Canada hopes for 'new era of partnership' with India

The purpose of the visit, beginning tomorrow, was to develop a comprehensive and holistic relationship with India which, with its 1.2 billion people, is the world's largest democracy and an emerging power, official sources said.

The nuclear agenda will be one of the most closely- watched issues on this trip, as the civilian nuclear agreement has existed in draft form for several months now.
The accord would mirror similar deals India reached with the US and France, sources said, adding Harper's visit will mark "a new era of partnership" with New Delhi.
Harper, who will be discussing bilateral issues with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is also expected to sign a Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement to safeguard investors' rights in the two countries.

Singh and Harper are likely to use the trip to talk about a Canada-India Free Trade Agreement or smaller steps to lower trade barriers between the two countries.
Noting that "there is a tremendous amount of potential" in Canada's ties with India, Harper said in a recent statement that "we share a history of cooperation in the Commonwealth and the United Nations, as well as a shared commitment to pluralism, democracy, human rights and the rule of law."

"Our goal is to build a stronger, more dynamic partnership based on shared commercial, political and regional interests," Harper had said.
As a new deal on nuclear technology is expected to be signed, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd's CEO, Hugh McDiarmid, is scheduled to be in New Delhi with the Canadian Prime Minister.

So are officials from Cameco, the uranium miner with significant operations in Saskatchewan. Cameco is also opening a marketing office in India.
"Certainly, we're looking forward to having the opportunity to do business in India," Cameco spokesman Lyle Krahn said recently. "It's a large market opportunity for any uranium fuel supplier."

Harper's itinerary in India is filled with cultural, spiritual and education events, in addition to speeches and meetings with investors and politicians. It reflects that Canada is keen to see its relationship with India grow in all aspects.
The itinerary carefully balances events of interests to the Sikh, Hindu and Muslim Indo-Canadians who constitute one million of this country's population. The Prime Minister's office has even organised a tour of a TV reality show that is popular among the Indian diaspora.

Harper will land in Mumbai to begin his India visit after participating in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Singapore, the Prime Minister's office said. This will be followed by a visit to China from December 2 to 6.

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