India invites Canadian firms to develop mining sector

March 4th, 2009 - 2:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, March 4 (IANS) India has sought Canadian mining knowhow to exploit its mineral resources.
Speaking at the end of the global mining meet by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) here Tuesday, India’s Deputy High Commissioner Narinder Chauhan urged Canada to take advantage of opening of India’s mining sector.

Highlighting how the mining sector will become a key component of the Indian growth story, the diplomat said this sector currently accounts for 2.6 percent of the country’s GDP, and that it was set for a big growth.

With its liberalisation under the new mining policy, Chauhan said, this sector will become an important component of the nation’s economy, offering huge opportunities for Canadian companies.

The deputy high commissioner said the new mining policy introduced last year allowed 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the mining sector.

This step opens up “possibilities of collaboration from private partnership (PPI) to joint venture to tie-ups” for Canada, which is the undisputed world leader in this sector.

“Canada with its vast natural reserves and a leading global player in the mining sector can be a natural partner in the Indian mining sector,” Chauhan said.

The diplomat told Canadian mining companies that despite the global meltdown, India continued to grow by seven percent and remained a favourite destination for FDI.

Though India-Canada trade has grown 25 percent annually to reach $4.5 billion in 2008, it remained “below the potential that exists between our two countries”, Chauhan said.

Additional secretary Vijay Kumar, who led the 21-member Indian mining delegation to the global gathering, said interactions with Canadian and other global mining companies were “fruitful”.

“We showcased India’s mining potential, with emphasis on Orissa and Chhattisgarh. We want global companies to take advantages of opportunities India offers now,” he said.

Maintaining that the landmark legislation will change the Indian mining sector, Kumar said: “Though we have three to four major Canadian companies operating in India, we want other smaller companies to come and help us exploit our natural resources.”

Hemant Shah, chairman of the mining committee of the Canada-India Business Council (C-IBC), said the India-Canada partnership in mining will make for a “perfect marriage”.

“Mining is Canada’s strong suit, and India has all the natural resources and opportunities for the mining industry.”

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