Indo-Canadian Business Chamber Annual Convention (Mumbai, India)
Mumbai, India, Saturday, March 1, 2014
Thank you for welcoming me and my fellow members of the Canadian delegation to this convention.
We are delighted to be in Mumbai, India’s commercial capital, and to have the opportunity to meet with you in person. As business leaders you understand there is no substitute for meeting and getting to know one another face-to-face.
That is why I am in Mumbai and on this State visit to India, which has also taken me to New Delhi and Bangalore.
And what a visit it has been! Though I have only been able to see a fraction of this country, India’s remarkable dynamism and potential is everywhere in evidence.
At first glance, Canada and India may look like a study in contrasts. But we have important things in common: shared traditions of parliamentary democracy; a commitment to pluralism; and strong people-to-people ties. More than 1.2 million Canadians can trace their roots to India—including 500 000 to the Punjab and 300 000 to Gujarat.
Being members of India’s only Canada-focused business group, you of all people know how much we share in common, as well as what makes us unique.
Let me start by thanking all of you for what you do for Canada and for the relationship between our two countries.
Ultimately, the success of our business, academic and cultural partnership hinges upon the quality of ties between individual Canadians and Indians.
Thanks to our existing deep and multifaceted relationship, we have great potential to strengthen and broaden our ties. As leaders within the private sector, you have a pivotal role to play in advancing mutually beneficial commercial linkages.
The theme of this year’s convention—innovation—is one that is very close to my heart. In fact, it is a pillar of my mandate as governor general of Canada, and a central theme of my visit to India.
Canadian innovations are world-renowned. The telephone, insulin, IMAX movie technology and the Blackberry are just a few of the discoveries and innovations led by Canadians.
As a nation, Canada is also committed to fostering global success in innovation. Through the Start-up Visa Program, we aim to encourage Indian entrepreneurs to bring their cutting-edge products, processes, technologies and services to be developed and marketed in Canada.
We are also looking at additional ways to support Canadian entrepreneurs and companies here in India.
Canadians and Indians alike will benefit from stronger entrepreneurial ties. And that is so important, because we all have a responsibility to ensure that our fellow citizens are able to thrive and prosper according to their hopes and dreams.
My goal as governor general is to support the building of a smarter, more caring Canada, and I share the same desire for India.
I would like to congratulate you on this very successful event, and on all you have achieved to date.
Please accept my best wishes for your continued success.