MUMBAI – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said corporate India has committed $1 billion worth of investments in his country, which will create over 5,000 jobs.
Trudeau made the announcement after meetings with industry leaders including Tata Group chairman N Chandrasekaran; Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla; Mahindra group chief Anand Mahindra; Salil Parikh of Infosys, and Cyrus Mistry of the Pallonjee Mistry group, among others.
The Canadian premier also had a 90-minute roundtable with women business leaders including ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar and Swati Piramal of the Piramal Group, among others at the iconic Taj Mahal hotel.
“There are tremendous connections between Canada and India, whether it is natural resources or tech sector like IT, creativity, pharmaceutical…there are huge compatibilities and complementarities between our nations.
“So much so that coming out of meetings this morning and a few other meetings we have had, we are able to announce today over 5,000 new jobs in Canada and over $ 1 billion of (Indian) investment in Canada,” Trudeau said at the Canada-India Business Forum here.
Briefing about his interactions with the Indian business leaders, he said prospects of Canadian investments in India were also discussed, especially the role played by the pension funds of Canada.
“We also spoke about Canadian companies investing in India, whether it is pension funds or others,” he said.
“It has really been a win-win morning,” Trudeau remarked but did not name the prospective Indian investors.
The Canadian prime minister, who is on a week-long India visit, also spoke about the “extraordinary diversity” of this country and said “this pluralism comes with its own challenges but are immensely beneficial”.
“There is extraordinary diversity and pluralism in India which is not without its challenges but we have to understand that diversity of views and background gives an incredible amount of strength, a source of resilience in any organisation, community or a country,” he said.
“To be able to listen to different points of view, learn from them and draw on them. To feel that ‘yes we are challenged, but not threatened by them’, I think is a sign of maturity in a community,” he added.
Trudeau felt that a country like India can and should be leading the way in respecting diversity and highlighting this incredible diversity. “It is not just Canada that is diverse, but other countries around the world as well.”
Talking at length about the need for empowering women in all walks of life, he rued that India has only 26 per cent women participation in the world of business, saying this was one of the lowest globally.
“Business leaders should take the time to listen to women and empower them, because empowering women leads to good business and helps the community,” Trudeau said.
Noting the huge amount of “compatibility and complementarity” between the two nations, the Canadian prime minister urged the leaders of both nations to work together for the common benefits of their people.
Already home to 1.25 lakh Indian students on annual basis, he said he wants Canada to become the number one destination for Indian students.
Welcoming more Indians to his country, Trudeau said the 1.3 million-strong Indo-Canadians are a great strength for this nation.