Canada will supply uranium to energy-starved India beginning this year over a period of five years, a decision which was termed as a launch of a new era of bilateral cooperation and mutual trust by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Under an agreement signed on Wednesday after comprehensive talks Modi had with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper, Cameco Corporation will supply 3,000 metric tonnes of uranium over five years to India at an estimated cost of USD 254 million.
The supply will start from this year, highly placed sources said. Canada is the third country to supply uranium to India after Russia and Kazakhstan.
The agreement on procurement of uranium from Canada for our civilian nuclear power plants launches a new era of bilateral cooperation: PM
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) April 15, 2015
The supplies will be under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.
This was announced by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper after talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi here.
India and Canada will resume commercial cooperation in the civil nuclear energy sector after decades, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today while hoping his visit would act as a “springboard” for taking the bilateral relationship to a new level.
“During this visit, our two countries will resume commercial cooperation in civil nuclear energy after decades.
This will be a defining symbol of our mutual trust and understanding, and of our willingness to look beyond the boundaries of the past to the opportunities of the future,” Modi wrote in an opinion piece in the Canadian paper ‘The Globe and Mail’.
Under a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Canadian producer Cameco Corp is expected to provide fuel for Indian reactors.
Asserting that the pessimism of the past about India has turned into optimism about the future, Modi said both countries will benefit immensely by an early conclusion of a Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.
“I have come to build a strategic partnership with Canada in pursuit of India’s economic transformation and a more peaceful, secure and stable future for our two countries,” he wrote.
“Our relationship has been adrift in the past. The potential of our partnership remained a promise on a distant shore. However, in recent years, India and Canada have begun rediscovering each other,” Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Canada in 42 years, said.
He lauded Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s efforts in promoting bilateral ties, saying he has led with great vision to chart a new, more purposeful course in the relationship.
“As in Canada, the relationship enjoys broad political support in India,” Modi said adding that a “close strategic partnership” between the two countries is natural.
“The second-most-populous country in the world has shifted economic gear,” he said.
Highlighting that India has become the fastest-growing major economy in the world, he said, “There is no area of national development priority in which Canada cannot be an important partner – energy and mineral resources, finance and infrastructure, manufacturing and technology, science and technology, and human resource development.”
“I hope to make this visit a springboard to take our partnership in trade, investment and innovation to a new level. We will encourage and facilitate closer engagement between our industries,” Modi said.
Talking about terrorism, Modi said India and Canada must strengthen their cooperation and seek a global response to the global menace.
“We must also prepare ourselves for the challenges in the cyberworld and outer space,” he said.
“Canada has decided to provide uranium to India over a period of five years,” Harper said at a joint press conference with Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Canada in 42 years.
Modi said, “The agreement on procurement of uranium from Canada for our civilian nuclear power plants launches a new era of bilateral cooperation” and a “new level of mutual trust” and confidence.
“The deal will enable India to power its growth using clean energy,” he said.
Canada had banned exports of uranium and nuclear hardware to India in the 1970s.
However, the two countries turned the page in 2013 with the signing of the Canada-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, paving the way for the uranium deal.
Noting that Canada has the potential to be a key partner in India’s national development priority, Modi said, “This is a growing relationship. Trade potential between our countries is enormous.”
“Prime Minister Harper and I are committed to establish a new framework for economic partnership,” the Prime Minister said, adding, “Ours is a natural partnership of shared values.”
“Our relationship had drifted in the past. In recent years, Prime Minister Harper’s vision and leadership changed the course of our relations. I am conscious of the significance of this visit in the history of our relations,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister, who is on a three-day visit to Canada, held wide-ranging discussions with Harper on a host of issues covering threats posed by terrorism besides exploring the huge potential for cooperation in energy, infrastructure, manufacturing and skills, smart cities, agro industries, research and education.
“I have come at a time when the importance of this relationship for our two countries has never been stronger. We are two major democracies with deeply shared values. Few countries in the world can match Canada’s potential to be a partner in India’s economic transformation. And, it exists in a new environment in India, which is open, predictable, stable and easy to do business in,” Modi said.
“Equally, the vast scale of India’s transformation, and our rapid economic growth, offers immense opportunities for Canada,” he said.
The Prime Minister said both he and Harper are “absolutely committed” to establish a new framework for economic partnership.
“I am confident that we can conclude the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement very soon. We will also implement the road map to conclude the Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement by September 2015,” he said.