Prime Minister's media statement during the...
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Prime Minister's media statement during the State Visit of Prime Minister of Canada Mr.Stephen Harper to India
Your Excellency Prime Minister Harper,
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media,

It is my pleasure to extend a very warm welcome to Prime Minister Harper on his second visit to India. Since his last visit in 2009, our bilateral relations have seen a significant transformation. I am confi dent that our ties will be marked by increasingly beneficial cooperat ion in the years ahead.

Prime Minister Harper and I have cond ucted a comprehensive review of our wide-ranging partnership. We agreed to inst itute a Strategic Dial ogue at the level of Foreign Ministers. We id entified energy cooperation, particularly exports of Canadian oil and natural gas as well as renewable energy cooperation, as an area with enormous potential. A Ministeria l-level energy dialogue will supplement the Strategic Dialogue and promote spec ific projects. We also welcomed the recent progress made towards concludi ng the modalities for the effective operationalization of the agreement on ci vil nuclear energy co operation that we had signed in 2010.

There is active collaboration in high te chnology sectors betw een our scientific institutions. The Prime Minister and I agreed on the need to develop such linkages. The MOU that has just been signed between DRDO and York University is a welcome fo ray into bilateral defence technology cooperation, where Canadian prow ess is widely acknowledged.

The large Indian origin community in Canada, and the people to people interaction this has fostered, has played a vital role in strength ening our relations. The Social Security Agreem ent that has been signed today will be of enormous benefit to many expatriate pr ofessionals in both countries.

Canada has traditionally been an important partner in our efforts to ensure food security. In this context, both sides have agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of agriculture.

Our economic cooperation is below its potential. The es tablishment of a bilateral CEOs Forum, and the commitment to a structured dialogue between our Commerce Ministers, will hel p our trade and economic in teraction. We resolved to conclude negotiations for a Comprehensive Econom ic Partnership Agreement within the next year. I assured the Prim e Minister that India is committed to finalizing a Bilateral Investment Protec tion and Promotion Agreement, on which negotiations are underway. I also convey ed that India hopes to attract more Canadian investment in India, just as th ere has been a steady flow of Indian capital into Canada.

India and Canada are nations built on shared values that celebrate democracy, inclusiveness and diversity. We have similar concerns in combating terrorism, extremism and radicalism. The Prime Mini ster and I agreed to deepen our counter-terrorism cooperation. I conveyed to the Prime Minister our appreciation for Canada's efforts in promoting pe ace and development in Afghanistan.

Our two countries have a comm on interest in the stabilit y of the global financial system. We have a close an d effective partnership in the G-20, where India and Canada co-chair the Working Group on a Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth. The Prime Minister and I agreed to intensify our coordination in international fora.

Prime Minister Harper's visit is yet anothe r milestone in our b ilateral relations. It has been a pleasure working with him and I look forward to continuing our fruitful partnership.

Thank you.

New Delhi
November 6, 2012

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