Infrastructure, energy and green technology are new thrust areas for Canada-India ties

Infrastructure, energy and green technology are expected to propel Canada-India business ties into a different league in the coming years, Peter Hall, Chief Economist, Export Development Canada said June 15.

Hall was addressing around 100 members and invited guests at the Speaker Series of Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce at a downtown hotel in Toronto.

“Overall, the economic opportunities between Canada and India are growing exponentially, especially in certain select spheres such as infrastructure, energy and green technology,” Hall said.

Canada’s exports and trade with India remains very low compared to the potential, EDC’s Chief Economist emphasized. While agricultural produce and fertilizers presently contribute as much as 50 percent of exports to India from Canada, he envisages greater opportunities developing in segments catering to key industries like aerospace and even the auto sector.

Analyzing the Indian economy at present and its future trends, Hall explained that India is presently adding around 120 – 150 million net new workers to the global work force each decade. While most countries including Canada and China will be experiencing a net reversal of labor trends i.e. retiring workers will exceed those joining the workforce as result of aging populations, India will continue to benefit from its younger demographic as around 50% of its population is under the age of 25.

However, Hall emphasized the shift from an agrarian to a services based economy and consequently, the emerging need for additional resources to educate, train and retool the changing workforce demographic.

He added that the Government of India is now actively inviting the very substantial investments needed from external partners to fuel the country’s tremendous infrastructural requirements across several sectors.

This presents a unique opportunity for “Brand Canada” to market its specialist products and services across several areas e.g., mining, power, education etc., and lend support to India, he said.
Vijendra Gairola, Chief Representative-India, spoke about the different packages offered by the organization in India through its five representative offices. “Outside of Canada, EDC’s India network is one of the largest,” he said.

Pankaj Mehra, Director, Trade & SME, said, “Mr. Hall’s session this evening is part of the Chamber’s continuing efforts to provide a platform to generate fresh approaches to take the Canada-India bilateral trade to an altogether new level.” He asked the audience to stay tuned for various similar initiatives being planned in the near future.

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