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News Release Article from
15 April 2015
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, today attended a reception at Toronto’s Ricoh Coliseum to celebrate the special relationship that exists between Canada and India. The event was part of Prime Minister Modi’s two-day visit to Canada, which includes stops in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.
Hosted by the National Alliance of Indo-Canadians and attended by parliamentarians, dignitaries and members of Canada’s vast and vibrant Indian diaspora, the event provided Prime Minister Harper with the opportunity to pay tribute to a community that contributes so much to Canada’s cultural richness and economic strength. In his remarks, Prime Minister Modi expressed his continued commitment to further cementing the already strong bonds that unite Canada and India.
- Canada and India have longstanding bilateral relations built upon shared traditions of democracy and pluralism, and on strong interpersonal connections. Canada’s approximately 1.2 million Indian diaspora community is one of the largest Indian diasporas in the world.
- In 2010, Canada and India negotiated a bilateral cultural memorandum of understanding that allows for greater cultural exchange, including sports. In addition, an Audiovisual Coproduction agreement entered into force in July 2014.
- India is an important source country for immigration and foreign students to Canada. With a High Commission in New Delhi, Consulates General in Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai, and trade offices in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata, Canada’s presence in India ranks as its third-largest globally.
- India is Canada’s largest trading partner in South Asia and is a priority market under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan.
- With bilateral merchandise trade totalling nearly $6.33 billion in 2014, a market of more than 1.2 billion people, and a predicted economic growth of 7.5 per cent in 2015, India represents exciting opportunities for Canadian businesses.
- Prime Minister Harper first met Prime Minister Modi on the margins of the G-20 Summit in Australia in November 2014. Prime Minister Harper also visited India in November 2012 and November 2009.
- This is the first official bilateral visit to Canada by an Indian Prime Minister since 1973.
“It was a real pleasure today to introduce Prime Minister Modi to our vibrant Indo-Canadian community in the greater Toronto area and to pay tribute to their ongoing and invaluable contributions to our country.”
– Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“Canada and India enjoy a dynamic commercial and social relationship and share a commitment to democracy and pluralism. Canada’s remarkable and significant Indo-Canadian community is a driving force behind increasing the commercial and social ties between our two great nations.”
– Prime Minister Stephen Harper
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