Economic Times: January, 2017
New Delhi: Canada is keen to boost its economic ties with India and would invite Indian funds for Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB).
Canada would welcome Indian participation in the CIB, the country’s Minister for Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi told ET. Sohi is the fourth Canadian Minister to visit India since the Trudeau government was voted to power and led his country’s delegation at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
CIB is being created by the Trudeau government in 2017 and the government is mandated to invest Canadian $35 billion. This is part of efforts to woo investments for Canada’s infrastructure sector.
Th two-way annual trade between the countries currently was at $6.3-billion in 2015 and is set to grow, according to Sohi.
Trade with India has grown 30 per cent from 2014, but the size of bilateral trade between the nations is relatively small, at about one-tenth the size of Canada’s annual trade flow with China.
"India is critical for Canada to engage with, as it is not only a growing economy, but a major player in the region," the Minister noted.
Canada’s largest pension funds and investment firms –Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan to Fairfax Financial and Brookfield Asset Management – have in recent invested billions of dollars into investments within infrastructure, real estate and even start-ups in India.
Canadian funds have invested close to $15-billion in India in recent years. "There is a lot of potential of that investment growing," said Sohi.
Leading Canadian firms focusing on urban infrastructure have lot of opportunities for collaboration and growth in that sector, according to Sohi.
Canada’s Bombardier, which has a manufacturing unit in Gujarat, has been a key supplier of rail locomotives and equipment to the metro systems in Delhi and Mumbai. Canada has been a steady partner of Vibrant Gujarat Summit for past many years and the first Western block country to reach out to Narendra Modi since his days as Chief Minister of Gujarat.