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India, Canada should lead the way on respecting diversity, says Justin Trudeau

Speaking at an event organised by the Canada-India Mumbai Business Forum, Justin Trudeau said at a time the world is closing in on the issue of immigration, Canada has opened its doors as it is a 'positive advantage' to be open to international talent.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: February 21, 2018 8:00:34 am
Justin Trudeau and Chanda Kochhar on Tuesday at the Canada-India Mumbai Business Forum. (Photo by Pradip Das)

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said that India and Canada should lead the way in respecting diversity, and that on his maiden visit to India as Prime Minister he highlighted the country’s pluralism to his three children. Speaking at an event organised by the Canada-India Mumbai Business Forum at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba, Trudeau said that at a time the world is closing in on the issue of immigration, Canada has opened its doors as it is a “positive advantage” to be open to international talent.

“One of the things I really wanted to share with them (his children) is the extraordinary diversity of India. Being able to go to a beautiful mandir, to be able to go to the Golden Temple tomorrow, to be able to go to a mosque later in the week. The highlight, the extraordinary diversity and pluralism of India, which isn’t without its challenges, but to understand that diversity of views, background is an incredible source of strength, a source of resilience in an organisation, in a community and country,” he said. “I think it’s a sign of maturity in a community and certainly, a country like India and Canada should be leading the way on respecting diversity….”

Trudeau said that in politics and societies, particularly in the west, there is a concern about the impact of trade and globalisation on ordinary citizens. “There is an anxiety that perhaps the success that we have been creating hasn’t been contributing to the well-being of the individuals, workers and their families. And at a time that the world, in many ways, is closing off and turning away from trade, Canada is really proud that we have been signing big trade agreements,” Trudeau said. He said India has an approach similar to that of Canada and he was “very, very excited” about what the two countries are doing. In the morning, Trudeau met Indian business leaders and had a one-and-a-half hour roundtable with woman business leaders.

In conversation with ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar later, Trudeau said, “We talk about business-to-business, government-to-government. For me, I’d like to think of it as people-to-people. Entrepreneurs working together. Employees-employers figuring out better ways to engage. And also the student connections. In fact, we have 1,25,000 Indian students coming to Canada every year.” “Coming out of meetings this morning and a few other meetings we have had, we are able to announce today over 5,000 new jobs in Canada and over $1 billion of (Indian) investment in Canada,” Trudeau said.

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