Toronto: India and Canada will hold strategic dialogue to boost bilateral trade and investments on Thursday.
“Both countries will examine ‘breadth and depth’ of the bilateral business partnership and discuss ways and means to strengthen ‘a major intensification’ of the partnership,” union minister for road transport and highways Kamal Nath said while addressing the top executives of Canadian companies at the Canada-India Business Council (C-IBC) in Toronto on Tuesday.
India and Canada are working on a new set of rules of commercial engagement to give a boost to bilateral trade and investments.
Describing Toronto as a “crucible of diversity,” where more than 52% of the Indo-Canadian lives, Nath said that both countries believe and practice the same ethos and values that were fundamental to human dignity and it gives us a “a great sense of fulfillment.”
The minister invited Canadian investment in infrastructure and said that the ountry would need to spend $1 trillion over the next Five Year Plan in infrastructure to improve the economic conditions of the millions living in the villages in India.
Nath said, “The Centre is aiming to spend $514 bn in the infrastructure sector by 2012 as core sector growth is key for attaining 9-10% GDP growth.”
The Indian economy grew by 6.7% in 2008-09 and at an accelerated pace of 7.2% in 2009-10.
The minister said that the next decade will be the “decade of infrastructure” in India and invited Canadian investors to participate in it.
Nath said infrastructure was the buzz word globally and India offers great opportunities for investors.
“Whether you look at East Asia, the US or Africa, the stress is on reinvestment in infrastructure - that is what will generate economic activity,” the minister said, adding that India faces the biggest deficit in infrastructure, with national highways accounting for just two per cent of the total road network.