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20 de fevereiro de 2018

CANADA ECONOMICS



CANADA - MERCOSUR



Global Affairs Canada. February 19, 2018. Minister Champagne to highlight benefits of trade diversification in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador

Ottawa, Ontario - Global trade offers real opportunities for hard-working middle-class Canadians by helping to grow Canadian businesses, creating jobs and securing Canada’s prosperity. This is the reason why the Government of Canada is committed to achieving progressive trade agreements that expand markets and enable more people, particularly women, Indigenous peoples, youth and small and medium-sized businesses, to share in the resulting benefits.

From the recently concluded Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Canada is locking in trade deals that will help grow the middle class. Canada is also looking to pursue new initiatives to further diversify trade opportunities, such as a potential agreement with the South American trade bloc Mercosur, comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. To help maximize the benefits of trade for the middle class, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, will speak directly with Canadians during a cross-country tour called #TradeTalks.

From February 19 to 23, 2018, Minister Champagne will travel to Calgary and Regina to promote the opportunities offered by the CPTPP and discuss the potential benefits of a trade agreement with Mercosur.

While in Calgary and Regina, Minister Champagne will participate in round table discussions with key industry stakeholders. In Regina, the Minister will deliver keynote remarks on the Government of Canada’s progressive trade agenda and participate in a moderated armchair discussion co-hosted by the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership and the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce.

On February 23, 2018, Minister Champagne will be in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, to participate in a round table discussion with key provincial industry stakeholders to discuss the benefits offered by CETA and the opportunities Mercosur could represent to Canadians.

Quotes

“Ensuring Canada has access to diverse and growing markets is more important than ever for Canadian businesses so they can grow, continue to hire more Canadians and help strengthen the middle class.”

- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade

Quick facts

  • With the launch of CETA’s provisional application, on September 21, 2017, 98% of Canadian and EU tariff lines became duty-free, creating new opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • Combined, the CPTPP countries will eliminate over 95% of their tariffs, with the vast majority to be eliminated immediately upon the agreement’s entry into force.
  • Mercosur member states collectively represent the world’s fourth-largest trade bloc, with a GDP of Can$3.2 trillion and a population of 260 million people.

Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA): http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/ceta-aecg/index.aspx?lang=eng
Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP): https://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/tpp-ptp/index.aspx?lang=eng



CANADÁ - ÍNDIA



Prime Minister announces new commercial partnerships with India and thousands of middle class jobs for Canadians Mumbai, India - February 20, 2018

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and offers significant opportunities to strengthen Canada’s middle class and bolster our shared prosperity. Our deep cultural and people-to-people ties foster an economic relationship that creates high quality jobs in both our countries.

While meeting with business leaders in Mumbai today, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, welcomed more than $1 billion in investments between Canadian and Indian companies, which will lead to the creation of more than 5,800 good, well-paying middle class jobs for Canadians.

These investments will grow Canada’s economy, encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and see increased collaboration in several key sectors, including infrastructure, information technology, aerospace, clean technology, film production, and research and development.

Later in the day, the Prime Minister participated in a women’s leadership roundtable and met with a number of business executives to discuss how Canadians and Indians can benefit from new opportunities to cooperate in the global economy and promote women’s economic empowerment.

He then participated in an armchair discussion at the Canada-India Business Forum before attending an event with members of the Indian film industry and a reception with business and community leaders.

Quote

“As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, India offers exciting opportunities for Canadian businesses of all sizes. The partnerships announced today will create thousands of good, middle class jobs for Canadians, and are further proof of the ever-growing ties between our two countries.”

—The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts
  • During the visit to Mumbai, the Prime Minister met with the senior corporate leadership of the following companies: Tata Sons, Infosys, Mahindra Group of Companies, Jubilant Bhartia Group, Aditya Birla Group, and Shapoorji Pallonji Group.
  • Canada and India enjoy a strong and growing commercial relationship, in addition to important cultural and people-to-people ties.
  • Merchandise exports to India totalled $4.18 billion in 2017, making India Canada’s seventh-largest destination for merchandise exports, while merchandise imports totalled $4.16 billion that same year.
  • Bilateral trade in services between our two countries reached $2.1 billion for 2016, an increase of 1.9 per cent over 2015. India is also Canada’s 10th-largest source of tourists and international visitors, with 224,000 visits made from India to Canada in 2016.
Strengthening of Canada-India commercial relationship


India is the world’s fastest growing major economy, and Canada’s relationship with India offers tremendous opportunities for increased business-to-business and people-to-people collaboration that will bolster our shared prosperity.

Today, the Prime Minister announced commitments from businesses which will lead to the creation of more than 5,800 good, well-paying middle class jobs for Canadians. Canadian and Indian companies signed 66 new commercial contracts and agreements – worth more than $1 billion – which will help grow both our economies.

