B.C. promoting its advantages at Canada-India Infrastructure Forum

BRITISH Columbia’s Minister of International Trade Teresa Wat was this week in Ontario to be a keynote speaker at the Canada-India Infrastructure Forum.

The three-day event, hosted by the Canada-India Foundation (CIF) and Carleton University, in Ottawa and Toronto from April 23-25. It was attended by Canadian and Indian government decision-makers and senior business leaders representing companies active in the infrastructure sector in both countries.

Wat was at the forum promoting the many competitive advantages that make B.C. Canada’s gateway to the Pacific. She met with a select group of delegates who are interested in investing in B.C. and developing partnerships with B.C. companies. As one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, India offers tremendous opportunities in the areas of trade, investment and tourism as well as educational and research co-operation for Canada and B.C.

British Columbia and India have strong historical, cultural and social connections that provide a natural fit for business opportunities in both countries. The Ministry of International Trade works with international enterprises to help them build strong links to the resources, skills and opportunities that make B.C. an attractive place to work and invest.

The government says that British Columbia has the most comprehensive trade and investment network of any Canadian province. It recently expanded its network in India to connect B.C. organizations and companies with new opportunities in priority sectors such as infrastructure, energy, transportation, clean technology, mining and natural gas. The Province also offers significant investment opportunities for Indian companies in a number of sectors, including the growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure industry, transportation infrastructure, and expertise in clean technology.

The Canada-India Foundation was formed as a non-profit public policy organization to promote stronger relations between Canada and India. This is the fourth forum organized by the CIF to focus on a selected industry sector. It previously held forums on Energy (2009), Mining and Metals (2010), and Agriculture and Food Processing (2012).

Next month, the B.C. government will host its second International LNG Conference. The conference, called ‘Powering a Strong Economy: British Columbia’s LNG in the Global Market’, will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre May 21-23.

Wat said: “B.C. and Canada have proven abilities as sound infrastructure solutions providers. I am speaking at the forum to create dialogue and show how we can play a role to help India address its future infrastructure needs while creating more jobs for B.C. families.”

* Exports to India were up by 45.1% in 2013 compared to 2012.

* Between 2001 and 2013, trade between India and B.C. increased over 296%.

* The top commodity exports to India in 2013 were mineral products, wood products, pulp, and machinery and equipment.

* India has a rapidly growing middle class. This market currently stands at about 50 million people with growth projections to almost 600 million.

* British Columbia’s expanded network of international Trade and Investment Representative offices in India include locations in Bangalore, Mumbai and Chandigarh.

* Indian Oil Corporation recently purchased a 10% stake in the Pacific Northwest LNG Consortium in B.C. for an amount of approximately 1 billion Canadian dollars.