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One million Indo-Canadians foster improved trade relations

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in India from November 3-9. “Canada enjoys a strong working and personal relationship with India, but we must strengthen the links between our two countries,” he said. “India is a growing economy with enormous potential, and expanding our trade and investment links with India will create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity here in Canada.”

During his visit, the Prime Minister met with India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other ministers and officials. He also addressed the World Economic Forum on India, an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders.

Trade between India, one of the fastest growing economies, and Canada is increasing. The strength of the ties between the two countries is also reflected in the estimated one million Canadians of Indian origin and the more than 23,000 Indian students that are currently studying in Canada, making India the second-largest source of foreign students to Canada.

During his visit, Harper and Prime Minister Singh witnessed the signing of the Canada-India Social Security Agreement. This will enable Canada and India to better coordinate the pension benefits and contributions for their citizens who have worked in both countries.

“Our government is committed to helping facilitate the flow of people and ideas between Canada and India,” said Harper. “The agreement will reduce the pension contribution costs for Canadian companies sending employees to India and ensure that those same Canadian employees receive the pension benefits they are entitled to for time spent working abroad.

This was Prime Minister Harper’s second official visit to India. He visited Agra, New Delhi, Chandigarh and Bangalore.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway; Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources; Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport); Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Democratic Reform); and Senator Asha Seth; along with representatives of the business and cultural sectors.

Posted: Dec 4, 2012

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