New Delhi, Feb 15 (ANI): Trade Minister Kamal Nath today said there are extensive opportunities available in India for joint ventures/investments by Canadian companies in sectors such as infrastructure, automobile, power generation, petroleum, mining and environment.
After his bilateral meeting with Canadian Minister of Industry, Tony Clement, here, Nath said: "India needs 480 billion dollars investment in infrastructure in the next five years."
Industry Secretary, Ajay Shankar, and senior officials from both the sides were also present on the occasion.
Commenting on the growth in bilateral trade between India and Canada which has increased from USD 1.4 billion in 2003-04 to USD 3.2 billion in 2007-08, Nath said while this was a healthy increase of 2.5 times, the two countries are only just warming up to realising the huge trade potential between the two countries.
As regards FDI inflows from Canada to India, the Minister said: "Momentum needs to be built up as during the period April 2000 to October 2008, FDI inflows have been US 262 million dollars - just 0.27 per cent of the total FDI inflows in the country."
Speaking about the huge potential which exists for Indo-Canadian cooperation, Nath said, "India which is among top producers of vegetables and fruits in the world, requires Canadian expertise in food processing sector, both in terms of financial participation as well as technology and this will add value addition and also save huge amount of products from wastage as only four per cent is processed."
"Other sectors where there is immense potential for cooperation include auto-parts and Pharma. Indian capabilities in the auto parts sector have been widely acknowledged and India is fast emerging as a major auto-parts global hub. Pharma companies of the two countries can gain a great deal by collaborating with each other for large scale production of existing compounds at reasonable cost," he added.
As regards WTO, Nath reiterated that, "India continues to believe that a multilateral trading regime based on fair and transparent rules best serves the needs of developing countries. The global financial and economic crisis makes it even more compelling to conclude the Doha Round. Since development is at the heart of the Round's objectives, it would specially help developing countries in tackling their problems of poverty and unemployment through expansion of trade opportunities."
"The Round presents a historical opportunity to the WTO Membership to remove the distortions and structural flaws in agricultural trade and to take forward liberalisation of trade in non-agricultural products as well as in Services along with developing tighter disciplines in the areas of Anti Dumping, Subsidies and Countervailing measures," the Minister said. (ANI)