkata, a dynamic
business, transportation and financial
hub and the country's fourth-largest
city in January.
"Our new office in Kolkata will
give Canadian companies another competitive
edge in one of our priority markets
and further strengthen our commercial
relationship with India," said
Keddy. "I am proud to say that
the addition of this new office in
India will create one of Canada's
most extensive trade networks anywhere
in the world."
Keddy visited Kolkata before attending
a ministerial-level meeting on the
WorldTrade Organization (WTO) Doha
Development Round, held September
3 and 4 in New Delhi.
"Canada continues to support
an ambitious and balanced outcome
to the Doha negotiations. Canadian
agricultural producers, manufacturers
and service providers stand to benefit
from the expanded entry to global
markets and strengthened trade rules
arising from successful negotiations,"
said Keddy. "Our government will
also continue to defend supply-managed
industries in the WTO negotiations."
Keddy's builds upon a trade mission
led by Minister Day in January, during
which the Minister announced an agreement
to initiate exploratory discussions
toward a comprehensive economic partnership
agreement between Canada and India.
Mr. Keddy also reinforced Minister
Day's commitment to sign a Canada-India
Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection
Agreement (FIPA) as soon as possible.
India is a dynamic, rapidly growing
market that represents a huge potential
for Canadian goods, services and technology.
In 2008, Canadian merchandise exports
to India totalled $2.4 billion, a
35-percent increase over the year
before. Two-way direct investment
reached $1.8 billion in 2008.