Canada India Foundation applauds Canadian Government on efforts to sign nuclear pact with India

    OTTAWA, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - Canada India Foundation commends the Harper
Government for taking a bold new step forward in Indo-Canadian relations by
advancing the negotiations for a nuclear cooperation agreement. In his first
visit to India last week, Hon. Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade,
has taken the bi-lateral relationship to a new level by furthering discussions
toward a pact which, if consummated, will position Canada as a strategic
partner for India in securing its energy self-sufficiency and security. Canada
is one of the few countries that can provide an "end to end" solution for
India's nuclear energy needs - technology, materials and know-how and skilled
workers from a full range of nuclear support industries. In doing this, Canada
recognizes India as a responsible user of nuclear materials and technology for
peaceful civilian purposes and will substantially augment India's energy
sources which are so critical to the sustained growth of India's robust
economy. At home, in the context of the global economic meltdown, nuclear
engagement with India will auger well for Canada in developing and deploying
knowledge workers, scientists and business professionals to advance Canada's
business interests in India.
    "The Government is now on the right track," stated Manoj Pundit,
spokesperson for Canada India Foundation. "In fact, we would like to see
Canada marshal its resources and develop a diversified energy industry cluster
here at home with the objective of making Canada the world's leader in energy
self-sufficiency for partner countries like India."
    Minister Day is to be further commended for officially opening two new
trade offices (Hyderabad and Kolkata) and announcing the planned opening of
Canada's newest trade office in Gujarat in April 2009.
    Canada India Foundation is also pleased that January 2009 saw a focused
and concerted effort by several other members of the Government of Canada to
engage with India. Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and
Multiculturalism visited Delhi and Chandigarh to promote Canada's immigrant
investor program and Hon. Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture visited New
Delhi where he signed an MoU to enhance agricultural cooperation between
Canada and India.
    CIF is delighted that MP Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senator Consiglio Di Nino, Chair of the Senate
Foreign Affairs and International Trade committee in the last session of
Parliament and Vice Chair of the Canada India Interparliamentary Association
attended the Parvasi Bharatiya Divas Conference in Chennai where MP Obhrai
received the highest award given to a non-resident Indian, the Parvasi
Bharatiya Samman Award by the President of India. We are also pleased with the
visit by Senator Di Nino and MP Patrick Brown, Chair, Canada India
Interparliamentary Association to Gujarat to attend the 4th Annual Vibrant
Gujarat Global Investors Summit. Senator Di Nino and MP Brown also had the
opportunity to meet with the Chief Minister Narendra Modi, as part of a larger
Canadian delegation.
    "Canada India Foundation urges the Harper government to move forward with
other joint initiatives with India which include signing the Foreign
Investment Protection Agreement; strengthen cooperation in Afghanistan - a key
foreign policy priority for both India and Canada; and take active steps to
sign a terrorism cooperation agreement," added Ramesh Chotai, Co-chair of CIF.

For further information:

For further information: Manoj Pundit, CIF, (416) 816-0841

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