ED Fast, Minister of International Trade, delivered remarks at the 11th Annual Diwali Gala of the Canadian-India Business Council in Toronto.
Also known as the “festival of lights,” Diwali is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. As there are nearly 1.2 million Canadians who can trace their roots to India, Diwali is also celebrated in communities across Canada. The holiday has been celebrated on Parliament Hill since 1998.
Canada’s people-to-people ties with India are stronger than ever, and these are a fundamental contributor to the growing trade relationship between the two countries. India is Canada’s largest trading partner in South Asia and a priority market under Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan—the blueprint for creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians through trade. In 2013, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and India totalled $5.8 billion, the government stated.
Fast will be leading a trade mission to Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh from October 12 to 17. India provides excellent opportunities in key sectors for Canadian companies. This will be Fast’s third trade mission to India in support of the Government of Canada’s ambitious pro-trade plan to help Canadian businesses explore new export opportunities abroad.