They also demonstrate the scope of connections between the Canadian and Indian businesses and cover a wide variety of commercial sectors, including infrastructure, information technology, aerospace, clean technology, film production, and research and development.

Indian companies invest in Canada

Indian companies will invest close to $250 million in Canada, which will create more than 5,800 good, well-paying jobs middle class jobs for Canadians. These investments include:
  • Tech Mahindra, a leading provider of digital transformation, consulting and business reengineering services and solutions, will announce a strategic partnership and investment in Canada on February 22. This partnership is key to the Government of Canada’s Superclusters initiative. It will pave the way for Canadians and Indians to access cutting-edge future technologies, while creating a niche talent pool and job opportunities in next generation technology areas. Tech Mahindra is committed to its continued expansion in Canada.
  • As a global company present in 45 countries, Tata Consultancy Services is a significant employer in Canada and has been investing in the Canadian marketplace for more than 25 years. A strategic partner to top Canadian businesses, the company will continue to grow its existing operations in Canada.
  • Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology, and next-generation services. that operates in 45 countries, will prioritize Canada as a place to increase its investment in the local market and train local workers in the skills they need for the increasingly digital future to help make Canadian industry even more competitive.
  • Jubilant Life Sciences, part of Jubilant Bhartia Group, will invest $100 million to expand its facilities in Kirkland, Quebec. The facilities are used for the manufacturing and distribution of medical devices that are recognized globally for their high quality and capabilities.
  • Consus Global announced the establishment of an office in Ontario to provide consulting and implementation services to the Canadian and North American markets.  Consus Global is one of the leading procurement systems integrator and services companies in India, working in the fields of cost reduction, procurement to pay optimization, and supplier collaboration.
  • Valiant Communications Limited, one of the leading telecom equipment manufacturers of India, is planning to make upstream business investments in Canada to design and develop products that will be used to monitor and administer distributed power networks based on artificial intelligence. The new operation will also be used to provide customer support services to North American customers.
  • Clarion Pharmaceutical Co., an ISO 9001:2015 company, announced plans to establish a Canadian manufacturing facility that will produce natural health products for export, as well as domestic consumption.
  • Co-headquartered in India and the United States, Softsquare, a provider of Salesforce implementation services, is aligning with Salesforce Canada to launch their cloud solutions practice in Canada. Softsquare is venturing into Canada with the intent of tapping into Salesforce clientele and research talent.
  • Vision Controls Inc., a sister company of Vision Comptel based in Kolkata, India, announced the launch of operations in Ontario in the field of automation. The company plans to scale up operations with recruitment of a local team and to establish a development centre to cater to the North & South American markets, starting in mid-2018.
Canadian companies invest in India

Canadian companies will also invest in India, bring their innovative ideas to the country to capitalize on India’s increasingly stable investment climate and to help its policy priorities. These investments include:
  • Brookfield has agreed to acquire Essar Group’s 1.25-million square foot office complex in Mumbai for $480 million. Essar, whose major subsidiary is currently under insolvency, will use the proceeds to repay their Indian lenders. This is an example of Canadian capital entering the country to help with the recovery of India's stressed banking sector.
  • Fairfax India Holdings Corporation of Canada announced it is acquiring a 51 per cent stake in the Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd. of Kerala.  This $200 million transaction marks the first time the Reserve Bank of India has allowed a foreign entity to take a controlling interest in an Indian financial institution.  This transaction will inject much needed capital to a region of India needing economic opportunities for its citizens.
  • Quebec-based Darram Inc. and Indian Hotels Company Limited proudly announced the opening of the Taj Rishikesh Resort & Spa, located beside the Ganges River in Uttarakhand. Set amidst the Himalayas, this eco-conscious hotel—with an investment of $30 million—will showcase a joint Indo-Canadian design that adheres to the world’s best sustainable development practices.
  • Cricket Canada and Mercuri Talent of India’s Mercuri Group announced the launch of a Global T-20 Canadian Cricket League with an initial investment of $20 million‎. The inaugural tournament is scheduled to be held in June 2018 in the Toronto area, with the participation of six elite Canadian teams involving both international and Canadian cricketers.
  • Alacrity India fund, part of Wesley Clover’s global technology startup initiative, has started operations after completing and Exchange Board of Indiaregistration and groundbreaking of their incubator in Pune, India. Co-promoted with the Indian company "Ideas to Impacts," the company will help Indian start-ups that provide subscription-based solutions to businesses to scale globally. The fund’s first investment of approximately USD$0.5 million is expected in March.
  • Vancouver Film School announced the opening of a campus in Mumbai, located at the Wilson College’s Mackichan Complex, where students will learn the film school’s curricula. Upon completion of the programs at the Mumbai campus, students will have the option to transfer to the Vancouver Film School campus in Vancouver.
  • Dominion Diamond India, headquartered in Alberta, has set up a new shared services office in Mumbai that provides IT support to Dominion Diamond Mines offices and operations around the world. The company has been operating in India since 2005 to sort and sell premium rough diamond assortments from the Ekati and Diavik diamond mines in the Northwest Territories. It employs almost 100 people in India, including the new IT staff. Dominion Diamond Mines works with numerous Indian diamond manufacturers on the CanadaMark hallmark program, to assure the integrity of the supply chain of Canadian diamonds from mine to retail.
Opportunities for women

