ICCC Weekly Newsletter
13 February 2021
Trade makes the world better
On 10 February, the Prime Ministers of both Canada and India spoke and pledged to work in unison to combat the continuing menace of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Responding to the news in my capacity as the President of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and as an entrepreneur with a base both in Canada and in India, I welcomed this sagacious move that has become a momentous occasion in the chequered history of our bilateral ties.
As an entity that has fostered bilateral relations between our two democracies for the last four decades and more, the ICCC welcomed this initiative by Canada and India to work together on sourcing of vaccines.
The ICCC strongly believes that trade and commerce will help Canada and India build stronger bridges. We are confident that a positive approach to bilateral ties will help enhance cooperation and take economic ties on an upward trajectory.
Prime Minister Trudeau and Prime Minister Modi spoke about India's significant efforts in promoting vaccine production and supply, which have provided vital support to countries around the world. The two leaders agreed to work together on access to vaccines. The leaders also recognized the need for continued global coordination to respond to the pandemic and to promote recovery.
The ICCC has always emphasized the need to put trade first in bilateral relations.
The table of trade numbers of Canada and India with China will illustrate this vividly.
It may be pertinent to point out here that in 2019 and 2020 both Canada and India faced political and geopolitical challenges respectively in their bilateral ties with China. But that was not allowed to come in the way of trade, and as the statistics reveal, trading continued with vigor.
Read more: President's Views
ICCC's Partner in Success
Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce has joined the Recovery Activation Program launched in 2020 by the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s World Trade Centre Toronto.
The program provides immersive training, mentoring and support to assist with digital modernization and help businesses adapt to the new normal.
The program offers participants unprecedented access to engage with industry leaders, and build their personalised plan to digitally grow their business – at no cost to them.
A strong digital approach can help all businesses operate better, create new opportunities, and support future growth. RAP ensures that participants feel confident they are approaching their digital transformation the right way.
With a significant investment from the Government of Canada (through FedDev Ontario) and the Government of Ontario (through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade) the RAP is being offered to businesses of any size at no cost and extend its reach across Ontario.
The Recovery Activation Program (RAP), presented by the @TorontoRBOT will help you evolve your business in response to #COVID19 and beyond.
WHAT IS RAP?
RAP is a series of highly practical online programs designed to help businesses digitally modernize their operations and foster growth.
WHEN DO THE PROGRAMS RUN?
The program runs two webcasts, two half-day Digital Certificates, and an immersive Digital Blueprint Program cohort every month.
HOW MUCH DOES THE PROGRAM COST?
Thanks to generous support from the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario, and there is no cost to participate.
WHO CAN APPLY?
RAP is open to all businesses across Ontario.
HOW DO I JOIN THE PROGRAM?
To start your journey, businesses need to complete their Digital Needs Assessment, which takes just 30 minutes, and provides an in-depth analysis of your business against industry-specific benchmarks, and identifies opportunities for digital modernization and evolution.
WHERE DOES THE PROGRAM RUN?
All programs are currently run online and are available to all businesses across Ontario.
HOW WILL RAP HELP MY BUSINESS?
The program teaches SMEs how to adapt to present-day business conditions, and overcome emerging challenges such as: managing a remote workforce, dealing with supply chain disruptions, and leveraging technology to increase overall efficiency and revenue through a number of virtual program offerings:
Digital Blueprint Program
Immersive workshops, dedicated coaching and mentorship sessions led by industry experts that help participating businesses develop a personalized strategy to tackle critical gaps.
Digital Certificate Program
Tailored modules focused on helping businesses upskill in specific areas, and leverage technology and digital platforms to guide their overall digital transformation.
Digital Sales Activation Program
Curated digital sales programs run in targeted international markets designed to help businesses overcome disrupted sales channels.
RAP Webcast Series
A series of deep dive presentations and panel discussions with industry experts, thought leaders, and community innovators that provide practical advice, insights and strategies on digital modernization.
Visit rap.bot.com to complete your
Digital Needs Assessment today.
It’s open to all businesses in Ontario.
Select ICCC as the referral agency when filling the form.
Upcoming Programs and Events
Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce's next edition of Thursday Talks is 0 to 100 in 365 Days. The webinar aims to bring together experts in the field of immigrant settlement. The panelists will explore the most optimal way immigrants can be brought up to speed and working at their full potential in the same occupations of their past or in a brand-new occupation.
The purpose of the webinar is to address issues that are persistently faced by newcomers – severe challenges in finding employment that matches their skills, qualifications and experience, resulting in disguised unemployment or underemployment – highly skilled people doing low-skilled jobs. The webinar will aim to delineate the different strategies that a newcomer may adopt to enhance her / his economic integration into her / his adopted homeland.
The panelists will be announced early next week.
