Prime Minister Stephen Harper today marked the conclusion of a highly productive visit to Canada by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. The two-day visit, which included stops in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, was Prime Minister Modi’s first visit to Canada since taking office and the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister since 1973.
During the visit, Prime Minister Harper and Prime Minister Modi committed to elevate the bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership and further broadened its scope through a number of important initiatives.
The leaders also saw the completion of memoranda of understanding in a range of areas, including civil aviation, rail regulation, education and skills development, and space cooperation, and projects focused on maternal, newborn and child health. Canada and India also finalized all steps necessary for the entry-into-force of the Social Security Agreement, which will take place on August 1, 2015.
Prime Minister Harper also welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s announcement that India will issue visas upon arrival, which will make it easier for Canadians to travel to India.
On the margins of the visit, several commercial agreements between Canadian and Indian companies were announced. With a combined value of over $1.6 billion, these agreements will benefit a range of sectors, including aerospace and defence, education, energy, mining, infrastructure, sustainable technologies, and information and communications technology. They further demonstrate the significant growth taking place in the Canada-India bilateral commercial relationship.
One commercial agreement involving Saskatchewan-based Cameco will see the company supply India with over seven million pounds of uranium over the next five years. This deal was made possible due in part to the Canada-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement negotiated by our Government.
Prime Minister Harper and Prime Minister Modi welcomed the progress made on negotiating a Bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and agreed to intensify discussions to finalize the outstanding issues.
The prime ministers also participated in several cultural events where they met with members of Canada’s vibrant Indo-Canadian community. During these events, Prime Minister Harper paid tribute to the tremendous contributions this community continues to make to our country’s social, cultural and economic landscape.
The leaders issued a joint statement reaffirming and further expanding the scope of the new strategic partnership between Canada and India.
- Canada and India have long-standing and positive bilateral relations based on shared values of democracy, pluralism and a mutual interest in expanding trade.
- India is Canada’s largest trading partner in South Asia and is a priority market under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan.
- With bilateral merchandise trade totalling nearly $6.3 billion in 2014 in addition to the over $1.5 billion in bilateral services trade in 2013, a market of more than 1.2 billion people, and a predicted economic growth of 7.5 per cent in 2015, India represents exciting opportunities for Canadian businesses.
- Canada’s approximately 1.2 million Indian diaspora community is one of the largest Indian diasporas in the world.
- Prime Minister Harper first met Prime Minister Modi on the margins of the G-20 Summit in Australia in November 2014. Prime Minister Harper also visited India in November 2012 and November 2009.
- This is the first bilateral visit to Canada by an Indian Prime Minister since 1973.
“With its expanding population and impressive economic growth, India represents tremendous opportunities for Canadian companies. But we have only begun to scratch the surface of our true commercial potential. That is why Prime Minister Modi and I were pleased by the scope and volume of bilateral initiatives and commercial agreements that took place during his visit. These initiatives will help to further strengthen our relations.”
– Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“Canada and India enjoy a special friendship, underpinned by a vibrant Indo-Canadian community, which continues to make tremendous contributions to our nation’s cultural and economic fabric. It was a pleasure this week to meet with Prime Minister Modi and members of the Indo-Canadian community to further cement the strong bonds that unite our countries.”
– Prime Minister Stephen Harper