Canada-India Business Luncheon (Bangalore, India)
Bangalore, India, Thursday, February 27, 2014
I am delighted to be in Bangalore and to join you for this gathering.
Many of you are business leaders in the dynamic, innovative South Indian economy, and I appreciate your interest in working with Canada.
I am also pleased to be accompanied today by such a talented and worthy Canadian delegation. I encourage all of you to seize this opportunity to meet and exchange.
The purpose of my State visit to India is to strengthen the friendship and partnerships that exists between our two countries, particularly in the areas of education, innovation and entrepreneurship—with a special focus on the contributions of women and girls.
I am therefore delighted to note that Canada is upgrading its official presence in Bangalore. The upgrading of Canada’s trade office to a full consulate general speaks volumes about our interest in deepening our engagement with the people of South India.
I had a chance to view the office yesterday, and I can tell you it is most impressive. When the Consulate opens its doors in a few short months, it will provide a wonderful platform to showcase Canada to South India. The Consulate General will reinforce our commercial ties and facilitate business and student travel by offering immigration and visa services.
Already, Canada and Karnataka have a history of strong commercial relations. Some 30 Canadian companies are established here in Bangalore, employing thousands of people.
Apotex, for example—Canada’s largest generic pharmaceutical company—has made a significant investment, employing more than 1 500 employees. CGI, Canada’s largest IT and business services company, employs about 9 500 software professionals in India, mostly in Karnataka. And CAE, the world’s largest flight simulator company, operates two flight training centres and a software development centre employing more than 360 people.
I am also pleased to note that a number of Indian companies headquartered in Bangalore— for example Infosys and Wipro—are expanding their operations in Canada.
I would like to recognize the members of the Bangalore chapter of the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber who are with us today. The ICBC is an important partner in raising Canada’s profile in India, and in facilitating trade and investment. In particular, I would like to thank Pradipta Banerjee for his leadership in establishing the chapter.
Through the continued efforts of such dedicated business leaders and now with Canada’s expanded presence in South India, I am confident we can increase our mutual prosperity.
Let us ensure we do so to the benefit of all of our peoples. Canadians strive to achieve both equality of opportunity and excellence, and I know that India’s future—like that of all nations, in fact—also hinges upon striking this “fine balance,” to borrow a phrase from Rohinton Mistry, one of Canada’s great Indian-born writers.
Working together, we can create smarter, more caring and prosperous societies.
Thank you for your time and efforts.