Prime Minister Stephen Harper today marked the conclusion of a highly productive visit to Canada by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. The two-day visit, which included stops in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, was Prime Minister Modi’s first visit to Canada since taking office and the first bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister since 1973.
During the visit, Prime Minister Harper and Prime Minister Modi committed to elevate the bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership and further broadened its scope through a number of important initiatives.
The leaders also saw the completion of memoranda of understanding in a range of areas, including civil aviation, rail regulation, education and skills development, and space cooperation, and projects focused on maternal, newborn and child health. Canada and India also finalized all steps necessary for the entry-into-force of the Social Security Agreement, which will take place on August 1, 2015.
Prime Minister Harper also welcomed Prime Minister Modi's announcement that India will issue visas upon arrival, which will make it easier for Canadians to travel to India.
On the margins of the visit, several commercial agreements between Canadian and Indian companies were announced. With a combined value of over $1.6 billion, these agreements will benefit a range of sectors, including aerospace and defence, education, energy, mining, infrastructure, sustainable technologies, and information and communications technology. They further demonstrate the significant growth taking place in the Canada-India bilateral commercial relationship.
One commercial agreement involving Saskatchewan-based Cameco will see the company supply India with over seven million pounds of uranium over the next five years. This deal was made possible due in part to the Canada-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement negotiated by our Government.
Prime Minister Harper and Prime Minister Modi welcomed the progress made on negotiating a Bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and agreed to intensify discussions to finalize the outstanding issues.
The prime ministers also participated in several cultural events where they met with members of Canada’s vibrant Indo-Canadian community. During these events, Prime Minister Harper paid tribute to the tremendous contributions this community continues to make to our country’s social, cultural and economic landscape.
The leaders issued a joint statement reaffirming and further expanding the scope of the new strategic partnership between Canada and India.