TORONTO: The Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) has welcomed the Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper’s just concluded visit to India as a “historic step forward in the burgeoning relationship between Canada and India.”
The visit will “pave the way for more enhanced trade between our two countries,” said Naval Bajaj, president of the ICCC, in a statement in Benguluru where Harper’s six-day visit to India concluded before he took off for the Philippines.
Hailing the agreements in nuclear cooperation and social security, Bajaj said the two countries should now urgently conclude the negotiations on foreign investment protection as well.
“Clearly, the time is ripe for an agreement on foreign investments between Canada and India. This agreement would propel Canada-India trade and investment relations to more sustainable levels,” the ICCC president said.
He also welcomed the decision taken during the Prime Ministerial visit to elevate the discussion between Canada and India in the energy and mining sector to the ministerial level.
“This will lead to enhanced cooperation in particular, joint efforts to develop capacities to maximize the utilization of energy resources ranging from oil and gas to new hydrocarbon resources such as oil sands, shale gas and other sources of energy including renewable,” Bajaj said.
The ICCC president also hailed the commitment of both the Prime Ministers to conclude the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) by 2013.
“It’s heartening to note that both Canada and India realise that at its current level, bilateral trade doesn’t reflect the true potential of commercial relationship,” he said, welcoming the recognition given to the one-million strong Indian Diaspora in Canada by both the governments.
Apart from finalizing the Administrative Arrangement on the implementation of the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) and signing the social security agreement, the two countries have also inked various pacts and MoUs that will bring bilateral trade worth $2.5 billion to the companies in the two countries.