Sell n-reactors to India, apex body tells Canada

October 6th, 2008 - 12:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Oct 6 (IANS) The Canada-India Business Council (C-IBC) has urged Canada to resume sale of nuclear reactors to India after the recent lifting of nuclear embargo on it.The apex trade body has also expressed concern over denial of business visas to Indians that is hampering the growth of trade between the two countries.

“At $4.1 billion currently, our annual trade is not very high. To boost it, you need exchanges of visits by business people. But visas are being denied to Indian business people who want to visit Canada,” C-IBC outgoing president Kam Rathee told IANS.

“Canadian businesses want their Indian counterparts to come here, but the Canadian mission in India does not want to issue them visas. To remove this irritant is our priority number one,” he said.

Compared to the US, the UK and Australia, he said, Canadians have been very slow in taking advantage of business opportunities in India.

“Canada never learnt about these opportunities as more than 90 percent of its business is with the US. But now they have realized it and I hope that once the major irritants like denial of business visas are removed, the trade will pick up,” said Rathee.

The recent lifting of nuclear embargo on India offered a great opportunity for Canadians, he said.

“The newly signed India-US nuclear deal will create 250,000 jobs in America. Canada should also create jobs selling nuclear reactors to India as they did in the past. The C-IBC will have talks with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to ask them to grab these new opportunities India offers,” said Rathee.

The coming boom in the Indian mining sector, he said, offered another big opportunity for Canadian companies in India.

“Only now have India realized how much wealth is lying beneath it. The Indian mining sector is set to boom. Canada should move in quickly to grab these opportunities as it has the best expertise in mining.”

Rathee said the sagging Canadian auto industry could also benefit by getting auto parts from India. “They can even have their cars assembled in India at a much cheaper cost and get them shipped over here.”

He said the two countries also need to deepen their relationship in the field of education. “Compared to the number of Indian students (18,500 in 2007) going to Australia, Canada has just 2,700-plus students from India. That is why we are taking an education mission to India next month to facilitate one-on-one talks between universities and educational institutions,” he said.

Founded by Bata Shoe Company owner Thomas Bata in 1982, the C-IBC represents about 130 companies with the aim of promoting trade ties between India and Canada.

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