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International Trade Minister Ed Fast Encourages Strategic Alliances Between Indian and Canadian Auto Sectors

Minister visits Canadian subsidiaries in India and promotes Canada’s automotive expertise during week-long trade mission

(No. 336 - November 8, 2011 - 1:45 p.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today was in Pune, India, to encourage greater cooperation between India’s growing auto sector and Canada’s established capabilities in the industry, during a visit to a facility run by Magna International Inc.

“Increased production and a growing middle class are driving the growth of India’s auto industry, and world-leading Canadian companies are well placed to take advantage of these increased opportunities,” said Minister Fast. “With their proven expertise, Canadian firms can be excellent strategic partners for India as it seeks to continue its expansion in this key sector.”

Minister Fast also participated in a round table, sponsored by the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India, with senior executives of the automotive industry in the Pune region. Pune is home to many key companies in the Indian auto sector, including Bajaj Auto Ltd., Tata Motors Ltd., Fiat India Automobiles Ltd., Mercedes-Benz India Pvt. Ltd., Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd. and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

“It is a privilege to showcase our capabilities in India to Minister Fast,” said Herbert Demel, Executive Vice-President and President, Magna China, India, Southeast Asia, South America and Africa. “As Magna continues to grow globally, it is important that we bring with us the things that have made us successful—our diverse capabilities, our world-class engineering and manufacturing expertise, and our unique culture.”

India’s auto sector is a key driver of its job creation and economic growth. By some estimates, the $66-billion industry employs 800,000 people and contributes 6 percent to India’s gross domestic product.

“The auto sector is yet another example of how deepening the trade and investment ties between Canada and India will benefit both countries,” concluded Minister Fast. “Closer cooperation in an industry that is a key employer in both our economies is further evidence of the win-win benefits of strengthening the Canada-India partnership.”

For more information on Minister Fast’s visit to India, please visit: Trade Mission to India.

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A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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Backgrounder - Magna International Inc.

Magna International Inc. is the most diversified global automotive supplier. Magna designs, develops and manufactures technologically advanced automotive systems, assemblies, modules and components, and engineers and assembles complete vehicles, primarily for sale to original equipment manufacturers of cars and light trucks. Magna’s capabilities include the design, engineering, testing and manufacture of automotive interior systems, seating systems, closure systems, body and chassis systems, vision systems, electronic systems, exterior systems, powertrain systems, roof systems, hybrid and electric vehicles and systems, as well as complete vehicle engineering and assembly.

Magna has approximately 107,000 employees in 275 manufacturing operations and 85 product development, engineering and sales centres in 26 countries.

Magna India has approximately 725 employees in five manufacturing facilities and four product development, engineering and sales centres.