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Mackay Advises Business Communities of India and Canada to Maintain Normal Trade Ties

Mackay Advises Business Communities of India and Canada to Maintain Normal Trade Ties

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Jan 11: The Canadian high commissioner to India Cameron Mackay while expressing concern over the recent diplomatic row between the two countries has advised the trade and business communities in both the countries to continue with trade and investment relationship to ultimately normalise the friendly relations between the two nations.

Speaking at a seminar on ‘India-Canada Business: The Way Forward’ at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gujarat’s capital city of Gandhinagar on Thursday, Mr said notwithstanding the recent tensions, the strategic interests of India and Canada were “absolutely aligned” and that he was encouraged by the continuance of bilateral trade and investment relationship. He said the gathering of investors was a “great platform to reassert our business to business and people to people ties.”

The relations between the two countries saw some bitterness last year following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation about India’s suspected involvement in the killing of Khalistani separatist and designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian citizen, in his country. India flatly denied the allegation as absurd.

“In the past months, it has been a time of some tensions between our two countries. It is no secret. But I am encouraged by leadership and vision of business community present here and outside the room to continue with trade and investment relationship which is in the interest of both of our countries,” Mr Mackay said. The business-to-business ties will support job creation, technology partnership and prosperity of both the countries, he added.

Pointing out that business relations between the two countries have remained unaffected in the face of the diplomatic row, Mr Mackay said, “My advice to my government and that to the Indian government and business community on both sides is to let the governments do what they are doing, let the government do diplomacy but everyone knows that in the long term, Canada’s strategic interest and India’s strategic interest are absolutely aligned,” the high commissioner said.

“In the meantime let’s have business to business ties. We should work together to make our business and nations friendly again,” he added. “Over 100 Indian companies have invested in Canada and over 600 Canadian companies are present in India. Yesterday, I visited the McCain plant here in Gujarat,” he said.

Former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan and Canada Ajay Bisaria said the tensions between the two countries seem to be a temporary phase. “Though there is a glitch between the two countries in the political relationship, the business is going on and the message from the top leadership of both the countries is clear that the business has to go on and none of the stuff in the political space will impact the business relationship,” he said at the seminar.

 

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