By providing access to funding, talent, mentorship, and potential customers, Canada and India will work together on initiatives that help women in both countries build thriving businesses. These agreements include:
  • Canada’s Department of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and India’s Department of Science and Technology announced new funding of $500,000 each for Zone Startups, owned by Ryerson Futures Inc., to support bilateral exchange of entrepreneurial ventures with a major focus on women-led startups. The funding will enable 20 entrepreneurs from Canada to participate in a soft-landing program at Zone Startups in Mumbai, and 20 Indian entrepreneurs from India to participate in a soft-landing program at Zone Startups in Toronto. Zone Startups will also organize an annual two-day seminar in both cities, reaching an additional 60 women in both countries. This initiative follows Zone Startups' success with empoWer, which has impacted 35 women entrepreneurs in India, and the Next BIG Idea Contest through which 33 Indian startups have entered Canada over the years.
  • Vancouver Film School announced a scholarship competition for all students, and one specifically for women, from across India in the fields of Film Production, 3D Animation and VFX, Game Design, and Digital Design. Students will be judged on their portfolios, and a total of 36 scholarships will be available.
  • The SME Chamber of India has appointed AVC Inc. as their representative for business development in Canada. Under this agreement, AVC will connect small and medium-sized enterprises from both countries, with a focus on women entrepreneurs, in the sectors of agri-food, technology, and arts and culture.
  • The Canada-India Acceleration Program, jointly launched by Carleton University and the All India Council for Technical Education, will empower women entrepreneurs to scale-up their innovative solutions internationally to address global challenges. The program will provide women entrepreneurs with access to funding, talent, mentorship, and potential customers.
Creative collaborations between Canada and India

Canada and India will strengthen our people-to-people ties through cultural exchanges and increased collaboration in the arts that will create jobs in the creative sector and help grow Canada’s film industry. These agreements include:
  • Academy Award Winner Director Roger Christian will direct a feature film called Black Angel, with producing partners Lina Dhingra of Canada’s karmaPRO Entertainment Group and Harald Reichebner of Germany’s Global Filmtime. This epic fantasy feature will highlight the majestic landscapes of Rajasthan, which is known for its beauty and architecture. The $8 million production is slated to start filming in September 2018.
  • Toronto-based True Space Films and Delhi-based Ekaa Films have signed an agreement to co-produce “A Taj Mahal Love Story,” a full-length feature film with a strong woman empowerment narrative. The film will be shot in India with editing and post-production completed in Toronto. The producers are working to make this film an official co-production under the Canada-India co-production agreement.
  • The Canada-India co-production "CITIZEN J," produced by the Canadian company Karma Film and the Indian company Video Volunteers, is a cross-platform documentary series that examines the role and impact of citizen journalists in indigenous communities in Canada and India on hot-button issues like gender, poverty and the environment.
  • Canadian-based NeGandhi Marketing & Consulting and Mumbai-based Assemblage Entertainment have partnered with Los Angeles-based Whisper Pictures and a Beijing-based subsidiary of CFG on the animated family film Mooned – a story about Jade Rabbit, the Rabbit in the Moon in Asian mythology, and how he and his 357 babies rescue their home from the depredations of two careless human astronauts.
  • Breathing Forest Productions Canada and Bombay Berlin Film Production India are partnering on Permanent Resident, a co-venture feature film which will begin production in the fall of 2018. The project, by writer and director Satinder Kassoana, a Canadian citizen of Indian origin, was selected for NFDC India’s Co-production Market 2017. The film will be shot in Canada and India in English and Punjabi.
  • The Canada-India-Europe co-production Shadow of a Crescent Moon, based on the novel by Fatima Bhutto, will be directed by Oscar-nominated Michael Radford and produced by Canada’s Anand Ramayya and Austria’s Arno Krimmer. 
  • Canada-India co-production The Boyfriend, based on the novel by R. Raj Rao, will be adapted for the screen by Brad Fraser, two-time winner of the Chalmers Award and a Canadian Governor General Award nominee. The co-production will be directed by groundbreaking Indian Independent Filmmaker Ashim Ahluwalia, and produced by Canada’s Anand Ramayya and Mehernaz Lentin and India’s Anu Rangachar.
  • Untitled Delhi Police Series is based on true-life accounts of officers in India’s capital. It is a gritty, street-shot depiction of law and order in the world’s largest democracy. Written and directed by Richie Mehta, and produced by Golden Karavan and Ivanhoe Pictures, it is one of the largest ever Canada-India film and television projects.
  • AVC Inc., a Canadian consultancy, has signed an agreement with BWB Films of Mumbai to market BWB’s films in Canada. The first film under this agreement is Saade Aale, which highlights the Canadian kabbadi sports team and the cultural ties between Canada and India. The film will be released in Canada on July 6, 2018. The second film under this agreement is Desi, parts of which will be filmed in Canada this summer.
Canada sells what India needs

