Time ripe for Canadian Cos to come to Andhra: CIBC President
India and Canada’s bilateral trade has hovered around $5-6 billion and that by admission by both countries is miniscule.
Negotiations on the much talked about CEPA and FIPA have been ongoing for years now albeit nothing much has yielded as of now.
‘FIPA (Foreign investor protection act) is important to Canada and India recognizes that’ says Mr Kasi Rao President & CEO of Canada India Business council (CIBC). He says that Securing FIPA will assist Canadian companies to invest in India beyond the levels they currently have.
Acknowledging that many rounds of discussion have taken place on CEPA (comprehensive economic partnership agreement) Mr. Rao who is also the Vice- President & Director for the Asia Pacific Foundation’s Toronto office states that the negotiations have come down to few important clauses and the council is looking forward to its completion.
He however points out that these negotiations shouldn’t hijack Canadian companies from investing or participating in the India growth sector.
Speaking on four sectors that present an opportunity for both Canadian and Indian companies Mr Rao highlights the Indian infrastructure story as one of the prime growth areas especially for Canadian companies to participate in India. ‘India has already seen some terrific action by Canadian institutions in this sector from the likes of Fairfax, CPP, Brookfield’ and calls for more Canadian companies to participate in this sector.
Commodities are another area of growth wherein both the countries have historically seen substantial trade in and which should be kept going opines Mr Rao.
The sector in which this year’s BC-India partnership summit was based i.e. Digital media and entertainment he says is significant wherein the advantage lies in BC. ‘India is witnessing tremendous amount of growth in this sector and BC is the right partner for this’. He believes that this is a sector that BC companies have a unique strength in and Canadian companies need to get plugged in to India.
Training Indian Faculty
On the Canadian education brand he feels that there is tremendous scope wherein the next generation Indian faculty can be trained by Canadian universities.
Direct Flights to India
Underscoring the importance of people to people connect between both the countries Mr Rao applauds the recent initiatives by Air Canada for starting direct flights between the two countries and sees this as a step in the right direction.
‘We at the council had been advocating for this for a long time and are happy with this being implemented’.
Speaking on the sunrise state of AP the CIBC president hails the forward looking agenda of the Andhra Pradesh government and highlights sectors like education, agriculture, infrastructure for areas of mutual cooperation. He also identifies work on smart city projects wherein Canadian company’s expertise can be utilized in. ‘It’s a perfect time for Canadian companies to pursue opportunities in Andhra’ says Mr Rao.
Elaborating on the work of CIBC he states that the next 6-12 months are going to be filled with lot of meetings and delegations headed to India. The next CIBC delegation is going to Mumbai on November 16th which would be right after the CII tech summit wherein Canada is this year’s country partner.