Canada's Prime Minister returns to India next week

Canada's Prime Minister returns to India next week

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will visit India from Nov 3-9 and meet Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and other Indian leaders, according to the New York Daily News.

He will be accompanied by Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources (who was in India a few weeks ago), 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.

This will be Harper’s second official visit to India. During his November 3-9 visit, Harper will visit Agra, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Bangalore.  Visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar is not figured into Harper’s itinerary for his November 2012 visit like it was in his previous visit to India.
“Canada enjoys a strong working and personal relationship with India but we must further strengthen the links between our two countries,” Harper said in a statement. “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.”

Trade between India, one of the fastest growing economies, and Canada is increasing, the statement said.  Despite the 2000s recession, bilateral trade has increased by over 70% since 2004.  In 2009, Canadian exports to India totaled 2.1 billion Canadian dollars while Canadian imports to India totaled 2.0 billion Canadian dollars, giving them a hundred million dollar trade surplus.

Being fellow members of the commonwealth, India and Canada share high commissioners instead of ambassadors.  Canada’s High Commission to India is located in New Delhi, while India’s is in Ottawa.  Canada maintains consulates in Mumbai, Chennai and Chandigarh, while India’s consulates are located in Vancouver and Toronto.  Canada also has trade offices in Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Hyderabad.

The Nuclear Co-operation Agreement was signed between Prime Minister Manmohan and Prime Minister Harper in June 2010 during a meeting of the G-20 in Toronto, Ontario, but Canada is negotiating with the Indian government to revive defense ties.  It is yet to be ratified by both countries.


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