India-Canada ties get a boost, thanks to Modi

India-Canada ties get a boost, thanks to Modi

India and Canada agreed to elevate their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with his Canadian...

India and Canada agreed to elevate their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper and both underscored the considerable potential for mutually-beneficial civil nuclear cooperation.

In a joint statement, titled Naya Utsah, naye kadam' or New Vigour: New Steps', the two prime ministers welcomed the signing of an agreement between the Department of Atomic Energy of the Government of India and Cameco of Canada for long-term supply of uranium to India to meet its energy needs. They recognised that the agreement would impart a new significance to India-Canada Civil Nuclear Cooperation.
Both agreed to encourage a collaborative programme to leverage their industries' respective strengths in the field of Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor technology for mutual benefit, as well as for the benefit of global nuclear energy needs.
They also encouraged closer cooperation in civil nuclear energy between their companies and welcomed the setting up of the India Nuclear Insurance Pool with potential participation of foreign companies as a positive step towards facilitating such cooperation, said the joint statement.
They noted the planned Canadian civil nuclear trade mission to India in October 2015.
They also agreed to explore mutually beneficial partnerships in the application of radio-isotopes for societal benefits.
The two leaders, recognising the importance of taking the collaboration in nuclear science and technology to the next level, encouraged their respective atomic energy establishments and research institutions to establish mechanisms for long-term and mutually beneficial R&D collaboration in peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Both agreed to exchange experiences and developments on safety and regulatory issues. To take this forward, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission have finalised an arrangement for regulatory cooperation in the field of nuclear and radiation safety regulation, it said.
Harper welcomed the policy measures and specific initiatives taken to improve the ease of doing business in India. Both noted that specific initiatives launched by Modi such as Make in India', Affordable Housing for all by 2022' and Smart Cities' offered significant collaborative commercial opportunities for Indian and Canadian businesses and industry. They also noted that Canadaa's prioritisation of India in its Global Markets Action Plan aligned well with bilateral objectives.
Both reaffirmed the need to elevate two-way trade and investment linkages to their full potential, including early conclusion of the Bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and the road map to conclude a mutually beneficial Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.
"Noting the important role of movement of professionals in boosting bilateral trade, investment and people-to-people ties, the Prime Ministers agreed that both sides will hold a dialogue in this field to facilitate greater bilateral cooperation," it said.
Both welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Rail Transportation dealing with technical cooperation. The leaders also welcomed the finalisation of an MoU on Civil Aviation between Transport Canada and India's Ministry of Civil Aviation, which will establish a Joint Working Group to bring together key industry and Government stakeholders to advance opportunities for cooperation in civil aviation.
The two sides agreed to establish a Finance Ministers Dialogue for the purpose of deepening the India-Canada economic and financial relationship.
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