Ontario – Uttar Pradesh to collaborate on
trade and investment promotion
ICCC-PHDCCI virtual conference features
Ministers Vic Fedeli and Sidharth Nath Singh
Ontario and Uttar Pradesh have agreed to collaborate on promoting trade and investments between the most populous Canadian province and the most populous Indian state.
During an interaction at a virtual conference organised by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) and the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) on 15 October, both Hon. Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister and Hon. Sidharth Nath Singh, Uttar Pradesh’s Minister emphasized the urgency of such a collaboration initiative.
In his address, Minister Fedeli, who is responsible for Economic Development, Job Creation and International Trade in Ontario, said that India is a special focus for Ontario and the provincial government is aiming to enhance bilateral trade between the province and India.
He said, under Premier Doug Ford’s leadership, Ontario has emerged as an economic powerhouse. Merchandise trade between Ontario and India is worth C$3.2 billion, accounting for over one-third of total Canada – India trade, and 9% of Canadian exports to India are from Ontario. More than 50 Indian companies across all sectors have operations and investments in Ontario.
Minister Singh, who is responsible for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise, Export Promotion and Khadi and Village Industries in Uttar Pradesh, said amid the global Covid-19 headwinds facing the commercial and industrial sectors, the state government cleared a new investment policy aimed at providing a fillip to industries; this policy positions UP favourably before prospective global investors planning to shift their manufacturing bases.
It has also helped the state occupy the second position on the scale of ease of doing business among Indian states. Additionally, the UP government is developing big-ticket infrastructure projects such as the Jewar International Airport, the proposed film city and financial hub, defence and aerospace, MRO hub for aircraft maintenance, and developing parks in electronic, agro, pharma and medical.
In his Presidential address, Pramod Goyal, President, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, said Canada and India are rediscovering each other as trade partners all over again. In recent months, there have been many high-powered meetings between Canadian and Indian ministers. However, what is significant is that these meetings are leading to a systemic shift on the ground level in terms of trade between our economies.
He said that the ICCC would continue to play a pivotal role in fostering bilateral trade ties. While devising strategies to promote bilateral trade in a post-Covid19 era, our Chamber planned three distinct thrust areas:
- 1. Connect Canadian and Indian federal Ministers to kickstart a dialog to enhance variety, volume and velocity of trade by 2025.
- 2. Connect Canadian provinces with Indian states to provide depth, meaning and direction to bilateral trade relations
- 3. Connect small business in Canada and India to enable them to mutually explore collaborations
“Last month, we brought Canada’s Minister Mary Ng, and India’s Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, and next month, next month we are collaborating with the SME Chamber of India to connect five Canadian and Indian small businesses. Today, we have joined hands with our partner PHD Chamber to bring Ontario and Uttar Pradesh together,” Mr. Goyal said.
Speaking on the occasion, Apoorva Srivastava, Consul General of India in Toronto, said that trade and investment linkages are an integral part of the multi-faceted relationship between India and Canada, and India-Canada bilateral ties are driven by shared democratic values and many common interests. She said India offers political stability, investment and business-friendly policies, skilled talent pool. These inherent strengths of the Indian economy have resulted in Canadian Pension and Investment funds investing over $60 billion into Indian portfolios.
Hon. Nina Tangri, Ontario’s Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and International Trade, said, the province continues to be the mainstay of traditional industrial sectors such as automotive and aerospace. “While our traditional industries are evolving to meet contemporary demands, Ontario is also a place where the new economy has emerged in force.”
She said there are few places in the world more diverse than Ontario, and the province has people from over 150 countries, and over 200 languages are spoken across the province. In fact, Ontario is one of the most popular hubs for global talent in all of Canada, attracting almost 45 percent of all new immigrants.
Among those who spoke at the virtual conference included Dr. Aditya Jha, Indo-Canadian serial entrepreneur; Pradeep Multani, Senior Vice President, PHDCCI; Satish Srivastava, CMD, Nilansh Group; and Shri Lal Gupta, MD - BNSR Industries Ltd.