Mayor of Canada’s ‘Indian city’ leads business trip to IndiaJanuary 27th, 2011 - 4:05 pm ICT by IANS
By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, Jan 27 (IANS) Canada’s ‘Indian city’ of Surrey is sending a big delegation to India next month in search of business and investment opportunities.Mayor Dianne Watts will lead the delegation comprising about 40 business and political leaders on an 11-day trip to India from February 10.
Surrey on the suburbs of Vancouver is the fastest growing city in Canada. It is home to the largest concentration of Indians - mostly Sikhs - in North America.
According to the latest figures, Indian immigrants account for almost 30 percent of the city’s population of 465,000.
The delegation will visit nine Indian cities - Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Jalandhar and Ludhiana - during their trip.
“India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and various businesses and companies in Surrey and surrounding areas will explore opportunities in that country during the trip. They will also look for investment from India to create jobs in Surrey,” a spokesperson for the mayor’s office told IANS.
“It is purely a business-centric trip and the mayor will have CEOs of various companies, bureaucrats and councillors (including Tom Gill and Barinder Rasode of Indian origin) in her delegation. We have received a great response from Indian businesses and companies seeking meetings with the delegation and we have a number of meetings currently being scheduled with elected officials,” the spokesperson said.
As India looks to sustain high levels of growth without causing environmental degradation, the delegation includes half a dozen companies in the clean energy sector, including Ballard Power Systems, Endurance Wind Power, Mantra Venture Group, Nexterra, Powertech Labs and Westport Innovations.
“This is one sector where our companies (Canada is the world leader in the clean energy sector) are looking for big opportunities in India,” the spokesperson said.
The delegation will also include companies from life sciences; finance and business services; wood and manufacturing; and information and communication technology.
As Canada seeks to increase enrollment from India, the mayor’s delegation will also include the local Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
With the two countries signing a MoU on cultural exchanges, the mayor is also taking representatives from the film industry with her.
“To be more effective, the delegation will be splitting and going to various cities,” the spokesperson said.
One of the most important Canadian cities from Indian perspective, Surrey has ‘friendship ties’ with the Punjab cities of Ludhiana and Jalandhar. “And we are visiting both cities as part of this trip,” the spokesperson said.
(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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