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India's High Commissioner talks economy, travel at Toronto's Empire Club

Published on 10/29/2015

Blake Wolfe

India's High Commissioner talks economy, travel

(PHOTO: Vishnu Prakash, High Commissioner of India to Canada; Gordon McIvor, president, Empire Club of Canada; Barbara Jesson, president, Jesson& Company Communications; Anil Oraw, director, India Tourism Toronto.)

  India's economic growth, relationship to Canada and its ever-growing tourism sector were among the topics of discussion at an exclusive event this week, as India Tourism partnered with the Empire Club of Canada to welcome Vishnu Prakash, India's High Commissioner to Canada, to a lunch event in Toronto.

  Approximately 20 years since the two countries embarked on an active trade partnership culminating in the 'The Year of India' in 2011 (marked with dozens of celebrations across Canada), that relationship continues, Prakash said, citing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "rock star reception" in Canada earlier this year. The relationship is an important one for both countries, Prakash explained, and with India poised to become the third largest global economy by 2030, that importance continues to grow.

  Not surprisingly, travel between the two countries continues to increase, due in part to the 1.2 million Canadians of Indian origin as well as growing promotion and tourism infrastructure, Prakash told PAX.

  "It's a unique tourism product, there's everything a traveller could possibly want," Prakash said. "But we need more Canadians to come visit.

  "There is a large Indian diaspora of 1.2 million people - every 30th Canadian is of Indian origin," he continued. "That's unique. At the same time, our relationships - trade, science & technology - are growing while at the same time, each country is as similar and as different as can be. It's not accidental there are tourism opportunities growing in each country."

  To grow the number of Canadians travelling to India, Prakash cited a number of developments taking place, from increased airlift (such as Air Canada's Toronto-Delhi route launching Nov. 1) to the recent granting of electronic tourist visas for Canadians travelling to India, allowing them to apply online and receive their documents by mail.

  "We need more travel connections, better infrastructure in India so it's a process but we're very much up to the task," Prakash said."

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