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India-Canada trade has potential to grow: Canadian Minister

IANS | Kolkata |

The bilateral trade between Canada and India which is currently at 10 billion Canadian dollars (US $7.97 billion) is set to grow in the coming years as there is a “lot of potential” for it, a Canadian Minister said here on Monday.

According to Amarjeet Sohi, Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the North American country offers opportunities to Indian companies to work with Canadian firms and invest in Canada.

“The bilateral trade has increased significantly… We see lot of potential to grow bilateral trade,” said Sohi.

There are close to 1,000 Canadian companies doing business in India while more than 200 firms of Indian origin are doing business in Canada, he told reporters at an interactive session on India-Canada trade relations organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce here.

“We will be investing close to 180 billion Canadian dollars over the next 10 years for creating new infrastructure in public transportation system, trade and transportation corridors, airports, ports, oil and gas, mining and natural resources and many others and this will provide a huge opportunity for Canadian and Indian companies. Canada is open to business,” Sohi said.

Close to 10 billion Canadian dollars were invested by Canadian pension funds in the infrastructure sector in India, he said.

“We will make sure more Canadian companies are able to invest in India and Indian companies too can invest in Canada,” Sohi said, adding that there is a huge potential for improving bilateral cooperation in the agriculture sector.

The number of Indian students in Canada has been increasing over the last two years and more than 150,000 students of Indian origin are currently studying in Canada, he said.

Sohi said India is the greatest source of immigrants for Canada and close to 1.5 million people of Indian origin have made Canada their home.