Register now on Zoom
Watch live on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ICCCONLINE
ICCC - TPCI Buyers-Sellers Meet
Sector: Ceramic Tiles & Marbles and Stones
10:30 AM ET / Thursday 25 February 2021
Canadian importers and dealers of ceramic tiles and marbles and stones are welcome to participate in this program. Please write to email@example.com to get a Zoom invite.
ICCC - CGI-Toronto
Jammu & Kashmir and Ontario Buyers-Sellers Meet
Sector: Handloom Fabrics and Furnishings
8:30 AM ET / Friday 26 February 2021
Canadian importers and dealers of handloom fabrics and furnishings are welcome to participate in this program. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to get a Zoom invite.
Past Programs and Events
On 11 February 2021, as part of its continuing Leaders' Talk webinar series, the ICCC Hon. Anita Anand, Canada's Minister of Public Services and Procurement to provide insights about Canada's procurement and rollout plan for Covid-19 vaccines.
In case you missed it, watch the full recording of the webinar here
Click here to go to the YouTube recording:
Leaders' Talk: Anita Anand
In the News
Ontario expands Main Street Relief Grant
Help 60,000 small businesses in province with financial support
to cover PPE costs
Last October, Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria introduced the Main Street Recovery Act, 2020, as part of Ontario government’s Main Street Recovery Plan to support small businesses during COVID-19. Then as now, the Ontario government knows that a strong Main Street depends on thriving small businesses across Ontario.
As the province begins the gradual transition from shutdown measures to a revised and strengthened COVID-19 Response Framework, the Ontario government has expanded the Main Street Relief (PPE) Grant to help more small businesses safely return to the Framework and protect the health and safety of their customers and employees.
The proposals introduced in the Main Street Recovery Plan have been helping struggling small businesses get back on their feet and continue Ontario’s economic recovery, and included the Main Street Relief Grant:
A one-time grant of up to $1,000 for eligible main street small businesses — in retail, food and accommodations, and other service sectors — with two to nine employees to help offset the unexpected costs of personal protective equipment (PPE).
With new enhancements to the Main Street Relief Grant, Ontario government is building on the supports it made available to date to help even more small businesses and safeguard their transition back to the COVID-19 Response Framework.
The Main Street Relief Grant will provide up to 60,000 small businesses with financial support to help cover the cost of PPE and protective supplies. It’s another step the provincial government is taking to help Main Street businesses stay safe, keep people employed, and continue contributing to our communities.
This one-time grant reimburses Main Street businesses for personal protective equipment (PPE) costs incurred since March 17, 2020. Eligible small businesses must have 2 to 19 employees and be part of the following sectors:
- Retail trade
- Accommodation and food services
- Repair and maintenance
- Personal and laundry services
- Gyms and yoga studios
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation
Small and main street businesses in these sectors have been significantly affected by COVID-19, and they often require frequent, in-person contact with coworkers. They typically also have the least amount of space to accommodate physical distancing, and therefore cannot operate in a sustainable way without a steady supply of PPE.
Providing these Main Street small businesses with a grant to help cover the cost of PPE – whether to install plexiglass or purchase a supply of gloves and masks – is helping to stabilize their cash flow, protect workers, and keep people from communities across Ontario employed.
Together, with the Main Street Recovery Act, Small Business Strategy, Small Business Support Grant and other new funding programs, the Ontario government is delivering a long-term plan that will help more small businesses to rehire, rebuild, and re-emerge from this pandemic stronger than before.
To learn more about eligibility to recover PPE costs, please visit:
India's Farm Reforms
India’s Ministry of External Affairs reacts to Canadian Government’s remarks, says Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commended India for holding dialogue with protesting farmers
A day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office said he talked to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on ‘recent protests’, an apparent reference to the ongoing farmers’ stir, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Trudeau has hailed the central government’s way of trying to resolve the deadlock with the protesting farmers through “dialogue as befitting in democracy”.
“On the farmers’ protests, Prime Minister Trudeau commended efforts of the Government of India to choose the path of dialogue as befitting in democracy,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said in a statement. “Trudeau also acknowledged the responsibility of his government in providing protection to Indian diplomatic premises and personnel in Canada.”
On Thursday, Trudeau said that he held a “good discussion” with PM Modi on many important issues, including on the “two nations’ commitment to democratic principles, recent protests, and the importance of resolving issues through dialogue”, a statement from the Canadian government said.
“I had a good discussion with Prime Minister @NarendraModi on many important issues, and we’ve agreed to stay in touch,” Trudeau had tweeted.
“The leaders discussed Canada and India’s commitment to democratic principles, recent protests, and the importance of resolving issues through dialogue,” the Canadian Prime Minister’s office said in a statement. However, the reference to “recent protests” was not part of the Indian government’s readout of the telephone conversation held between Prime Minister Modi and Trudeau on Wednesday.
Source: Indian Express
Welcome to new members
The ICCC Board of Directors approved the
following new members
LifeHans Girdhari Bathija
Rudhin Deep Singh
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