Canada expands access to India

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Canada expands access to India

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government is betting that increased access to one of the world's biggest and fastest-growing economies will be good for trade and investment. The agreement gives designated airlines access to Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai, while Indian air carriers get access to Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver and two additional points to be selected by India, the government said on November 14. Air Canada is the only designated carrier that can fly to Indian cities, but other domestic carriers can seek designation status, the minister said.

This expanded agreement will continue to facilitate trade and investment between Canada and India and will help our businesses grow and succeed, by making the movement of goods and people faster and easier, according to Alghabra. Rohinton Medhora, a distinguished fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, said that removing the cap on flights was an important piece of the puzzle in Canada's pursuit of a comprehensive trade agreement with India. He said that Canada and India take seriously their economic relations. Canada has tried to reach a trade deal with India but it has failed several times, starting with former prime minister Stephen Harper. Canada and India are trying to revive ties this year after relations between Trudeau's government and Narendra Modi's regime hit a rough patch a few years ago over New Delhi s concern that Ottawa was soft on the separatist movement in the state of Punjab. In March, the two countries relaunched negotiations over a trade agreement.

Alghabra said Monday that the announcement had nothing to do with China. In 1982, Ottawa and New Delhi reached an agreement on air transportation services and expanded it before Monday s refreshed deal in 2011 under Canada's Blue Sky Policy. The policy adopted in 2006 set out a framework to guide Canada in pursuing bilateral deals that boost the country's economy through expanded international air travel for everyone from tourists to entrepreneurs. India's consul general Apoorva Srivastava said at the Pearson press conference that the expanded agreement is an important development in the countries bilateral dealings, underlining that the foundation of the Canada-India relationship is strong people-to-people ties. There are 700,000 Indian citizens living and working here in Canada, Srivastava said. Indian students form the largest share of international students coming and studying in Canada. We currently have 230,000 and a lot more ready to come to Canada for educational purposes.