Tollywood should look at Canada: Abhilasha Joshi
Aditya Sabharwal in Vancouver
Mrs Abhilasha Joshi who served as a passport official is not just an outstanding officer but one that loves the City of Destiny and its culture immensely. The city of Visakhapatnam is so much so special to her that even after a decade she remembers her stay in Vizag with nostalgia.
‘I have fond memories of the city and I must state that Vizag has always been ahead of its time’ says Mrs Abhilasha Joshi who recently took over as the Indian Consul general in Vancouver and sees plethora of possibilities between both the sunrise state of AP and Canada.
No stranger to the state of AP, Mrs Abhilasha Joshi an IFS officer of 1995 batch served as the Chief Passport officer in Vizag during 2003-2007.
Mrs Joshi opines that its Andhra’s much touted film industry-Tollywood that could truly seek significant opportunities in the British Columbia region. ‘AP has a vibrant film industry and I believe that the BC region offers many picturesque locales while also has a highly skilled workforce in the media and entertainment sector here’.
And with Vizag’s nomination as a smart city there a range of sectors wherein collaboration between the two cities could work wonders.
‘Vizag and Vancouver should be natural partners in many areas. Both have quite a few similarities from being port cities to scenic locations in and around their cities and also that Vancouver itself is considered as a green and smart city’ says Mrs Joshi.
With Canada being rich in natural resources India and Canada’s bilateral trade has hovered around $5-6 billion and this as per many has exponential room for growth. ‘Brazil has more trade with India’ says Mrs Joshi who was earlier the Indian Consul General in Sao Paulo before taking charge in Vancouver. ‘Canada with such a large Indian diaspora these numbers (trade) should have an obvious multiplier effect’.
Some of the key sectors the Indian CG highlights are infrastructure, tourism, forestry products and clean tech.
Infrastructure in particular has seen significant investments from Canadian organizations. Canada Pension Plan Investment board (CPPIB) has been one of the leading investors in this space since 2010 and has aggrandized its investment going forward. Similarly last year Export development Canada (EDC) provided USD 50M in financing to IL&FS.
For Indian companies wanting to explore opportunities in Canada and in particular BC Mrs Joshi feels Indian industry organizations have an important role to play in bringing them here. ‘Indian SMEs can benefit largely if Indian industry organizations like CII, FICCI and even Pharmexcil can get delegations that have a keen interest in BC’. One of the key advantages of coming with such delegations are that it’s easier to network and set up meetings with their Canadian counterparts says Mrs Joshi.
She similarly hopes that many Canadian companies are taking this opportunity and visiting India in November for the CII tech summit wherein Canada is the country partner.