Narendra Modi in Canada; to focus on energy deals, investments

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Ottawa: Marking the first standalone bilateral visit in 42 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived on Wednesday in Canada where the focus will be on setting a “trajectory” in ties through cooperation in energy, including civil nuclear, and attracting trade and technology for India’s development.

A significant aspect of the three-day visit will be Modi’s meeting with top officials of Canada’s Pension Fund with focus on inviting them to India. The Prime Minister flew into here from Germany where he laid emphasis on attracting technology and investments for ‘Make-in-India’ programme.

With his focus on the programme, Modi is expected to invite Canada to partner in this endeavour by sharing technology and pumping in investments. “It is a historic milestone in our bilateral ties as in 42 years, this is the first standalone bilateral visit by an Indian Prime Minister. Therefore, we are focused on setting a trajectory which will reflect in the discussions,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said soon after Modi’s arrival here.

Modi will hold talks with his counterpart Stephen Harper to discuss how the relationship could be taken forward. He will also address Canadian business leaders. “We expect substantive outcomes,” Akbaruddin said. He said the focus will be on several areas like energy, which is “a major aspect”, besides agriculture, skill development and education. “All these have been identified by the Prime Minister as areas which are necessary for development of India,” Akbaruddin said, adding that India sees Canada as a partner in its development efforts. He said the two leaders will also discuss common approach to security issues and ways to deal with the threats to open societies.

The Prime Minister will also be meeting officials of the Pension Fund of Canada which has the corpus of 200 million dollars and discuss how to ease the investment opportunities for it. He will also address the Indian community in Toronto, which is billed to be on the lines of the famous Madison Square address in New York last year. Before winding up his visit here, the Prime Minister will also visit Air India Memorial to pay tributes to those killed in Kanishka bombing incident about three decades ago.

Canada is the third and last leg of his three-nation tour, which also covered France. During his two-day stay in Germany, he inaugurated the Hannover Fair along with Chancellor Angela Merkel, and held talks with her in Berlin on various issues.

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