India, Canada to bolster business ties

April 14th, 2008 - 9:48 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) India and Canada are set to invigorate their business ties when Canadian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Helena Guergis comes here Tuesday on a two-day visit. Guergis is likely to meet External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Commerce Minister Kamal Nath and discuss with them ways and means to deepen political and economic ties between India and Canada, home to a large and influential Indian diaspora.

The 39-year-old Canadian politician from the Conservative Party will address top Indian corporate leaders Wednesday and ask them to step up investment in Canada.

Big Indian corporate houses like the Tatas, Aditya Birla Group and Ranbaxy are already established in Canada.

Economic ties between the two countries, however, remain much below potential, with bilateral trade just about $4 billion.

The issue of civil nuclear cooperation between India and Canada, an influential member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), may also be discussed between Guergis and Indian ministers.

Canada was the first nation to impose a nuclear embargo against India in 1976 as, according to Ottawa, India’s 1974 nuclear test device allegedly used plutonium produced in the Canadian-supplied CIRUS reactor.

Canada refused to buy India’s explanation that the 1974 test was a “peaceful nuclear implosion.”

However, the emergence of India as an economic power and global player may lead to a rethink, specially as Canada’s well-equipped nuclear industry is already lobbying their government to allow it to cash in on billion dollar nuclear trade deals after the NSG decides on re-opening nuclear trade with India.

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