Atlanta Gateway to make business easier across N America: Mackay

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Mumbai, Feb 21 (UNI) Canadian Minister for National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Peter MacKay today said that the Atlantic Gateway was a transportation portal designed to make it easier for the business community to do business all across North America.

Addressing the ''Canada-India Gateway Business Forum'', organised by the CII here today, the Canadian Minister said that the Atlantic Gateway is a system of modern and efficient transportation infrastructure in Atlantic Canada that facilitates the movement of trade to and from North America.

He said that the economic growth and a higher standard of living today depend on the export and import of products and resources as part of the global supply chains.

''In order to take advantage of this new reality, countries must have access to transportation system that move goods quickly, efficiently, safely and cost-effectively into the markets,'' he said.

By taking advantage of Canada's geography, as it is the closest entry point to North America for ships passing through the Suez canal, products can move faster, he said.

The Canadian Minister said that both the countries had cooperation in a number of areas ranging from science and technology to countering terrorism.

Trade in two-way investment between India and Canada was growing quickly, he said, adding, ''Bilateral trade has reached record levels - 3.6 billion Canadian dollars in 2006 and with Canadian exports to India more than doubling over the previous year, imports from India have risen over seven per cent during the same period.'' ''We have a strong and growing relationship through trade.

However, there is much more that we can do together,'' Mr MacKay said.

Stating that Canada, one of the world's oldest democracies, has been witness to numerous economic, political and social changes that have occurred globally, Mr MacKay said, ''Today, global marketplace integration is driving the distribution of economic activity as well as expansion of world trade. These changes are happening quickly.'' UNI IAS NM SKB1641

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