International Affairs



I am immensely pleased to receive your credentials accrediting you as the High Commissioner of Canada to India. I extend to you and your family a warm welcome on behalf of the people and Government of India. I am confident that your stay in India will be a rewarding and productive experience.

India and Canada are fortunate to have many natural affinities of shared democratic values, common commitment to the rule of law, basic human freedoms and pluralism. There has also existed a deep personal understanding among the leaders of the two countries. I myself have had the pleasure of knowing your former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, whose recent passing away I condole deeply

Anchored on the many commonalties, our two countries have sought to develop a relationship of friendship and co-operation that is also mature and resilient. The task before our two countries, Excellency, is how to build on the areas of agreement, while giving each other enough space to manage our differences, in a spirit of accommodation and mutual respect.

We live in a world that is more intertwined than ever. Developments in one corner of the world can have an immediate impact at the other end of the world. This brings with it new challenges that increasingly demand joint and cooperative approaches to solutions. I am pleased to note that over the years, India and Canada have been able to launch several joint initiatives aimed at the equitable solutions to global issues. We have particularly worked together in peace-keeping operations in different parts of the world.

One such effort was the setting up the Indo-Canadian Working Group on Counter-terrorism. This arrangement has worked well and in the three meetings held so far, the two sides have shared valuable information and deliberated on ways to make the mechanism more effective. As international terrorism bares its fangs everywhere affecting the lives of innocent people across countries, there is need to intensify our cooperation. With the increasing mobility and sophistication of technology available to terrorists, we should put in place effective mechanisms for quicker sharing of information and better co-ordination of counter-terrorists strategies on the part of states.

Trade and investment continue to be one of the important drivers of bilateral relations between India and Canada. Our programme of economic restructuring and liberalisation has received the support of the Canadian Government and elicited positive response from the Canadian business community. In India, the process of economic reforms is closely linked to improving people’s standard of living and meeting the needs of the weaker sections. India and Canada have worked together in these important areas. Similarly, in the area of development cooperation too, India and Canada have worked together in fields such as power, agriculture, transportation, telecommunications and environment protection.

Excellency, our two countries have had fruitful cooperation in higher education and learning, which should be further encouraged. I firmly believe that relationships need the nourishment and underpinning of a broader, deeper intellectual exchange outside the government contacts. India has a vast network of higher education centres, including that of distance learning. Given Canada’s excellent facilities in the field of education, this is one more area rich in possibilities.

Another area which merits particular mention is that people-to-people contact. The Indian community has prospered and thrived in the salubrious environs of Canada. I am happy to note that they have not only contributed to but also participated enthusiastically in the economic, social and political process of Canada. The recent election of Mr. Ujjal Dosanj as the first Indo-Canadian Prime Minister of a province speaks of the distance the community has traversed. I am equally happy to note that even as they have made Canada their home, the ties that bind them to India remain strong, adding a valuable dimension to the bilateral relations between our two countries.

Let me conclude, Excellency, by wishing you the very best for your assignment in India. We look to you to build upon, diversify and expand the new dynamism and vitality which is evident today in our relationship. I assure you the fullest co-operation of my government in your efforts to achieve this objective and wish you the very best in your endeavours.

Thank you

Jai Hind