Indo-Canada relations: Ontario Minister arrives in Delhi

Victor Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade of the Government of Ontario, arrived in New Delhi on Monday on a five-day official visit to India to improve bilateral trade ties. It is after a long gap that any Minister from Ontario has come on an official visit to India. There are over 900,000 Ontarians of Indian origin, the largest Indo-Canadian community in all of Canada.

During his visit, Minister Fedeli will engage with business leaders and promote Ontario at the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber’s Annual Convention in New Delhi and at the Canada-India Business Council’s Mumbai Forum in Mumbai.

He will meet with K.T. Rama Rao, Minister of Industries & Commerce, Municipal Administration & Urban Development, and Information Technology Electronics & Communications, Government of Telangana and  Uday Samant, Minister of Industries, Government of Maharashtra.

Minister Fedeli will also meet with Indian and Canadian senior business executives to further promote trade and investment between Ontario, Canada and India.

India and Canada have been working out modalities for more than a decade now to sign a Free Trade Agreement between the two nations as they have set a target of bilateral trade of 15 billion dollars that at present is hovering around the double-figure mark.

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In the lead-up to his visit, Minister Fedeli said: “Ontario and India have been long-standing economic partners for many years now. Our shared leadership in information technology and advanced manufacturing presents tremendous opportunities for mutual growth and collaboration. We look forward to meeting with our Indian counterparts to find new ways our two jurisdictions can work together to build a more prosperous tomorrow.”

This will be Minister Fedeli’s third trade mission to India following his virtual mission in 2020 and in-person mission in 2019. In 2021, two-way trade between Ontario, Canada and India was valued at C$3.7 billion. Currently, there are almost 70 Indian companies operating in Ontario, and more than 40 Ontario companies have a presence in India.

 Ontario has recently welcomed a number of significant investments from India including Infosys offers to create 500 new jobs, and HCL has promised 2000 jobs, including 1000 in Mississauga, Ontario and India share a number of Memorandums of Understanding that demonstrate our close relationship, including agreements in the IT, advanced manufacturing, education, agriculture and financial sectors.

Ontario maintains Trade and Investment Offices in Delhi and Mumbai to help Indian companies expand to Ontario, support Ontario small and medium-sized enterprises to expand their export capacity and promote Ontario’s trade and investment mandate.

Prabhjot Singh

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