Website of Canada India Foundation. An organization dedicated to Canada and India relations.

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Monday, Apr 27th

Last update11:44:33 PM



Some media coverage on CIF or topics of interest to CIF.

CIF responds to column by Haroon Siddiqui in the Toronto Star

Letter sent to The Editor, Toronto Star, in response to the column by Haroon Siddiqui in the Toronto Star on October 13, 2012

Re:      Prime Minister Harper’s foreign policy hobbled by ideology – October 13, 2012

It is unfortunate that Mr. Siddiqui chose to drag the Canada India Foundation (CIF) into his harangue about Prime Minister Harper, and by extension his pet bete-noires. If he had really wanted to recognize CIF, he could have referred to the three Canada-India public policy forums it has organized (Energy, Mining and most recently Agriculture and Food Processing) that push for greater trade between Canada and India under a policy-driven framework. He could have written about the CIF-Chanchlani Award which annually recognizes an individual who demonstrates global leadership, vision and professional excellence, which has made people of Indian origin around the globe proud of their heritage and which has been awarded to Sam Pitroda, Tulsi Tanti, Ratan Tata and Deepak Chopra. Or he could have referred to  CIF's involvement in organizing three visits in the past 5 years to Canada by the former President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam. He may even be interested to know that CIF had written in support of the request by Emirates Airlines for increased landing rights in Canada, on the basis that this would boost travel between Canada and India, for which the Middle East is a significant transit point.  Instead, Mr.Siddiqui, sees fit only to denigrate CIF’s good name and works. 

As far as Canada's interaction with Mr. Modi is concerned, it is far more likely to be determined by actual developments such as the recent decision by the U.K. government to terminate a decade long policy of no-contact with Mr. Modi, the impending elections in Gujarat, and the not-too-far-away national elections in India, not to mention Canada's own continuous engagement with Gujarat, through participation in events like Vibrant Gujarat, and evidenced by showcase Canadian business initiatives in Gujarat like McCain and Bombardier.

Canada India Foundation ( is a national, non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization (NGO) established in 2007 to foster support for stronger bi-lateral relations between Canada and India; to educate Canadians on India; and to increase the participation by Indo-Canadians in political process in Canada. Religious or ideological considerations do not play a role in CIF's initiatives. CIF's founding members include industrialists, senior Canadian business executives and top tier professionals

Barj Dhahan, Chair, CIF

Deepak Ruparell Co-Chair, CIF

Rahul Shastri, National Convenor, CIF

Kalyan Sundaram, Executive Director, CIF

CIF Members join India delegation led by BC Premier Christy Clark


For Immediate Release

Oct. 27, 2011

Office of the Premier

Over 120 companies take part in BC jobs and trade mission

VANCOUVER – Two hundred and fifty representatives from more than 120 companies and organizations representing sectors such as mining, energy, forestry, seafood, transportation and education will participate in the upcoming Province-led jobs and trade mission to China and India, announced Premier Christy Clark.

“The delegations travelling to China and India are the largest in the history of the province, and represent the widest range of sectors to ever participate in a provincial trade mission,” said Premier Clark. “We’re setting out with three goals in mind: strengthening our existing relationships in the Asia-Pacific region; opening new doors; and setting the stage for future opportunities with China and India.”

In addition to expanding trade and commerce opportunities between B.C. and these important Asian markets, the jobs and trade mission will seek to attract new investment into the province, promote B.C. as a destination for international students and tourists, and continue to build on the historic, cultural and business ties between British Columbia and the peoples of China and India.

“Thanks to our ability to successfully export our products, especially to China, Adanac Seafood is now looking to double the size of its operations and move into larger facilities,” said Betty Luong, manager of Adanac Seafood. “We look forward in participating in the Province’s trade mission, to help our company grow and open new doors for B.C.’s seafood products.”

