Newsletter - December 2017

20 Dec 2017 9:26 PM | Mayank Bhatt
ICCC Newsletter  
December 2017  
Letter from the President
 Kanwar Dhanjal

In the first week of December, the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) created a new precedent by organising the first annual SME Expo in Toronto.  The ICCC’s inaugural SME Expo 2017 was a successful attempt by the new leadership of the Chamber to consolidate its programming and make it more business focussed rather than diaspora focussed. The SME Expo replaced the Winter Gala. The exposition attracted nearly two dozen exhibitors that included small businesses as well as large corporations that are the Chamber’s Partners in Success.

The Expo also included two panel discussions. The Honourable Jeff Leal, Minister for Small Business, Ontario, emphasized the need to promote small businesses with a view to create employment opportunities and lauded the role of Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) in consistently advocating the cause of Canadian small and medium entrepreneurs as a part of its mandate.

In his extempore remarks, His Excellency Dinesh Bhatia, the Consul General of India in Toronto, credited the ICCC for understanding the emerging dynamics of the Canadian and the Indian economies and the role small businesses are and will be playing in these economies in the future. He said ICCC has pioneered the advocacy and promotion of the small businesses as a sector for the last decade-and-a-half and carved a niche for itself by doing so.

In the New Year, our Chamber will be leading a successful India Mission 2018 – the seventh consecutive year when the Chamber would be doing so.  India Mission 2018 will commence on January 6 and visit five Indian cities before returning to Toronto January 18. The business mission will visit Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Chandigarh, and Kolkata. The mission will participate in Bengal Global Business Summit in Kolkata and other key global and diaspora programs in the other cities on the itinerary.

 Click here to read the: Letter from President
India Mission 2018

  • Five cities, multi-sector mission from January 6 to January 18
  • Collaboration with Canadian High Commission in New Delhi, Consulate General of India in Toronto 
  • Collaboration with ICCC's Partners in Success in India (ICBC, AIAI, FICCI, CII, ICC, PHDCCI, GCCI)
  • Participation in Bengal Global Business Summit - 2018
 Register now, click here: India Mission 2018

Give your inputs to Government of India on Program to Assist to Investors

A technical program is being conceived by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India (GoI) that could be targeted at some of the investing countries with the aim to offer assistance to investors to understand the investment landscape in India. This initiative is a step towards facilitating foreign investment in India by offering all possible assistance and consultancy to investors interested in investing in India.

Leading institutes in the realm of providing management & entrepreneurship education such as National Institute of Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development (NIESBUD), New Delhi, The Entrepreneurial Development Institute (EDI), Ahmadabad and Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow have been tasked to conceive a Bridge Programme for investors named Outreach.

The programme being conceived would be based on classroom and industry interface based pedagogy. The length of the programme would be 3 weeks residential programme and would encompass the following elements

  1. A General introduction to and an over view of India

  2. Cross-Cultural Management Issues

  3. Regulatory Landscape, Taxation Regime (Direct and Indirect)

  4. Statutory steps to setup a company and company registration

  5. Legal and Statutory Compliance Requirement

  6. FDI Policy

  7. Other parameters on the Ease of doing business namely land acquisition processes, labor hiring, environmental laws etc.

  8. Elements of entrepreneurship in the Indian landscape.

The exact details of the programme are being worked out in consultation with the above cited institutes. A tentative cost for a 3-week programme for a quorum of 25 participants, inclusive of Boarding, Lodging, Transportation and Course Material, is as follows:

  • NIESBUD, New Delhi: 6000 USD (ex Delhi)

  • EDI, Ahmadabad: 4700 USD (ex Ahmadabad

  • IIM, Lucknow: 4500 USD (ex Lucknow)

ICCC is requested to bring this to the notice of all their members and seek their responses to this proposal with the aim to explore if there is some additional topic(s) which they would wish to be covered under this course / required time duration / optimal cost and finally relevant content to give final shape to this Bridge Programme.

Inputs regarding this proposal may please be forwarded to the Consulate by 28 December, 2017.

India in Canada's worldview  

India hardly figures in current discourse on Canadian foreign policy. Yet, the two countries are important to each other: one, a source of investment, technology and energy, the other an attractive market. The current challenge is to conclude negotiations on long-pending trade and investment agreements

By Rajiv Bhatia 


As the Trudeau government completes two years in November 2017, uncertainty persists about the Canadian prime minister’s proposed visit to India. Canada and India are important to each other – Canada as a source of investment, technology and energy and as the home of 1.3 million Canadians of Indian origin, and India as an increasingly attractive market, a large and successful democracy and a global player. Yet, today’s mainstream discourse on Canada’s conduct of foreign relations does not include India – barring the occasional mention. Likewise, Canada goes missing from analyses of Indian foreign policy in the Indian media. Bilateral Track II dialogue on foreign policy issues hardly exists, reflecting the low priority each country accords the other.

A two-week sojourn in Toronto, with the opportunity to meet a range of scholars, diplomats and other experts, yielded many insights into the existing state of the bilateral. It reinforced the impression that shared values, the G20 platform and the Commonwealth connection form the background to this bond. Driven by these obvious commonalities, the two countries have cooperated well, culminating in Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Canada in April 2015. This gesture reciprocated several visits by Canadian VIPs including PM Harper and the governor general. After Trudeau became PM in November of that year, ministerial visitors to India have kept the momentum going, but interaction at the highest political level is still awaited.

The Indo-Canadian community, which is growing in size and influence, with four ministers and 19 MPs at the federal level, favours a closer bilateral relationship. Some elements, though, that are interested in persisting with the fundamentalist agenda of the past, remain keen on holding the partnership back, and even received a boost in their mission when the Ontario assembly adopted a motion in April 2017, which described the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as “genocide”. This immediately evoked negative reactions in India. The official spokesman stated: “We regret this misguided motion which is based on a limited understanding of India, its constitution, society, ethos, rule of law and the judicial process,” adding that New Delhi’s views were conveyed to the government and political leadership in Canada. 

Rajiv Bhatia is Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme, Gateway House and a former ambassador.
He served as Consul General in Toronto during 1994-98.
© Copyright 2017 Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized copying or reproduction is strictly prohibited.
This article was first published by Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations. You can read the original article here.
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