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Canada-India Relations

In India, Canada is represented by the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi. Canada also has Consulates General in Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai; and trade offices in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

India is represented in Canada by a High Commission in Ottawa, and by consulates in Toronto and Vancouver.

Canada and India have longstanding bilateral relations, built upon shared traditions of democracy, pluralism and strong interpersonal connections with an Indian diaspora of more than one million in Canada.  This expanding bilateral relationship is supported by a wide range of agreements and by PM Singh and PM Harper’s commitment to increase annual bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2015. Canada’s priorities in India include infrastructure, energy, food, education, science and technology. India is an important source country for immigration to Canada.

Prime Minister Harper undertook a state visit to India from November 4-9, his longest official foreign visit since assuming office in 2006. During the visit the following agreements were signed: the Canada-India Social Security Agreement, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in Information and Communication Technologies and Electronics, and the MOU between York University and the Indian Defence Research and Development Organization. Announcements were also made on: agreement on the Appropriate (Administrative) Arrangements of the Nuclear Cooperation Agreement; institutionalization of annual Strategic Dialogues between respective Foreign, Trade, and Energy Ministers, and between the offices of National Security Advisors; upgrading of the trade office in Bengaluru to a Consulate General; announcement of updates to the air transport agreement; and announcement of the winners of the competition for the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence.

Trade and Investment

According to Statistics Canada, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and India in 2011 totalled approximately CAD$ 5.2 billion, an increase of 23.4% percent 2010.

While Canadian merchandise exports to India in 2011 totalled $2.6 billion (a 27.7% percent increase 2010), imports from India reached $2.5 billion (a 19.3% percent increase from 2010).

Top Canadian exports to India include vegetables (mostly peas and lentils), fertilisers, paper and paperboard, machinery, wood pulp, precious stones, and iron and steel. Canadian imports from India include organic chemicals, precious stones and metals, knit apparel, woven apparel, machinery, and iron and steel.

Canada - India Bilateral Trade 2005 – 2011                                    

[Figures in billion Canadian Dollars]

Canada’s Imports
from India
Canada’s Exports
to India

[Source: Statistics Canada]

Canada – India Bilateral Direct Investment

In 2011, the stock of two-way direct investment between Canada and India was C$5 billion.

[Figures in million Canadian Dollars]

Canadian Direct
Investment in India
Indian Direct
Investment in Canada

[Source: Statistics Canada]

Science and Technology

In 2005, Canada and India signed an Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation to foster greater bilateral S&T collaboration. The agreement was officially ratified in 2008 and is supported by the Canada-India Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee.

During the November 2012 State Visit to India, the Prime Ministers of Canada and India tasked the Joint S&T Committee with developing an Action Plan to fortify the bilateral S&T relationship by promoting basic research, facilitating academic and industrial personnel exchanges, and accelerating technology commercialization.

Prime Minister Harper also announced the selection of the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS) as the winner of the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence competition announced in Budget 2011.

From 2007 to 2012, joint funding from Canada and India supported eight high quality bilateral R&D projects in priority areas such as Sustainable Environmental Technologies, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and Biotechnology.


Canada and India maintain regular dialogues on regional security and global strategic issues of common interest through the annual Canada-India Strategic Dialogue and the Canada-India Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, as well as the annual Foreign Policy Consultation. The newly established Foreign Minister and National Security Advisor office dialogues will further contribute in this area.

Environment and Energy

The two countries have established the Canada-India Forum for Environmental Collaboration in order to increase technology and knowledge exchange on environmental issues. Canada and India also initiated a Canada India Energy Forum following the signing of the energy Memorandum of Understanding in November 2009.

Canada and India in Multilateral Fora

Canada and India are also strong partners in addressing a variety of regional and international challenges. Our two countries regularly engage in dialogue to discuss our shared commitment to global peace and security. This past summer in Tokyo, Canada and India joined more than 60 other countries and 25 international organizations in pledging support to help Afghanistan become a more stable, more secure, and democratic country. As Commonwealth countries, we work together to promote democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law, and we regularly cooperate through the UN. We have developed a partnership in the G20 by co-chairing two instrumental working groups since 2008 on the Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth and on Enhancing Sound Regulation and Strengthening Transparency.

Immigration and Visas

India is currently the third largest source country of immigrants to Canada, with a rapidly growing Indo-Canadian community estimated to be over one million.

Recently, fast-track processes have been instituted to expedite processing of visas for designated business travellers and students applying to designated publicly-funded post-secondary colleges and universities in Canada. Over 99% of applications thorough the Business Express program are approved, most within two working days. Partly as a result of the Student Partners program, India was the second largest source of students destined to Canada in 2011 when 12,210 study permits were issued, more than four times the number in 2007. In an effort to reduce the frequency with which frequent travellers must apply for visas, the maximum validity of the temporary resident visa has been increased from five to ten years (subject to passport validity). A new Super visa for qualifying parents and grandparents allows for visits of up to 2 years without the need for the holder to renew status.

Stakeholder Involvement

In support of Canada’s growing engagement with India, the Government of Canada is committed to consulting regularly with all Canadian stakeholders: provinces and territories; municipalities; non-governmental organizations; the private sector; civil society and the Canadian public.

High-level Visits

The high number of visits over the last three years - involving Ministers, Members of Parliament, Premiers, academic and trade delegations - reflects the importance of the Canada-India relationship.

Prime Minister Harper was accompanied by Minister of International Trade Fast, Minister of State Uppal, Minister of State Gosal, Parliamentary Secretary Obhrai, MPs Devinder Shory, Kyle Seebeck and Parm Gill, and by Senators Asha Seth and Tobias Envergas Jr., as well as a large cultural and business delegation during his November 2012 visit to India. Other visits to India in the last half of 2012 include: Clerk of the Privy Council Wayne Wouters, who visited October 22-26; Natural Resources Minister Oliver, who visited October 8-12; and John Baird (former Minister of Foreign Affairs), who visited September 10-12. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Kenney visited India January 7-12, 2013.

Development Assistance

After 55 years of bilateral programming in India totalling C$2.39 billion, Canada’s bilateral development assistance program came to an end in 2006 following a change in Indian government policy regarding aid.   However, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) continues to provide assistance to India through partnerships between Indian and Canadian NGOs and multilateral programs. In addition, the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi manages the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, to support local projects in India focusing on gender equality, human rights, and good governance.  For further details see the “Development Cooperation” link on the left hand side of this page.

Canada Fund For Local Initiatives
For over three decades, Canada has funded modest development assistance projects in developing countries through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).  The CFLI is a program that supports small projects proposed and implemented by local NGOs and other grassroots organizations such as village councils, cooperatives and women’s groups. This enables Canada to respond to local needs by working at the community level. Equally important, the CFLI serves to strengthen Canada’s relationships with civil society and local communities and to build networks of contacts in countries around the world. The staff at the Canadian Mission look forward to working with you to implement an initiative you may have to contribute to your community’s development.

January 2013

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