15 Feb : Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, during his bilateral meeting with the Canadian Minister of Industry, Mr Tony Clement, here today has informed that there are extensive opportunities available in India for joint ventures/investments by Canadian companies in sectors such as infrastructure, automobile, power generation, petroleum, mining, environment, etc. “India needs $ 480 billion investment in infrastructure in the next 5 years.”, the Minister informed. Industry Secretary, Shri Ajay Shankar, and senior officials from both the sides were also present on the occasion.
Commenting at the growth in bi-lateral trade between India & Canada which has increased from USD 1.4 billion in 2003-04 to USD 3.2 billion in 2007-08, Shri Nath stated that while this is a healthy increase of 2.5 times, the two countries are only just warming up to realising the huge trade potential between the two countries. As regards FDI inflows from Canada to India, the Minister stated that momentum needs to be built up as during the period April 2000 to October 2008, FDI inflows have been US $ 262 million – just 0.27% of the total FDI inflows in the country.
Speaking about the huge potential which exists for Indo-Canadian cooperation, Shri kamal Nath said, “India which is among top producers of vegetables and fruits in the world, requires Canadian expertise in food processing sector, both in terms of financial participation as well as technology and this will add value addition and also save huge amount of products from wastage as only 4% is processed. Other sectors where there is immense potential for cooperation include auto-parts & Pharma. Indian capabilities in the auto parts sector have been widely acknowledged and India is fast emerging as a major auto-parts global hub. Pharma companies of the two countries can gain a great deal by collaborating with each other for large scale production of existing compounds at reasonable cost.”
As regards WTO, Shri Nath reiterated that, “India continues to believe that a multilateral trading regime based on fair and transparent rules best serves the needs of developing countries. The global financial and economic crisis makes it even more compelling to conclude the Doha Round. Since development is at the heart of the Round’s objectives, it would specially help developing countries in tackling their problems of poverty and unemployment through expansion of trade opportunities. The Round presents a historical opportunity to the WTO Membership to remove the distortions and structural flaws in agricultural trade and to take forward liberalisation of trade in non-agricultural products as well as in Services along with developing tighter disciplines in the areas of Anti Dumping, Subsidies and Countervailing measures etc”.