January 21, 2009 (9:00 a.m. EST)
No. 15

Minister Day Opens New Trade Office in India

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today officially opened a new Canadian trade office in Hyderabad, India, to promote and facilitate trade in the region.

"India is a dynamic, rapidly growing market that represents a huge opportunity for Canadian goods, services and technology. A new trade office in Hyderabad will give Canadian companies another competitive edge in a highly sought-after market," said Minister Day. "Combined with existing trade offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Chandigarh, this new office will provide market intelligence and expert advice to help Canadian companies take advantage of trade and investment opportunities."

The opening of trade offices, such as the one in Hyderabad, fulfills the commitment made by Prime Minister Harper last April during a speech to the Canada India Foundation in Toronto. Canada now has seven trade offices in India, making Canada's network of trade offices there its largest outside the United States.

Minister Day also announced the opening of a new trade office in Ahmedabad by April 2009. Ahmedabad is the commercial centre of Gujarat, a western state that accounts for almost seven percent of the Indian economy and whose ports handle most of the country's incoming cargo.

The Government of Canada has identified India as a priority market under the Global Commerce Strategy, which provides $50 million per year to further develop Canada's trade and investment interests at home and abroad.

Canada-India commercial relations are growing and diversifying. In 2007, two-way merchandise trade increased four percent to an all-time high of $3.74 billion and two-way direct investment reached $652 million. There are market opportunities for Canadian companies in agriculture and agri-food, service industries, infrastructure, information and communications technology, oil and gas, electrical power and the aerospace and defence sectors.

"Canadian businesses have been asking us to increase our Canadian Trade Commissioner Service presence abroad, and today is one more concrete example of how our government is helping those businesses expand their horizons," concluded Minister Day.

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For further information, and high-resolution pictures of Minister Day's visit to India, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-6186

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000