Premier Clark, along with ministers Bell and Thomson, will depart Vancouver Nov. 4 for China. Areas of focus in China are transportation, international education, mining, forestry, liquefied natural gas, seafood promotion, and technology. The Premier will meet with government officials and business leaders in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

Both ministers Bell and Thomson will accompany the Premier on portions of her itinerary, but will also embark on separate programs. Minister Thomson will also visit Japan, while Minister Bell will travel to Hong Kong before returning to B.C.

The Premier will leave China for India on Nov. 10, along with Health Minister Mike de Jong. In India they will meet with government and business leaders in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Bangalore. While in India, the focus will be on mining investment, life sciences, technology, green energy, international education, and forestry.

The Premier and delegations will meet with government, business and industry leaders in both countries, as well as hosting hundreds of officials at business functions.  Premier Clark will also participate at a panel session with Indian provincial chief ministers at the World Economic Forum India Summit, which is meeting in Mumbai.

Premier Clark arrives back in British Columbia on Nov. 18.

A detailed list of participants and highlights of the BC Jobs and Trade Mission follows.


Chris Olsen

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

604 220-1640


BC needs a business strategy for India

Opinion: B.C. needs a business strategy for India

The global economy is drastically evolving and it is a well established fact that the economic powers of the world are shifting toward the east. It is estimated that China and India will have the No. 1 and three economies in the world by the year 2050, which will collectively be larger than the entire G7. India's economy in particular has been growing at an average rate of 7.3 per cent in the past 10 years and is predicted to jump to about 9.5 per cent in the coming years. Furthermore, 66 per cent of India's population is under the age of 35 and the country is poised for economic and social prosperity similar to that of industrializing European countries at their peak. With these figures in mind, Canada, and in particular British Columbia, will have an unprecedented opportunity to form mutually beneficial partnerships with India to expand trade and investment.

Year over year, India continues to make headway in world affairs. Indiaspecific conferences are being organized around the globe and Indianfocused Centres in Canada are being established at universities to develop opportunities in science, technology, trade, innovation, higher education, and research. B.C. has been striving to develop its own trading initiatives with India but our trade volume has been declining.

According to 2010 Stats B.C., over 75 per cent of Canadian exports to India originate in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec while B.C. only accounts for seven per cent ($135 million) and ranks behind New Brunswick. This is significantly lower than B.C.'s 2006 trade volume of $345 million. Despite the potential that one would surmise from various opportunities, the trade numbers relating to the current level of interaction between B.C. and India are quite low. Projected trade volumes between Canada and India by 2015 range from $4 to $15 billion. This can only be achieved through strategic understanding of India's diversity and needs. This is where B.C. can undertake a sustained multi-layered interaction based on its strengths.

In recognizing India's vast linguistic and cultural diversity, B.C. must be prudent in establishing regional relationships accordingly. For example, many of Canada's business successes can be found in Gujarat, India's fastest growing state, where Bombardier and McCain Foods have set up facilities. While all Indian states may not have the same economic vision of Gujarat, most of them have the desire to grow their trade base and consequently economic well being of their citizens. A quick look at India's four corners would yield four examples of diversity: Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh in the northwest; Orissa and Bihar in the east and Tamil Nadu in the south, and not to mention the great urban cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

With distinct state and regional needs in mind, B.C. can grow its exports in several areas including clean energy alternatives, forest products, agriculture, water treatment, health delivery systems in rural areas, and shale gas technology. All of these exports will be needed to support the rapid urbanization of India, its ever growing middle-class seeking a higher standard of living, and the consequent infrastructure demands as well as food security.

Since the 2009 visit to India by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, there have been delegations to India at the provincial level from Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan and at the city level from Toronto, Surrey and a few others. The upcoming visit by B.C. Premier Christy Clark to India in November is sure to put the province in the thoughts of Indian business leaders. The most important asset that B.C. has to fulfil its long term trade objectives with India is its sizable and highly successful community of Indo-Canadians, who combine strong entrepreneurial skills and connectivity with India. Premier Clark has stated that Canada Starts Here in B.C., and the province now has a unique opportunity to take the lead in developing economic opportunities that exist with India.

Barj Dhahan and Kalyan Sundaram are chair and executive director respectively of the Canada India Foundation.