Canada’s Atlantic gateway welcomes Indian shipping: Defence Minister

February 21st, 2008 - 3:30 pm ICT by admin  

By Prabhat Sharan
Mumbai, Feb 21 (IANS) Canada is keen to have Indian shipping use its eastern coast as an Atlantic gateway to reach the American market faster, said a top Canadian minister. Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay said: “We are emphasising on this (Atlantic gateway) because if this trade route is taken through our eastern ports, cargo ships will save at least 72 hours in reaching the American market.”

“Although I went to Delhi and visited the defence expo, I am here more to foster bilateral trade between India and Canada,” Mackay, who is also minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, told IANS in an interview here.

He said that earlier Canada had not taken much action on boosting trade relations with India despite the fact that both countries shared similar values.

“But then, I am with a business delegation and we are going to explore possibilities of tying up or even come to a preliminary understanding with the cargo and shipping companies,” he said.

“After all, Canadian ports on the eastern side are gateway to the Atlantic and specially where the Nafta (North America Free Trade Agreement) region is concerned.”

“We have already lined up meetings with a number of shipping companies and are in discussions with many of them.”

MacKay said Canadian companies are keen to increase trade with India. “We want our companies to explore the market here for our goods.”

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