Minister MacKay concludes successful Atlantic Gateway business mission to India



    MUMBAI, INDIA, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - The Hon. Peter MacKay, Minister of
National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
(ACOA), today concluded a successful five-day Atlantic Canada business mission
to Mumbai and New Delhi. The mission focused on expanding trade and business
opportunities between Canada and India, via the Atlantic Gateway.
    The delegation included 17 Atlantic Canadian business leaders
representing the transportation sector, and Ministers representing the four
Atlantic provinces.
    "There is a great deal of interest in the Atlantic Gateway on the part of
the Indian business community," said Minister MacKay.
    "Indian businesses are focused on getting their goods to North America as
quickly and efficiently as possible. This mission forged important links which
will build on the $3.6 billion in trade between our two countries, including
$1.7 billion in imports to Canada," Minister MacKay said.
    He added that a trade mission from India to Atlantic Canada is being
planned for mid- to late 2008.
    Delegates met with Indian business leaders to outline the significant
advantages of shipping goods from India to North America through Canada's
Atlantic Gateway.
    To this end, Minister MacKay hosted two forum discussions with senior
decision makers from various Indian manufacturing companies, shipping lines
and freight forwarders co-hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry
(CII). He also met with Indian business leaders, including Capt. Rustom
Dastoor, CEO of the DP World Nhava Sheva Terminal; Mr. Shashi Ruia, Chairman
of the Essar Group, the new owner of Canada's Algoma Steel; and Mr. S. Shahzad
Hussain, Chairman of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust.
    Minister MacKay also held discussions with government representatives in
India, including Mr. Shri Kamal Nath, Indian Minister of Commerce, and
Mr. Ashok Chavan, Maharashtra State Minister of Industries.
    The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Canadian Manufacturers
and Exporters (CME) signed a Letter of Intent during the mission to explore
ways of expanding trade between the two countries.
    "This agreement will provide an important mechanism for increasing trade
between Canada and India," said Minister MacKay.
    The Honourable Denis Landry, Minister of Transportation for New
Brunswick, the Honourable Ron W. MacKinley, Minister of Transportation and
Public Works for Prince Edward Island, the Honourable Angus MacIsaac, Deputy
Premier, Minister of Economic Development, and Minister responsible for the
Atlantic Gateway in Nova Scotia, and the Honourable Paul Oram, Minister of
Business for Newfoundland and Labrador, also participated in the mission.

    For more information on Canada's Atlantic Gateway, visit
http://www.tc.gc.ca/GatewayConnects/Atlantic/AtlanticGateway.html.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/




For further information:

For further information: Chris Yonke, Office of the Honourable Peter
MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., (902) 426-4414 (Office), (902) 426-4365 (Fax); Alex
Smith, Director of Communications, ACOA Nova Scotia, (902) 426-9417

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Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

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