Canada opens new trade office in India
International Trade Minister Stockwell Day opened a new trade office in Ahmedabad, India, Friday, fulfilling a promise made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper two years ago.
"To not have a trade office here would be missing a great opportunity," Day told reporters via teleconference from India. "We'd like to double trade with India by 2014."
Bilateral trade between Canada and India currently stands at about $4.5 billion.
The opening brings the total number of trade offices that Canada has in India to eight. The offices represent Canada's third-largest trading network after the U.S. and China.
Ahmedabad is in Gujarat, which is among the top five Indian provinces in terms of economic growth.
Canadian companies such as Bombardier and McCain Foods have plants in Gujarat. Day toured the McCain plant, which has grown its Indian french-fry making operation from one farmer on one hectare to 1,000 farmers on 17,000 hectares in a few years.
India was the last leg of a global trade mission for Day that also included stops in Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
Day launched free trade talks with Ukraine and concluded negotiations with Kazakhstan on a nuclear co-operation agreement, which will open up the civil nuclear market in that country to Canadian companies.