Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly will travel to Delhi, India from Feb. 6 to 7 in an effort to strengthen Indo-Pacific Strategy partnerships and deepen bilateral ties with the country, Global Affairs Canada announced Saturday.
In a statement, the agency said the goal of Joly’s visit to India is to “deepen bilateral ties and foster stronger partnerships,” and “create opportunities for growth and prosperity for the two countries.”
In India, Joly will meet with Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, the country’s minister of external affairs, the statement said. Prior to this visit, she had held two bilateral meetings and two calls with Jaishankar.
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“Both ministers will identify areas where Canadian and Indian interests converge and where the two countries could further collaborate on global and regional issues, especially as India holds the presidency of the G20 this year,” it said.
The Indo-Pacific Strategy, launched last November by the federal government, outlines Canada’s plan to engage with countries in the region, with a goal to pivot away from this nation’s over-reliance on China amid increasing tensions between Ottawa and Beijing.
According to the strategy, Canada aims to grow economic ties with India through “deeper trade and investment, as well as cooperating on building resilient supply chains.”
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Other plans with India include supporting academic, educational, cultural, youth and research exchanges between the two countries; bolstering Canada’s visa-processing capacity in New Delhi and Chandigarh; assisting in the fight against climate change; and working on a trade agreement.
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Joly is also expected to meet with key Indian stakeholders in business and civil society communities to talk about Canada’s agenda during her India trip.
The rise of the Indo-Pacific can provide “extraordinary” local benefits, as well as opportunities for prosperity, economic growth and better-paying jobs in Canada, Joly said in the statement.
“From Cleantech to critical minerals and education programs, there is a demand in India for what Canadians make, and grow, and the services we provide,” Joly said. “I look forward to my first official visit to India in order to strengthen our engagement, which is paramount to our Indo-Pacific Strategy.”
In 2021, India was Canada’s 13th-largest merchandise trade partner and 14th-largest export market. There are 1.8 million Canadians of Indian origin in this country, and India is also the primary source of new immigrants to Canada, according to the statement.
Foreign direct investment between Canada and India added up to $4.6 billion in 2021, with Canadian direct investment standing at $2.9 billion. Further, Canadian portfolio and institutional investment in India reached $70 billion.
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