January 21, 2009 (9:30 a.m. EST)
No. 17

Minister Day Promotes Canadian Nuclear Technology in India

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, concluded very successful meetings in New Delhi with senior Indian ministers, during which he highlighted the strengths of the Canadian nuclear industry. Discussions were held with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, National Security Adviser M. K. Narayanan and Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal.

"Canadian companies are well positioned to capitalize on opportunities and to work cooperatively with Indian counterparts to meet the needs of India's civilian nuclear market," said Minister Day. "I was encouraged by the very positive response I received from the ministers with whom I met, and they made it clear that India welcomes the strong involvement of Canadian nuclear companies in this expanding market. During my meetings, I expressed Canada's interest in finalizing a bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement as soon as possible. Such an agreement would open up the civil nuclear market in India to Canadian companies while assuring the peaceful uses of Canadian supplied goods and technology."

In separate meetings with Indian ministers and the Indian business community, Minister Day was accompanied by the senior executives of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), SNC-Lavalin and Cameco. The executives noted the advantages of Canadian technology in terms of safety, reliability, efficiency, cost and familiarity to India. Canada's position as the leading exporter of high-quality uranium also featured in the discussions.

"We appreciate the leadership shown by Minister Day here in India to advance and position our Canadian technology, as well as the Canadian nuclear industry, and we look forward to future discussions," said AECL President and Chief Executive Officer Hugh MacDiarmid.

To meet its growing energy needs, India is expected to significantly expand its civilian nuclear program over the next 20 years, with market opportunities worth between $25 billion and $50 billion. Minister Day noted that Canadian companies are able to offer a full spectrum of technology, equipment, services, fuel supply and uranium to meet the needs of India's civilian nuclear market.

Minister Day is in India from January 18 to 22 to promote trade and investment cooperation with one of Canada's priority markets. As well as meeting with the Indian officials, he also met with prominent members of the Canadian and Indian business communities.

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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