Canadian Prime Minister begins visit with a call for more trade

Published: Monday, November 16, 2009, 21:59 [IST]

Mumbai, Nov 16(ANI): Visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday began his three-day visit to India with a pitch to strengthen bilateral economic relations between the two countries.

Addressing a huge audience including eminent business delegates and the media, Harper said that India, the South-Asian tiger, had awakened. Heaping praise on the economic might of the country, he also acknowledged the growing political clout as well.

"Your country's growing economy and the political cloud is undeniable. You have one of the largest expanding economy; you are one of the world's largest middle classes. You are the world leader of science and technology boasting global giants like Infosys, Tata and Reliance. Ladies and gentlemen, the South-Asian tiger has indeed awakened and the world is standing in awe," Harper said.

Harper was all praise for Indian culture and heritage and said that he was happy with the reception he received.

Canada and India are discussing nuclear cooperation, clean energy and foreign investment agreements, on which the Prime Minister said that there was a need to deepen then relationship between both the countries, not only as a friend, but also as a partner.

"Our combined GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is well on the way to four trillion dollars. Yet, at the moment, we are five billion dollars worth of business per year. Where we are today is not where we ought to be. Yes, we are good friends and partners, but we could and should be better friends and partners," Harper said.

Canada has carried out eleven ministerial level visits in the last year alone and opened three new trade offices in Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad making India the largest site of trade network outside the United States of America. (ANI)

 

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