June 2016 \ Interviews \ India and Canada
“The Canada-India relationship is thriving on several fronts”

  • DREAM RUN: During H.E. Patel’s tenure, Air Canada introduced a direct flight between Delhi and Toronto (November 2015). An announcement has been made to introduce another one between Vancouver and Delhi in October 2016. Canada’s sizeable investment of about CAD 600 million in two dreamliner aircraft is a reflection of its long term business interest in India

Canada and India are taking their bilateral relationship to a new high. The man playing the role of a brisk catalyst and also one with an insider’s view of this heightened level of engagement, is Canadian High Commissioner to India, H.E. Nadir Patel. Facts speak for themselves—two way trade has gone up by nearly a billion and a half dollars in just a year. After a gap of nine years, a direct flight between Toronto and Delhi has been revived, and another one will be introduced between Vancouver and Delhi in October 2016, the combined investment of over half a billion dollars in two dreamliner aircraft indicative of Canada’s faith and marked confidence in the Indian market. Indian students studying in Canada have doubled in two years. In just about 12 months, 80 new Canadian companies have established a physical presence in India, taking the overall number to 380. To catch up and get a closer snapshot of this exciting phase between the two nations, Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty caught up with HC Patel for his second interview to India Empire magazine in the last 11 months

During our last interview with you in June 2015, you’d mentioned that Canada’s priorities include an ongoing focus on trade and investment. How have things progressed since?

We have seen unprecedented success since I last spoke to you. In 2014 - 2015, statistics say that we’ve seen 32 per cent increase in 2-way trade between Canada and India, in one year. It went from CAD 6.8 billion to CAD 8.2 billion. We saw roughly 34 per cent growth in exports from Canada. Two way investments have hit record levels as well. I think the total stock of Canadian investments in India has gone up several billion dollars just in the past year. So the bottom line is that in one year we’ve had record two-way trade, record investments, record exports, and all of this is important because even with the uncertainty in the global economy, the Canada-India trading relationship is thriving. In other indicators, when you look at tourism statistics both ways, they are increasing. Students studying in Canada from India have gone up dramatically. Educational collaboration is increasing quite a bit. And the number of Canadian companies doing business in India is about 700 now, of those 380 have a physical presence in India. And that’s gone up from 300 to about 380 in one year. So you have enough large manufacturing, small rep offices, it’s a real mix. But in the overall business, trade and investment side compared to June 2015 when we last met, a lot has happened.