Future looks bright after ‘Year of India in Canada’

By Raj Sahni, Bennett Jones LLP

With the official “Year of India in Canada” having just ended, it is worth reflecting on the year’s success and the opportunities for India and Canada to build stronger trade and economic ties. Among notable events in 2011, Toronto hosted Pravasi Bharatyia Divas (PBD) Canada last summer, one of the most successful PBD events to be held outside of India, with a strong focus on economic and business activity between the two countries.

Raj Sahni Partner Bennett Jones
Raj Sahni
Bennett Jones

EEPC India (formerly the Engineering Export Promotion Council) was the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show’s 2011 Strategic International Partner, hosting a pavilion with a focus on innovative Indian engineering. Indeed, “Indo-vation”, as it has become known in business circles, was and remains a hot topic for Canadian business leaders. The remarkable C$35 (US$35) tablet computer distributed by the Indian government (and produced in partnership with a Canadian company) and the Tata Nano are often cited as examples of how India is leading the charge on innovative low-cost products for mass markets.

Such efforts are paying off. Two-way trade between India and Canada is currently approximately C$5 billion, close to double what it was in 2005. Prime ministers Manmohan Singh and Stephen Harper have exchanged visits over the past two years, and both have focused on efforts to increase trade to C$15 billion by 2015, including by reaching a comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

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Raj Sahni is a partner and co-chair of the India business group at Bennett Jones, a leading Canadian law firm with offices in Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, and a representative office in Beijing.


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