New Initiatives Between Canada And India

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India and Canada were “made for each other” as he met his Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the first time during which they reviewed bilateral ties including the progress on nuclear cooperation. Modi and Trudeau met on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit. This was their first meeting after Trudeau came to power in 2015. Canada and India witnessed the signing and finalization of six significant initiatives between Canadian and Indian government organizations, agencies and companies, which are representative of the significant growth that is taking place in the bilateral relationship.

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Civil Aviation
Transport Canada will finalize a memorandum of understanding with India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation that will promote collaboration and cooperation in areas such as airport development, planning and management; aircraft certification; regional and general aviation development; aviation safety and security; and skills development. It will also create a civil aviation working group, bringing together industry stakeholders from both countries.

Transport Canada signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Ministry of Railways that will foster communication, sharing of information and exchange of best practices in rail transportation, and help create potential opportunities for Canadian private sector investment in rail development projects in India.

Education and Skills Development
Thirteen memoranda of understanding were signed between India’s National Skill Development Council and canadian colleges and institutes in the fields of agriculture, apparel and textiles, automotive, aviation, construction, green economy, healthcare, hydrocarbons, information technology, telecom and electronics, sports sector, and water.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) signed an updated memorandum of understanding with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) that will in part recognize Indian launch capabilities for Canadian satellites. A memorandum of understanding between ISRO and the CSA on cooperation regarding outer space was first signed in 1996.

Social Security Agreement
The entry-into-force of the Canada-India Social Security Agreement will help eligible individuals qualify for retirement, disability or survivor benefits, and enable employees from Canada who are sent to work temporarily in India to continue to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan and be exempt from contributing to the Employees’ Pension Scheme of India.

Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Grand Challenges Canada and India’s Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology announced an investment of $2.5 million toward five innovative projects on newborn and early childhood development in India.

A Message from the Minister of International Trade
Canada has one of the most successful and prosperous economies in the world. One reason for this good fortune is our recognition that harnessing the power of TRADE and investment represents one of the most effective ways to drive economic growth and prosperity. In fact, trade is equivalent to more than 60 percent of our annual gross domestic product, and one in every five Canadian jobs is directly linked to exports.

That’s why, in 2007, the Government of Canada launched its Global Commerce Strategy-a comprehensive and strategic plan for expanding Canada’s trade network, strengthening our competitive position in our traditional markets, and extending our reach to new emerging markets. This strategy has been a resounding success, leading us to conclude seven different free trade pacts with no fewer than 37 countries.

At the same time, we are pursuing deeper trade and investment ties with many of the largest, most dynamic and fastest-growing markets in the world in order to enhance Canada’s competitive edge in a global economy that is fiercely competitive. The rapidly changing global economic landscape requires Canada to remain nimble and agile. I believe that, to stay competitive, we must keep challenging ourselves.

To this end, our government’s Economic action Plan 2012 committed to building on the success of the 2007 Global Commerce Strategy by consulting extensively with Canada’s business community to identify new markets, strengths and opportunities. These cross-country consultations included the critical small and medium-sized enterprises, which are the backbone of our economy. We were guided by an advisory panel of leading business and industry leaders. The result is the new Global Markets Action Plan. Under the Global Markets Action Plan, the Government of Canada will concentrate its efforts on the markets that hold the greatest promise for Canadian business. We will do this through vigorous trade promotion and ambitious trade policy. Most importantly, the focus will be on core objectives within those markets. In short, the plan will play to our strengths and ensure that all Government of Canada diplomatic assets are harnessed to support the pursuit of commercial success by Canadian companies and investors. We fully understand that, when Canadian companies succeed abroad, all Canadians benefit from the jobs and opportunities that are created at home.

By concentrating on core objectives within our priority markets, the Global Markets Action Plan will also entrench the concept of "economic diplomacy" as the driving force behind the Government of Canada’s trade promotion activities throughout its international diplomatic network. This new focus represents a sea change in the way Canada’s diplomatic assets are deployed around the world. In so doing, we are ensuring that Canada’s long-term economic success becomes one of our priority foreign policy objectives.

Notably, the plan also establishes ambitious yet achievable targets over the next five years to expand the export footprint of our SME community working in conjunction with government. That said, I firmly believe that our success will be defined not only by the number of new Canadian companies that begin to export but by the number and quality of the jobs that our plan will create.

Going forward, we will continue to work closely with government and industry stakeholders to keep the plan attuned to global trends and to align our government’s priorities and services with the needs of our exporters. Working together, we will build on our past successes to ensure a prosperous Canada that remains a global champion of trade.

Framing the Environment

Since the onset of the global recession of 2008-09, exporters have faced significant challenges. International trade activity was pummelled by the largest drop in global GDP since the Great depression. But it didn’t stop there. In spite of the unprecedented outpouring of global stimulus, a short spurt of growth fizzled into on-again, off-again performance as the world economy lived off the excesses accumulated in the pre-recession "years of plenty."

That’s all changing. Years of austere consumption and investment have created a groundswell of pent-up demand in OECD economies-we’re getting to a point where people and businesses simply can’t put off spending any longer. Leading indicators show that they are back at it: as we speak, a broadly based upswing in momentum is under way. At the same time, the cloud of gloom that has shrouded the world economy for half a decade is lifting. Confidence is up sharply in the United States, the European Union and Japan, hitting heights that we haven’t seen in years.

Another key development is adding to the momentum. Around the world, deep cuts to public spending have been a significant drag on growth for a number of years now. Those cutbacks are rapidly coming to an end, giving a significant lift to the global economy in 2014 and beyond.

Together, these recent developments strongly suggest that international trade activity is turning a very significant corner, and Canadian exporters are poised to benefit. Launching a trade strategy that reflects current global conditions and remains adaptable to changes will ensure that Canada is poised to continue to achieve success in global markets and enhance its competitive edge.

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