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September 25, 2009 (11:15 a.m. EDT)
No. 274

Minister Day Expands Canada’s Economic Presence in India

Fulfilling a commitment made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today expanded Canada’s economic presence in India by opening a new trade office in Ahmedabad, in the state of Gujarat.

“With a total of eight trade offices in India, our government has created one of Canada’s most extensive trade networks anywhere in the world,” said Minister Day. “This new trade office will help bring us closer to our goal of doubling our two-way trade with India over the next five years, to reach $10 billion annually.”

Along with existing trade offices in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and Chandigarh, the new office will provide market intelligence and expert advice to help Canadian companies to take advantage of trade and investment opportunities in this highly sought-after market.

“By strengthening the Canada-India economic partnership, our government is also giving Canada’s growing Indo-Canadian community, in particular our important Gujarati community, more business and trade opportunities in Gujarat,” said the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

Ahmedabad is the commercial centre of Gujarat, a western state that accounts for almost 7 percent of the Indian economy and whose ports handle most of the country’s incoming and outgoing cargo.

“The opening of new trade offices and discussions on both a comprehensive economic partnership agreement and a nuclear cooperation agreement clearly demonstrate our commitment to strengthening trade relations with India,” said Minister Day. “It was a pleasure to come back here and celebrate yet another milestone in the growing economic partnership between India and Canada.”

Canadian two-way merchandise trade with India reached an all-time high of $4.6 billion in 2008, up 22.5 percent over 2007. Merchandise exports to India in 2008 totalled $2.4 billion—an increase of an impressive 35 percent over the year before—and the commercial relationship between the two countries continues to grow.

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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

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada