NOVEMBER 2012: Senator Asha Seth joined the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada in his longest state-visit ever to India. The delegation included Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway; Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources; Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport); and Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), along with representatives of the business and cultural sectors.
“Canada enjoys a strong working and personal relationship with India but we must further strengthen the links between our two countries,” said the Prime Minister on the trip to India. “India is a growing economy with enormous potential, and expanding our trade and investment links with India will create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity here in Canada.”
Senator Seth met with Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, and his federal cabinet. Senator Seth participated in the World Economic Forum on India; an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders.
The delegation began the trip in Agra where they were privy to an official visit at the Taj Mahal. The delegation then continued onto New Dehli for a business roundtable to discuss boosting ties with this emerging economic powerhouse. Thereafter, they travelled to Chandigar in the days that followed, where they finally concluded their engagements in Bangalor on November 9th.
“This is a great opportunity for the government to raise its profile in India. I would say our trading relationship and economic relationship in general is really beginning to blossom,” said Stewart Beck, Canada’s High Commissioner in India. Continuing the Prime Minister’s mandate, Senator Seth arranged a second leg of the mission to engage key Indian states such as Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) and Dehli. In U.P., Senator Seth was invited to the official residence Shri Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, to explore investment opportunities with Canada.
“Under the Yadav government, the business atmosphere in U.P. has changed for the better. People are now looking towards U.P. for investment opportunities. This new atmosphere will surely bring foreign investment in Uttar Pradesh,” Senator Seth said in a statement during her meeting with the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister hoped that Canada could contribute to ensuring food security by developing U.P. food processing and storage infrastructure, agriculture practices, education, and power management. “We also expect Canada to help us in energy sector,” said Chief Minister Yadav.
As a main centre of Indian finance and technology, Senator Seth travelled to the state of Dehli to meet with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of Delhi to discuss opportunities in telecommunications and urban development. Mr. Stewart Beck, High Commissioner of Canada to India, also took part in this mission.
Capitalizing on the momentum created by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to India, Senator Asha Seth urged Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit of Delhi and Akhilesh Yadav of Uttar Pradesh to move towards creating a friendly environment for Canadian investment by supporting proposals such as the Canada-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the Foreign Investor Protection Agreement.
“Canadians are eager to work with Indian states to establish Canada as a primary partner in India’s development. Our conservative team is working tirelessly to strengthen commercial and social ties with India,” said Senator Asha Seth.
- November 12, 2012. “Akhilesh Yadav orders for security, power, traffic control” Times of India click here
- November 12, 2012. “Canadian senator lauds investment-friendly UP” The Political and Business Daily [Dehli, India] click here
- November 11, 2012. “Akhilesh Yadav to tour Canada” The Pioneer click here