Kelowna: Consul General Shri Manish, Consul General of India to Vancouver, spent time Friday morning updating Chamber members and directors on the state of trade between India and western Canada. Manish was in Kelowna providing trade updates to business leaders and UBC Okanagan, as well as taking in the Vaisakhi Festival on Saturday in the city.

Derek Gratz, Director and member of the Board Executive, welcomed Manish and his staff to the Chamber offices downtown. Gratz, who is the Associate Director of UBC Okanagan’s University-Industry Liaison Office said, “We learned a lot about the current state of trade talks which have been ongoing for some time, as Canada and India have pledged to advance negotiations on both a Foreign Investment Promotion Protection Agreement and a Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement. An announcement may be made at the G20 summit in New Delhi in September of this year.”

Two-way merchandise trade between Canada and India was $10.1 billion in 2019 prior to the pandemic. India’s economy offers tremendous opportunities for Canadian companies in emerging sectors such as transportation infrastructure, life-science, clean energy technology (e.g., renewable energy, carbon capture), as well as in traditional sectors such as infrastructure development, natural resources, defence and security, value-added food products, mining, and oil and gas.

Science and technology collaboration, innovation and educational linkages are also important areas of opportunity for Canadian business. “At UBC Okanagan alone,” said Gratz, “60% of our 600 Indian students enrolled here are in grad studies. The education exchange and focus on research is remarkable.” There 319,000 Indian students in Canada in 2022, according to Manish.

600+ Canadian companies operate in India including Brookfield, Bombardier, Magna and McCain, among many others. Real GDP growth in India is expected to reach $10 trillion by 2030.

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Derek Gratz

Photo: Derek Gratz receives a gift book on Kashmir in a specially made jute bag from Manish at the Chamber on Friday April 28, 2023.