Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday embarked on a two-nation tour of Canada and the US, during which he will hold talks with top industry leaders of those countries and political leaders to boost investment opportunities in the state. Given the state’s finances and the burden of bearing the cost of big-ticket infrastructure projects at this stage, senior government sources confirmed that funding for such key projects would be the mainstay of his week-long visit.
He is accompanied by senior bureaucrats from the industries and the information technology department. The CM’s Additional Chief Secretary Praveen Pardeshi is also a part of the touring delegation.
According to the tour’s itinerary, the CM-led delegation will hold talks with experts in the field of artificial intelligence and agricultural technologies in Canada’s Montreal. In March, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who had come to Mumbai, had extended an invite to Fadnavis to visit the country. An MoU between the Canadian government and the state for setting up an artificial intelligence centre in Mumbai was also signed during Trudeau’s visit.
During the second leg of his trip, the CM will visit New York, Washington and San Francisco in the United States. Following the signing of an MoU with Richard Branson’s Virgin Hyperloop for building a hyperloop network between Mumbai and Pune, the delegation will visit Virgin Hyperloop’s trial centre in San Francisco.
In Washington DC and New York, the CM’s tour planners have lined up a series of meetings with the World Bank for funding of key projects. Also lined up are talks with information technology giants, including Oracle, Apple, CISCO and Google.
The Amazon group will also host the Chief Minister, where he will be felicitated for the initiatives by the state government in the IT sector, the CMO said.