India a “critical partner”, says Canada in strategy to invest in visa processing at Delhi, Chandigarh

The Justin Trudeau-led Federal government on Sunday announced its Indo-Pacific strategy detailing the allocation of $2.3 billion (USD $1.7 billion) over the next five years in the region to strengthen ties in the region.

The newly unveiled strategy also lays emphasis on India being a “critical partner” to the country, especially for trade and immigration.

Among other things, The strategy aims at greater investment in visa processing as well as proposing a preliminary trade agreement.

The proposed Early Progress Trade Agreement (EPTA) comes as a first step towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries.

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Alongside cities like Manila and Islamabad, the strategy details an investment of $74.6 million to enhance the visa processing capacity in Delhi and Chandigarh.

The 26-page document lays emphasis on the need to contribute to the Indo-Pacific region, which is Canada’s second-largest regional export market, after the US, with annual two-way trade valued at $226 billion.

“Decisions made in the region will impact Canadians for generations, and it is critical that Canada be at the table,” read the document.

“India’s growing strategic, economic and demographic importance in the Indo-Pacific makes it a critical partner in Canada’s pursuit of its objectives under this strategy,” detailed the strategy further.

Alongside the trade and immigration agendas, Canada also aims to “accelerate cooperation in the fight against climate change” and “send enhanced Team Canada trade missions in priority sectors of mutual interest, such as renewable energy and clean technology” in India, according to the ‘India’ section of the trade agreement.




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