Canadian foreign minister to open Kolkata trade office

March 6th, 2009 - 10:59 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghToronto, March 6 (IANS) Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon will visit India from March 13 to open his country’s new trade office in Kolkata.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper had announced the opening of two new trade offices in India - Hyderabad and Kolkata - last year at the first annual gala of the Canada-India Foundation. The Hyderabad office was opened by Stockwell Day, Canada’s minister’s for international trade, in January.

Apart from opening the Kolkata trade office, the Canadian foreign minister will also meet his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, Indian and Canadian sources said here Thursday.

Cannon is also likely to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Indian leaders.

However, there was no official announcement of the visit by the Canadian foreign office in Ottawa.

Cannon becomes the fifth Canadian cabinet minister to visit India during the past two months. In January, India hosted as many as three Canadian ministers - immigration minister Jason Kenney, international trade minister Stockwell Day and agriculture minister Gerry Ritz.

Last month, industry minister Tony Clement was in India, paving the way for closer nuclear ties between the two countries. Last year, Canada backed India at the Nuclear Suppliers Groups (NSG) to allow it access to nuclear technology and fuel. It followed this up in January by resuming nuclear ties with India which were frozen after New Delhi conducted its first nuclear test in 1974.

The Canadian nuclear industry is eyeing business worth billion of dollars through sale of uranium and nuclear technology to India. India and Canada are also working on a free trade agreement to deepen business relations.

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