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Immigration brings Canada and South Asia close

For many years, India has been one of Canada’s top three source countries for immigrants. Canada expects this trend to continue in the years ahead and for the numbers of Indo-Canadians to continue growing within Canada.

To cement the growing strategic alliance between Canada and South Asia, Tim Uppal, Canada’s Minister of State for Multiculturalism, recently visited Pakistan and India.

While in Pakistan, Uppal met with vaccinators, doctors and UNICEF staff to announce Canada’s latest contribution in the fight to eradicate polio in Pakistan and around the world. 

He also visited the Badshahi mosque, Gurdwara Nankana Sahib and Joseph Colony (a Christian community in Lahore); and met with federal and provincial Pakistani ministers.

As part of the trade mission to India with stops in Amritsar, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Anandpur Sahib and Jalandhar, Uppal met with Canadian and Indian businesses, Indian ministers and trade officials to promote greater trade between the two countries.

While in India, he participated in two conferences – the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference in New Delhi and the Pravasi Punjabi Divas Sammelan conference in Anandpur Sahib and Jalandhar. Both conferences provided Uppal the opportunity to participate in discussions about the Indian diaspora in Canada and around the world. He also took the opportunity to meet with community leaders and elected officials from many different countries to discuss multiculturalism.

Tens of thousands of Indians continue to make the journey to Canada every year, to help the economy and, in many cases, to settle permanently and become Canadians.

“Canada’s diversity is one of our greatest strengths,” said Uppal. “With over one million Canadians of Indian heritage living in our great country, we hope to capitalize on our close ties to strengthen our trade relationship.” 

• Nearly 25,000 Indians became permanent residents in Canada from January to September 2013.
• Canada is also a popular destination for Indian youth. Citizenship and Immigration Canada approved more than 15,104 study permit applications and extensions from Indian citizens in the first three quarters of 2013.

Posted: Mar 5, 2014

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