Background

Canada and India have a longstanding bilateral relationship built on principles of democracy, interpersonal connections, and pluralism. This connection is strengthened with a growing Indian diaspora in Canada and by renewed government efforts by to diversity the partnership arrangements between the two countries. During Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s official visit to Canada in 2015, the two Prime Minister’s agreed to elevate their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership. Both Prime Minister’s emphasized the historic significance of this visit in advancing bilateral ties to a new marked level with: “नया उत्साह: नए कदम – New Vigour: New Steps”. During the visit, sixteen commercial agreements and announcements were established by Canadian and Indian companies and organizations. This was coupled with a commitment to increase annual bilateral trade and finalize Canada-India’s free-trade agreements under current negotiation and restructuring.


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Steady Progress

The Canada-India relationship has been growing steadily over the last decade. Canada and India have signed several bilateral agreements in diversified areas including; audio-visual co-production, nuclear energy, social security, science and technology and air transport.

Canada’s newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphasized that Canada’s position remains strong in maintaining and enhancing the relationship Canada currently has with India. With India committing to a five-year uranium deal amounting to $350 million with Cameco (Saskatewan based energy company), it became evident that this renewed energy relationship has the potential of changing the face of Canada-India Relations. This new deal is projected to gain significant momentum for an early visit to India by Canadian PM Justin Trudeau. While Trudeau has already been active in building his international profile, this would act as a statement for the New Liberal Party to further enhance its’ engagement to new levels. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Canadian counterpart Stéphane Dion will resume the Strategic Dialogue between the two countries, which was interrupted earlier this year by the Canadian parliamentary election.

Canada's Current Interests in India

Trade

  • Bilateral trade in merchandise between Canada and India reached approximately $6.3 billion in 2014 and grew approximately 10 percent from 2013 to 2014 doubling in the past decade
  • Bilateral trade in services reached approximately $1.5 billion in 2013 (mainly in form of engineering and financial services)
  • Two way trade is also important, worth approximately $4.4 billion in 2013

Investment

  • Canada’s investment is rooted in India’s manufacturing facilities (railways, automotive, machinery/equipment and agri-food products) and in real-estate 
  • Canadian key exports to India mainly consist commodities (root, tuber vegetables, precious metals and stones, coins, ores, slag and ash, pulses, fertilizes, pulp and paper)
  • Imports from India include precious metals, stones, organic chemicals, machinery and iron and steel products

Diaspora and Tourism

  • The Indian diaspora in Canada consists of nearly 35,000 students (2013) and overall, contributes to an estimated $584 million to the Canadian economy
  • Indians also contribute to Canadian tourism with over 180,000 tourist visits in Canada in 2014, which has increased substantially in recent years

Innovation and Technology

  • The Agreement for Scientific and Technology Cooperation between Canada and India is the foundation for various new science and technology based partnerships underway
  • Innovation is a significant area of focus for partnership between Canada and India given their respective progress and expertise exemplified in recent years within this field

Bilateral Sectors