Webinar with British Columbia, January 21, 2021

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Canada-India commercial exchange may grow to USD 200 billion in 3 yrs, says H.E Mr. Bisaria

Maharashtra has planned USD 40 billion public infra projects, while Andhra Pradesh has 40,000 acre land ready for new investors

“Canada can play an important role in realising India’s mission of USD 5 trillion economy in the next five years. Already, the size of bilateral engagement is USD 100 billion, including two-way trade, investment, education exchange and remittances. I expect this size to double in the next three years. India has an air bubble agreement with Canada and we have also launched flight connectivity between Vancouver and Delhi. Canada has also opened business visa for Indians. Currently, there are 1000 Canadian firms doing business with India and 600 of them have official presence in India. Around 100 Indian firms are doing business in Canada, many of them in software and ITES sectors,” said H. E. Mr. Ajay Bisaria, High Commissioner of India to Canada at a webinar on Canada (British Columbia)-India Trade and Investment Opportunities with special focus on Infrastructure (Engineering) sector. The webinar was jointly organised by Govt. of British Columbia, Canada, WTC Mumbai, BC-India Business Network and WTC Vancouver, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade.

H. E. Mr. Bisaria informed that Canada’s cumulative investment in India has grown from USD 5 billion in 2015 to USD 50 billion today. However, there is still untapped growth potential for bilateral investment as India can attract upto USD 160 billion foreign direct investment annually, the High Commissioner mentioned by quoting a study of Ernst & Yong.

Speaking on this occasion, Ms. Selena Basi, Assistant Deputy Minister, Trade and Industry Development – Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, Govt. of British Columbia, Canada remarked, “India and British Columbia can collaborate in promoting green economic recovery in the Post-Pandemic era, with focus on clean technology, renewable energy, smart city projects, and others. Around 60 companies from British Columbia do business with India, while 70 Indian companies have commercial ties with British Columbia. Engineering and architecture is one of the potential areas of collaboration between both the sides and India can explore partnership with 11 lakh engineering firms in British Columbia.”

Dr. Harshadeep Kamble, Development Commissioner – Industries, Govt. of Maharashtra delivered presentation on investment climate in Maharashtra, focus sectors and policy incentives given by the state to new investors. He gave an overview of the Industrial Policy 2019, which provides 20% additional incentives for food processing, biofuel and technology oriented sectors such as AI, robotics, additive manufacturing etc. He specifically pointed out, “Maharashtra has more than 30 mega projects lined up across the state. The state has planned USD 40 billion in public infrastructure projects, including Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, Mumbai TransHarbour Link, various metro rail projects and integrated industrial infrastructure projects across the state. The USD 7 billion Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway will be a game changer as it will have 19 industrial nodes, residential townships and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.”

Mr. Kamble informed that Maharashtra received USD 17 billion worth of foreign and domestic investment since the outbreak of the Pandemic. Maharashtra is planning a medical device park in AURIC, which is part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. The state’s industrial development agency MIDC has kept ready around 40,000 hectare of developed land for industrial investors to set up units in Maharashtra, Mr. Kamble informed.

Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Pratap Reddy Bhimireddy, Special Representative – Investment Promotion & Infrastructure Development, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh shared information about the investment attractiveness of Andhra Pradesh. He said, “Andhra Pradesh has second largest coastline in India and the state government is focusing on port-led industrial development. Andhra Pradesh has plenty of water resource and it offers cheap water supply to industry. The state has 300 industrial colleges, 500 Industrial Training Institutes and it ranks top in Ease of Doing Business. The state plans to set up one world class skill development centre in the constituency of every Parliament Member in the state. The state has acquired more than 40,000 acre of industrial land for allotting to prospective investors.”

In his remarks, Mr. Rahul Agarwal, Assistant Vice President, Invest India said, “India is the 5th largest economy in the world today and it is poised to be the 3rd largest by 2025. This opens a wide horizon of opportunity for bilateral engagement. According to BCG, India will have a consumer market size of USD 4 trillion by 2025. India has planned to invest USD 1.4 trillion infrastructure sector in five years, and this includes 66,000 km of highways, 100 airports, 100 smart cities, six high speed rail system, 600 station redevelopment and 7400 km of metro rail systems. Also, the planned Dedicated Freight Corridors and Sagarmala projects offer huge partnership opportunity with Canada. ”

Earlier in his Welcome Address, Mr. Vijay Kalantri, Vice Chairman, MVIRDC WTC Mumbai said, “The government of India has ensured that it will sustain the momentum of public spending in infrastructure for sustainable economic revival. The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund is raising funds to support the development of critical infrastructure projects in India. The Government of India plans to spend USD 1.4 trillion on infrastructure to become a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024.”

Mr. Kalantri further remarked, “The Dedicated Freight Corridor, when fully operational, will enable faster movement of agricultural products, fertilizers, coal, petroleum products, iron and steel, cement and manufactured goods across the country, thereby reducing transport time and costs, and making our manufacturing and exports competitive. The state governments of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have enacted progressive policies for attracting investments, such as Single Window Clearance. We invite you all to explore trade and investment opportunities in India’s engineering and infrastructure sectors.”

The event was also addressed by Mr. Vishesh Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton Bharat, Mr. Sudhir Dhawan, Past President, Consulting Engineers Association of India, Mr. Harbs Bains Senior Manager, Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, Govt. of British Columbia, Canada, Ms. Caroline Andrewes, President & CEO, Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of British Columbia, Mr. George Kondopulos Partner, KPMG LLP, Mr. Andrew Wynn-Williams, Divisional Vice President, BC, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Mr. Cliff Mui, Industrial Technology Advisor – Pacific, National Research Council Canada, Mr. Fergus McDonnell, Associate, Fasken, Mr. David Curtis, Partner, Fasken, Mr. Austin Nairn, Vice President, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and Mr. Vivek Savkur, President & CEO, BC India Business Network.

Ms. Rupa Naik, Senior Director, MVIRDC WTC Mumbai proposed the Vote of Thanks.

The event was attended by representatives of trade and industry, consular corps and other government officials from India and Canada.