India is the one of the world’s fastest growing economies, and a priority market for Canada in a variety of sectors, including aerospace, clean technology, transportation and infrastructure. Some of the commercial agreements finalized this week include:
  • eCAMION, an Ontario energy storage company, has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services to design and manufacture electric vehicle and bus charging stations in India. With a long-term opportunity of $50 million, this partnership will see eCAMION’s energy storage-supported electric charging technology lay the groundwork for the large-scale electrification of India’s public and private transportation sectors.
  • Starmass Environment Technologies Corporation signed an agreement with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) Water Ltd, a subsidiary of IL&FS India, to add value to their water sector services to address some of the acute and immediate concerns of the water utility industry. They will use some of the very high potential technologies available with Starmass using smart contracts and blockchain technology for leak detection, automated meter reading, and water systems integration.
  • Vancouver-based VeloMetro Mobility Inc. signed a technology, manufacturing, and licensing memorandum of understanding with S P Sanjay & Sons that will assist the company to deploy its electric vehicle technology worldwide, with an initial franchised fleet being deployed in India and potentially throughout the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation area. This new agreement leverages the technology developed in Canada with manufacturing and distribution capabilities in India.
  • IMAX Corporation and India’s leading multiplex chain, PVR Cinemas, signed an agreement to open five new IMAX theatres in India. This marks the parties’ fourth agreement, bringing PVR’s total IMAX network to 15. IMAX works with the world’s most acclaimed studios and filmmakers to deliver audiences an immersive movie-going experience.
  • British Columbia-based MDA will provide satellite data from RADARSAT-2 to ISRO under an agreement with NRSC. The radar data will be primarily used in India for disaster monitoring, to support rescue operations during the rainy season when floods occur, and for agricultural monitoring applications. This contract is an extension of work that has been done for more than 15 years.
  • Toronto’s Pack-Smart Inc., a world’s leading designer and manufacturer of high performance automation technologies, and Reliance Jio, India’s fastest-growing telecommunications and digital services company, reached a cooperation agreement for the implementation of Pack-Smart’s advanced technologies in Jio’s distribution business. The products include SIM card packaging automation, fulfillment equipment, and software applications. This partnership is an important stepping stone towards further collaboration and development, and eventual Pack-Smart technology manufacturing opportunities in India.
  • Jio selected Solace, a leading Canadian IT company, for their messaging middleware appliance to support faster customer on boarding and provisioning. Solace messaging middleware appliances provide high performance, reliability, scalability, and the ability to efficiently route massive amounts of event-driven information.
  • ThinkRF Corp., the leader in software-defined spectrum analysis, announced its expansion to India with the appointment of VigVen Tech Mark Pvt Ltd., an authorized reseller of electronic test equipment, as its channel partner for ThinkRF solutions in that region. This relationship will help ThinkRF quickly enter the rapidly growing India market with a trusted provider of electronic test solutions while expanding VigVen’s product portfolio to better help their customers solve several key challenges in spectrum monitoring and analysis.
  • DataWind launched MeraNet, a patented breakthrough web delivery platform application. Providing a revolutionary internet service to help bridge the digital divide for the billion unconnected Indians, MeraNet delivers unlimited internet browsing on any android smartphone or tablet on the BSNL network at just one rupee/day. MeraNet allows unlimited browsing of billions of webpages for a full year for a one-time annual fee of only Rs.365.
Building people-to-people ties through education

