India Rising: Implications for Canadian Business and Public Policy
|By:||Vinod Rajasekaran & Yves Poisson|
|Org:||Public Policy Forum|
On December 9 and 10, 2008 the Public Policy Forum (PPF) convened a conference in Toronto on India Rising: Implications for Canadian Business and Public Policy. The conference brought together 125 experts, stakeholders, and policymakers from federal and provincial government departments, the Consulate-General of India, the private sector, academia, and non-governmental organizations. The purpose was to better understand the current Indian economic landscape, discuss opportunities and challenges for Canadian business and how public policy can better aid commercial relations and collaboration.
The purpose of this conference was to advance the collective understanding of stakeholders and policymakers of the opportunities and challenges:
- Why should Canada be in India?
- What can Canada do to achieve adequate market share in India?
- What effects do the November 26th attacks in Mumbai have for future growth prospects?
- What are some existing government and business strategies and how are they unfolding?
- What more can be done in terms of public policy to increase trade and facilitate partnerships?
Five key messages emerged from the conference:
- India is a "must partner" for Canada going forward.
- A coordinated, coherent national India strategy is imperative to further strengthen partnerships.
- There is a pressing need for visible Canadian leadership at the federal level on India.
- There is broad agreement on priority issues and sectors for Canada.
- Debunk myths and misconceptions, and understand common bonds.
Interestingly, the report does not delve deeply at all into the fact that India represented the second largest immigrant source country in Canada (11.6% of new immigrants) or any of the issues related to settlement of newcomers from India or, more broadly, South Asians. A brief mention about immigrants and temporary workers from India is made in notes from the presentation made by Michael Carter, Assistant Deputy Minister, Asia Pacific Trade and Investment, Government of British Columbia (page 17 of the report).
It would, perhaps, be worth reading this report along side the recent Martin Prosperity Institute report: Ontario's South Asian Transnationals: Unlocking the Potential of an Untapped Resource.