LUCKNOW, INDIA, January 16, 2013 – Senator Asha Seth returned to Canada after leading a successful trade mission to the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) to promote Canadian commercial interests in the region. The trade mission, themed “Exploring Opportunities Beyond Borders,” was held in the capital city of U.P. to highlight Canada’s commitment to strengthen its relationship with India by engaging senior government officials and business stakeholders in India’s most important states.
Home to the Taj Mahal and the Ganges River plain, the state of Uttar Pradesh is known as “the Hindi Heartland” due to its agricultural fertility, long-standing academic institutions, and booming population. The state of U.P. was hand-selected due to its limited exposure to Canadian investors and strong potential for economic development. The trade mission was the first to bring Canadian parliamentarians and representatives from industry and academia to the state of Uttar Pradesh, which represents India’s largest consumer market due to its 200 million citizens. The visit fulfills a promise made by Senator Seth during her first appointment to the state in 2012 to bring Canadian stakeholders to explore the region for economic opportunities.
Delegates from both countries presented and discussed prospects available to Canadian investors in areas like agriculture, food processing, energy, and education. Two roundtable sessions were convened on exploring new avenues in “food processing and agriculture” and “education, research, and renewable energy.” The delegation was supported by the Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce and included the participation of the High Commission of Canada, Mr. Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh; Abhishek Mishra, Science and Technology Minister of U.P; Javed Usmani, the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh; Alok Ranjan, Infrastructure and Industrial Development Commissioner; Sohail Saeed, Director, Economic Development, Brampton; Ray Chan, Investment Attraction Manager, India and South Asia, Government of Saskatchewan.
Senator Asha Seth addressed the delegation as keynote speaker and guest panelist. “Canada’s growing trade with India is fuelled by our strong ties – both business-to-business and people-to-people. Across Canada, a vibrant Indo-Canadian community helps to enrich our land, and our culture, add to that the Indian students, professionals, and other cultural exchanges that fuel a stream of bright minds and eager workers […] Trade is a relationship based on friendship. It’s about exchange of ideas and technology. It’s about exploring ways each partner can help the other partner grow and prosper, and as the world seeks out new ways to improve the conditions of its citizens, our Government will continue working with India to help our industries meet challenges and capture new opportunities,” said Senator Seth.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his commitment to increasing trade relations with India in a greeting presented to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav by Senator Asha Seth, “Our Government has been proud to make the Canada-India relationship a priority. We value the special bond between our countries, which is strengthened by our Indian diaspora of more than one million. Dynamic business and community leaders are forging a deeper Canada-India connection with each passing year. India’s emerging economic strength has created new opportunities for trade and investment, which our enterprising nation is eager to explore. Canada has much to offer India, including abundant natural resources, financial strength, world-class academic institutions and a robust agricultural sector. There is still vast unrealized potential for trade.”
The Honourable Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, addressed all Canadians in his remarks by saying that, “One cannot talk of commerce and trade opportunities in the world without thinking of India, and similarly, one cannot think of India without a mention of UP. The state’s possibilities have so far remained untouched. We will do our best to market it and transform it into a better business destination. I am confident that, with your visit today, we will add further momentum and purpose to the new and enriching journey that has already begun for our two countries. My vision for the state is to establish it as most preferred destination for investments, thereby accelerating its economic growth and creating vast employment opportunities, resulting in qualitative improvement in the standard of living.”
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav concluded by promising to reciprocate Canada’s efforts with an Indian trade mission to Canada in June of 2014.
The “Exploring Opportunities Beyond Borders” trade mission led by Senator Seth is one in a series of successful conferences and forums created by Senator Asha Seth to explore and promote ties between Canada and India.
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Senator Asha Seth’s Office