Canada and India will increase their partnership in education to strengthen our people-to-people ties, while encouraging joint research and development projects and spurring entrepreneurship and innovation. Canada-India education agreements include:
  • Niagara College and INSCOL Healthcare are embarking on a multi-year program to increase global access to health services through nursing education for 1000 Indian health professionals, addressing a global shortage of skilled nursing professionals. This agreement will generate more than $50 million, driving economic development and job creation in Ontario.
  • University of British Columbia and Mitacs will provide 10 inbound and 30 outbound student research internship awards to strengthen the bilateral connections with Indian energy research institutions. The exchanges will be aligned with the University’s initiatives in clean energy, energy access, and mobility, as well as developing industry-led training and research consortia. This partnership is part of a funding project worth more than $3.5 million over three years, shared among some Canadian universities, Mitacs, the Ministry of Human Resource Development of India and the World Bank.
  • Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Waterloo and Mitacs will provide five inbound and 10 outbound student research internship awards in partnerships with selected IITs to enhance cross-border entrepreneurship and technology commercialization activities bilaterally in the field of nanotechnology. The internships will be conducted in close coordination with Waterloo’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. This partnership is part of a funding project of more than $3.5 million over three years, shared among some Canadian universities, Mitacs, the Ministry of Human Resource Development of India, and the World Bank. 
  • University of Toronto and Mitacs will provide 15 inbound and 50 outbound student research internship awards to strengthen the partnerships with institutions in India. The initiative will be aligned with their engagement with the city of Pune’s Smart Pune Program that is focused on affordable housing, immigrant migration, digital interoperability, and cybersecurity. This partnership is part of a funding project of more than $3.5 million over three years, shared among some Canadian universities, Mitacs, the Ministry of Human Resource Development of India, and the World Bank. 
  • Simon Fraser University and Mitacs will provide 10 inbound and 10 outbound research internships to strengthen its partnerships with India's elite network of Indian Institutes of Technology and provide students with opportunities to gain advanced research skills and global competencies. This partnership is part of a funding project of more than $3.5 million over three years, shared between some Canadian universities, Mitacs, the Ministry of Human Resource Development of India, and the World Bank. 
  • This first ever initiative in India by the National Academy of Construction, in partnership with Starmass Canada, is a milestone in Indo-Canadian cooperation and will help build capacity in India's technical workforce. This partnership will impart key skills in assessment, evaluation of structural soundness of ageing physical infrastructure, rehabilitation, operation, and maintenance areas, leading to the protection of Indian physical assets. The estimated value of this partnership is $2 million over a period of 5 years.
  • Vancouver’s Langara College signed an agreement with technology firm Optimus Information in Noida, in partnership with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. The three-year deal worth $80,000 creates a pilot program to support Langara College Computer Science and Business students for four-month work-integrated learning placements at Optimus.
  • Father Fénelon Catholic School in Pickering, Ontario and St. Kabir School in Ahmedabad, India launched a partnership for participation in the Global Gandhi Peace Program, which is focused on teaching non-violence to children and youth. These two schools will pilot a program developed by the Indian Centre for Environment Education and the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust. The program will be launched globally on October 2, 2019, which will mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi.   
  • Carleton and Nirma University will sign a memorandum of understanding focused on supporting research collaboration, capacity building, and other forms of academic partnerships.
  • Durham College, Fanshawe College, Georgian College, and St. Clair College have launched a mobile app for prospective students from India. This app, developed in India by Maple-Assist Inc., will provide relevant and credible information about the colleges and their application programs, and assist students in their transition to Canada. This app is expected to be used by over 25,000 prospective students in 2018.
  • Niagara College and the International Institute of Hotel Management, an Indian leader in hospitality and tourism education, have established a new partnership to support two-way mobility and skills transfer as part of Niagara College’s vision of being Canada’s global college. This new partnership deepens Niagara College’s education footprint across India. 
  • Seneca College and FORE School of Management announced a partnership to deliver online executive education programs for working professionals in India and elsewhere on Tech-Mahindra's state of art Learning Management System. The first program under this collaboration is an online, 11-month executive management program that features an optional two-week global immersion program. The program will be delivered in Toronto, Canada.
  • Seneca College and INSCOL Healthcare announced a partnership to provide internationally trained nurses with additional knowledge and skills to competently care for individuals and their families experiencing cardiovascular illness. This two-semester postgraduate certificate program will combine theory and clinical courses to provide the knowledge, skills, and judgment to practice safely in an acute coronary care setting.
  • University of Toronto and Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay announced a student mobility partnership creating bi-directional learning abroad programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Participating students register at the host institution for the full academic year or a minimum of one academic term.
Fostering innovation ties between Canada and India

