Leading businesspersons, industrialists and government officials of Canada will hold roadshows in the state in an attempt to explore business opportunities and foster relationship between India and Canada, Canadian High Commissioner to India said at an event in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
Nadir Patel, High Commissioner of Canada to India, was present in Ahmedabad on Thursday for an interactive session with the representatives of Indo-Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC) where he announced that roadshows will be held between September and November.
“All the details (of the roadshows) are being worked out with ICBC and local chambers of commerce in Gujarat and this will be from mid-fall season. The goal is two-fold – first to bring Canadian companies to Gujarat so that they can witness the opportunities over here and while we are here, we will also showcase the Canadian opportunities to the Indian and Gujarat-based companies. Through the roadshows, we will attempt to visit cities such as Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Bharuch, Baroda and others. The roadshows will be led by senior representation from the high commission, consulate, trade programmes and senior business leaders,” said Patel while speaking to The Indian Express.
Patel has been the High Commissioner to India for the past five years and as part of the Canada government, he said bilateral trade between the two countries have grown exponentially in the recent past.
“We’ve seen the two-way trade grow by 60% in the past five years. If the investment was $4.5 billion five years ago, it is expected to rise by $32 billion by 2024. There are over 1,000 Canadian companies with interests in India and 532 of them have their physical presence here. The Indian tourism in Canada is valued at $0.5 billion per year and the impact of Indian students studying and working in Canada is touted at $5 billion. All this proves that both the countries are crucial to each other,” said Patel.
The High Commissioner laid out the future road map ahead for the bilateral trade between India and Canada saying that business opportunities lie in sectors that haven’t been explored yet.
“We believe in diversification of our business interests in sectors such as healthcare, defence, creative industry such as cinema and digital industry such as artificial intelligence and big data. We also look forward to awareness building by creating a brand of Canada and marketing it in India and expanding the breadth and length of our relationship with India,” said Patel.
Patel also spoke about the necessity of moving out of metropolitan cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai to look for business opportunities in India.
“In Delhi or Mumbai, we are competing with 170 other ambassadors and consulate generals for the same business attention but when we come to Ahmedabad, Rajkot or Surat, we are welcomed with open arms and there is a lot more potential as the level of engagement is lesser than in metros. We see the potential to grow much greater in these cities than in Delhi or Mumbai,” said Patel.