Calling Canadian companies to participate on a large scale in the biennial Seventh Vibrant Gujarat Summit, a high–level business delegation from the state today pitched for closer economic ties with Canada.
“Gujarat offers optimum level of opportunities for direct foreign investment in the state in wake of its unprecedented industrial growth, trade and development,” said Bharat Lal, Gujarat’s resident commissioner and leader of the 15-member delegation at a reception organised by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC).Lal highlighted investment opportunities in projects, including Dholera Special Investment Region (D-SIR), the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor as well as India’s first multi-services Special Economic Zone (SEZ) focusing on financial services, the Gujarat International Finance Tech (GIFT) City.
He pitched for closer cooperation with Canada in various fields including oil and gas, chemicals, diamonds, power, petrochemicals, infrastructure, among others.
Lal focused on the high level of economic development of Gujarat during the tenure of Narendra Modi as Chief Minister.
Bal Gosal, Canadian Minister of Sports, Akhilesh Mishra, Consul General of India, DP Jain, President of the ICCC, Naval Bajaj, former President of the ICCC, Frank Scarpitti, Mayor of Markham, and top executives of a number of Canadian companies also attended a road show on mega investment opportunities in Gujarat.
Gosal assured the delegation that a large number of Canadian companies would participate in the summit, to be held on January 11-13, 2015 in Gandhinagar.
He urged India to accelerate efforts to conclude a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that would stimulate trade and investment between the countries.
Tony Clement, Minister & President of Canada’s Treasury Board, is in India to held further discussions with the Indian government on this issue.
“Conclusion of the CEPA will be a historic achievement for both countries and it will improve market access for goods and services, eliminate tariffs and reduce non-tariff barriers to trade,” Gosal said.
The Minister said as a result of the newly liberalised Canadian visa regime, 23,000 Indians have received permanent resident status in Canada. 33,000 Indians have been granted super visa with approval rating of 97 per cent this year.
On July 7, the new Canadian policy on visas, dubbed CAN+, was unveiled by Chris Alexander, Canada’s minister for citizenship and immigration, while he met representatives of India’s education, business and tourism sectors in New Delhi.
Under the new programme, Canada will offer a streamlined six-month period for processing visas for Indians who have already spent time visiting Canada.
CAN+ will be available to Indians who have travelled to Canada or the US in the last 10 years, said Gosal.
The delegation at the roadshow projected the expanding prospects of the summit for Canadian companies in Gujarat which since 2003, when the first summit was launched, has turned itself from an “investor’s summit” to a “global business hub.”
The Gujarat roadshow for Canada’s greater participation in the “Vibrant Gujarat Summit-2015” was held for the first time in Canada’s business capital in May.
The biennial event was conceptualised and launched in 2003 by Prime Minister Modi.
The 7th summit, next year, will also witness seven partner countries, including Australia, Canada, Britain, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore and South Africa.
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