Both Canada and India will benefit from agreements focused on joint research and development investments that will allow our countries to work together on common issues. Innovation related agreements include:
  • Kinectrics Inc., a Canadian energy technology company, has teamed up with the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar, Gujarat to set up a one of a kind conductor testing, R&D, and forensics laboratory. With an investment of $1.75 million each, the local economy is expected to grow by close to $4 million very quickly. The ground-breaking ceremony took place on February 19, 2018, and construction will start immediately.
  • Venus Group and Safritel Canada Inc. signed a joint venture, which will focus on automotive innovation and R&D initiatives to develop new automotive advanced emissions technologies, best in class automotive seat adjustment, automotive ecosystem technologies, and cloud connected solutions for connected and automated vehicles to improve driver connectivity. The investment will see an R&D centre established in Ottawa, followed by manufacturing facilities in India and Canada.
  • Carleton University's Canada-India Centre for Excellence and Participatory Research in Asia, in partnership with other leading centres in India and Canada, are launching a program to develop capacity building programs in the administration and planning for Smart Cities projects.
  • IC-IMPACTS and SenseIndia, part of Starmass Group, a global provider of turnkey solutions for infrastructure, will collaborate to monitor the health of bridges and public infrastructure using high-tech sensors. This venture represents success of small and medium-sized enterprises to collaborate across international boundaries and expand technological innovations in infrastructure, energy, and the environment.
  • Ontario’s Communitech and Hyderabad's T-Hub announced the intent to partner in support of global commercialization of each other's technology companies. They will share space, programming, and mentorship, and create a program where companies of both countries will join to resolve a corporate innovation problem.
  • Hyderabad's T-Hub and the University of British Columbia signed a statement of cooperation to establish a market access bridge allowing growth stage start-ups and scale-ups from both countries to enter Indian and Canadian markets successfully as part of their global expansion. Both partners have further agreed to support aspiring student entrepreneurs from both countries in solving problems of global relevance through co-creation.
  • University of Toronto and the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay announced a partnership to deepen collaboration and the innovation ecosystem between Canada and India. Together, they will develop capacity and ideas exchange for both countries, develop the next generation of Indian faculty, and grow higher education capacity in India to accelerate joint research, industry engagement, entrepreneurship, and mutual market access for Canada and India.
  • The University of Toronto and Biocon Ltd., India’s leading biopharmaceutical company, have signed a collaborative research agreement to identify a novel set of biological assets for complex diseases with a goal to address unmet patient needs. The collaboration, negotiated by the Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics, will leverage the scientific expertise of Biocon scientists at its research centre in Bangalore and Dr. Sachdev Sidhu’s team at the Donnelly Centre at the University, continuing their productive research partnership and applying their unique strengths toward finding solutions for global health issues.
  • IC-IMPACTS and Tata Consultancy Services, a global IT leader, will jointly fund mobility of Canadian graduate students to conduct research at Tata Consultancy Services Innovation Centers in India. Indian and Canadian researchers will be immersed in fast-tracking solutions to infrastructure, water, and public health challenges facing India, Canada, and other nations.
  • Showcasing Canada-India joint research and development collaboration to innovate new age medical equipment, Jubilant Draxlmage, in close collaboration with the Ottawa Heart Institute, has developed RUBY-FILL, a cutting-edge product which enhances the way that patients with known or suspected coronary artery disease are both diagnosed and managed. This product has received approval from the Ministry of Health in India in 2018, and first sales have now commenced.
  • British Columbia’s Rick Hansen Institute and IC-IMPACTS have forged a strategic partnership with researchers at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre and the All India Institute of Medical Science for an innovation project to develop and commercialize technologies that address secondary complications in people living with spinal cord injuries.
  • The Blockchain Research Institute of Canada, a world leader exploring blockchain opportunities and challenges, will initiate a memorandum of understanding with India’s NASSCOM. This partnership will accelerate India’s adoption of this technology for innovation, prosperity and good government.
Canada and India’s relationship strengthened by people-to-people ties

Canada and India enjoy a close relationship that is based on similar institutions and forms of government, and a shared commitment to pluralism, diversity, and democracy. Our friendship is bolstered by strong people-to-people and cultural ties, and a long history of cooperation in a range of areas, including education.

As part of his official visit to India, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today spent time at cultural and religious sites of significance to people in Canada, India, and around the world.

Prime Minister Trudeau visited the Gandhi Ashram, Mahatma Gandhi’s former residence and the starting point for the Salt March, a major protest in 1930 that played a significant role in India’s independence movement. He also visited the Akshardham Temple, one of India’s largest Hindu temples. The Prime Minister will spend time at other sites of similar importance later this week, including the Golden Temple, a place of religious significance to Sikhs, the Jama Masjid Mosque, the largest mosque in India, and the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Delhi’s largest Catholic church.

The Prime Minister’s visits to these sites highlight how both Canada and India gain strength from their commitment to diversity and pluralism. They also build on the already strong people-to-people ties enjoyed by our two countries.

Canada is home to a vibrant Indian diaspora, with approximately 1.4 million Canadians of Indian heritage. The Indo-Canadian community makes significant contributions to Canadian society in a range of areas, including business, arts and culture, health care and medicine, public service, journalism, advocacy, and philanthropy. 

Our people-to-people ties are deepened through a shared focus on the importance of excellence in education. The Prime Minister highlighted that common priority today while speaking to students and participating in a question and answer session at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. The Institute has student exchange programs with Canadian universities, including McGill University, the University of British Columbia and its Sauder School of Business, as well as the Schulich School of Business at York University. These exchange programs demonstrate the close connections enjoyed between educational institutions in our two countries. 

Quotes

“These holy sites are of great significance to Indians and people of faith from around the world, including many Canadians. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to visit them, and look forward to the rest of the trip as an opportunity to deepen the already strong Canada-India friendship.”

—The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Canada and India both embrace education as one of the most important pathways to success. It is essential to both our countries that our students and institutions have access to the tools and resources they need to be competitive on the world stage. I thank the students from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad for a great discussion on how education and innovation can help us build a more prosperous future.”

—The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick facts
  • India is Canada’s second largest source of immigrants (approximately 40,000 in 2016).
  • India is also Canada’s 10th largest source of tourists and international visitors, with 224,000 visits made from India to Canada in 2016.
  • An estimated 124,000 students from India held a permit to study in Canada for six months or more in 2017. Canada is the second most popular destination for Indian students going abroad for higher education.
  • Canadian universities and colleges are also very active in India, and there are currently over 400 agreements between institutions in both our countries.  
See also

Prime Minister Trudeau to travel to India for state visit: https://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2018/01/22/prime-minister-trudeau-travel-india-state-visit

Itinerary for Tuesday, February 20, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario - February 19, 2018

Note: All times local

Itinerary for the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, for Tuesday, February 20, 2018:

Mumbai, India

9 a.m. The Prime Minister will meet with the Chairman of Tata Sons, Natarajan Chandrasekaran. 

Golden 1 Room, Banquet Floor
Taj Mahal Palace

Note for media:

Pooled photo opportunity at the beginning of the meeting

9:40 a.m. The Prime Minister will meet with the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Infosys, Salil Parekh

Golden 1 Room, Banquet Floor

Taj Mahal Palace

Note for media:

Pooled photo opportunity at the beginning of the meeting

10:20 a.m. The Prime Minister will meet with the Chairman of Mahindra Group, Anand G. Mahindra.

Golden 1 Room, Banquet Floor

Taj Mahal Palace

Note for media:

Pooled photo opportunity at the beginning of the meeting

11 a.m. The Prime Minister will meet with the Founder and Co-Chairman of Jubilant Bhartia Group, Hari Bhartia.

Golden 1 Room, Banquet Floor

Taj Mahal Palace

Note for media:

Pooled photo opportunity at the beginning of the meeting

11:40 a.m. The Prime Minister will meet with the Chairman of Aditya Birla Group, Kumar Mangalam Birla.

Golden 1 Room, Banquet Floor

Taj Mahal Palace

Note for media:

Pooled photo opportunity at the beginning of the meeting

12:20 p.m. The Prime Minister will meet with Shapoorji Pallonji Group board member, Cyrus Mistry.

Golden 1 Room, Banquet Floor

Taj Mahal Palace

Note for media:

Pooled photo opportunity at the beginning of the meeting

1:45 p.m. The Prime Minister will participate in a women business leaders’ roundtable discussion with Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank Limited.

Rendez-vous Room, RS Floor

Taj Mahal Tower Wing

Note for media:

Pooled photo opportunity

3:15 p.m. The Prime Minister will participate in an armchair discussion at the Canada-India Business Forum.

Crystal Room, 1st Floor

Taj Mahal Place

Note for media:

Open coverage

4 p.m. The Prime Minister will meet with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis.

Golden 1 Room, Banquet Floor

Taj Mahal Palace

Note for media:

Pooled photo opportunity at the beginning of the meeting

7:15 p.m. The Prime Minister and Ms. Grégoire Trudeau will attend a film industry influencers event

Closed to media

Itinerary for Monday, February 19, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario - February 18, 2018

Note: All times local

Itinerary for the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, for Monday, February 19, 2018:

Ahmedabad, India

10:05 a.m. The Prime Minister and Ms. Grégoire Trudeau will arrive in Ahmedabad, India.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport

Note for media:

Photo opportunity upon arrival

10:45 a.m. The Prime Minister and Ms. Grégoire Trudeau will visit the Sabarmati Ashram.

Gandhi Ashram

Note for media:

Open coverage and pooled photo opportunity

11:45 a.m. The Prime Minister and Ms. Grégoire Trudeau will visit the Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple.

Akshardham Temple

Note for media:

Open coverage and pooled photo opportunity

3 p.m. The Prime Minister will participate in an armchair discussion on education and investment opportunities at the Indian Institute of Management

Indian Institute of Management

Note for media:

Open coverage

4:45 p.m. The Prime Minister will meet with the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijay Rupani.

Boardroom, Ground Floor
Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Company Ltd (GUJSAIL)
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport

Note for media:

Pooled photo opportunity at the beginning of the meeting
Mumbai, India

6:30 p.m. The Prime Minister and Ms. Grégoire Trudeau will arrive in Mumbai, India.

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport

Note for media:

Photo opportunity upon arrival

7:50 p.m. The Prime Minister will hold a media availability.

Chambers Lawn
Taj Mahal Palace

Note for media:

Open coverage

Itinerary for Sunday, February 18, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario - February 17, 2018
Note: All times local

Itinerary for the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, for Sunday, February 18, 2018:

Agra, India

9:50 a.m. The Prime Minister and Ms. Grégoire Trudeau will arrive in Agra, India.

Agra Airport

Note for media:

Photo opportunity upon arrival

10:40 a.m. The Prime Minister and Ms. Grégoire Trudeau will visit the Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal

Note for media:

Open coverage and pooled photo opportunity

New Delhi, India

5 p.m. The Prime Minister will participate in a roundtable discussion with civil society leaders.

Taj Diplomatic Enclave Hotel

Note for media:

Pooled photo opportunity

Itinerary for Saturday, February 17, 2018 Ottawa, Ontario - February 16, 2018

Note: All times local

Itinerary for the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, for Saturday, February 17, 2018:

New Delhi, India

3:50 p.m. The Prime Minister and Ms. Grégoire Trudeau will arrive in New Delhi, India.

Indira Ghandi International Airport

Note for media:

Photo opportunity upon arrival

The Globe and Mail. CANADIAN PRESS. 20 Feb 2018. Trudeau set to meet with Punjab Chief Minister. Face-to-face saught after Indian leader criticized Canadian government over what he says is its support for a Sikh independent state
MIA RABSON, MUMBAI, INDIATHE 

An Indian politician who publicly accused members of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet of being connected to the Sikh separatist movement will meet the Prime Minister later this week.

Mr. Trudeau confirmed the meeting, but provided no further details on exactly what he plans to talk about with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

The meeting comes amid simmering tensions between India and Canada about the demands in some Sikh communities for an independent state called Khalistan. Indian government officials want Mr. Trudeau to be firmer in clamping down on separatist elements within Sikh communities in Canada, which they believe provide a platform for some to commit acts of violence to achieve independence.

Mr. Singh has been outspoken about the issue and has publicly accused several members of Mr. Trudeau’s cabinet of being involved in Sikh separatist causes. Last April, he refused to meet visiting Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan because of it.

Mr. Sajjan has called Mr. Singh’s accusations defamatory and ridiculous. Last week, as Mr. Trudeau prepared to leave Canada for his seven-day Indian state visit, a meeting with Mr. Singh was not in the offing, even though Mr. Singh had told Indian media he was to serve as Mr. Trudeau’s guide during a tour of the Golden Temple in Amritsar this week.

On Mr. Trudeau’s first full day in India, there was a change of heart and Mr. Sajjan was behind it, asking Mr. Trudeau to request a meeting with Mr. Singh for both of them.

As it currently stands, Mr. Sajjan is not part of the meeting, although details are still being worked out on that front, Mr. Trudeau said in Mumbai on Monday.

The dispute is largely a disagreement over freedom of speech. Indian officials want Mr. Trudeau to clamp down on movements within Canada pushing for an independent Sikh state.

While Mr. Trudeau has been firm that Canada’s policy is for a united India, he has said he will not step in to tell people what they can say, as long as they do not advocate violence.

“I think people know that I defend Canada’s values and Canadian interests and diversity of views in Canada is extremely important to me and will always remain that way,” Mr. Trudeau said.

Rohinton Medhora, president of the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ont., is in India to participate in some of the business and trade events associated with Mr. Trudeau’s visit. He said on Monday the Khalistan issue is a tough for one for Canada and India to navigate, but does not believe it hurts trade.

“It’s big for some people, but I don’t think it’s a big issue in terms of the economic and political relationship between the countries,” Mr. Medhora said.

Trade between Canada and India has grown more slowly than many have hoped. It reached $8-billion in 2016, far shy of the goal of $15-billion by 2015 set by the former Conservative government.

Mr. Trudeau himself pointed out on Monday in a questionand-answer session with students at Ahmedabad’s Indian Institute of Management that the number is small compared with the $2-billion in daily trade between Canada and the United States, but said this trip is designed in part to encourage growth.

Mr. Medhora said the biggest barrier to increased Canada-India trade is the fact that India used to be very closed to external investment and trade and when it started to open up, Canada was slow to jump in.

“Ultimately, these two countries and their businesses don’t know each other,” Mr. Medhora said. “They have to understand each other and that’s what’s going to make the trade grow. Free-trade deals are nice to have, but not necessary for trade to grow.”

He said there are a number of areas where both countries need each other. Notably, India is a big market for Canada for farm products, particularly lentils and chickpeas, as well as for uranium. India also needs Canadian expertise to help with energy security.

The agriculture issue is another bilateral irritant, as India slapped import tariffs of 50 per cent on peas and 40 per cent on chickpeas in the past two months. The tariffs hurt Canadian pulsecrop producers by virtually eliminating India as a market.

Mr. Trudeau said on Monday he raised that issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when they met at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January. It was also the first thing he mentioned after landing in India on Saturday, when he told the Minister of State for Agriculture who greeted him that he looked forward to talking about the pulse-crop issue in the days to come.

Mr. Trudeau was welcomed warmly as he spent most of Monday in Mr. Modi’s home state of Gujarat.

Throughout the city of Ahmedabad, billboards and banners with Mr. Trudeau’s and Mr. Modi’s photos and the slogan “Long Live India-Canada Friendship” lined the motorcade route.

Mr. Trudeau – who visited the home of Mahatma Gandhi and a Buddhist shrine while in the city – is the first Canadian prime minister to visit Gujarat. Some Indian reporters said they had never seen anything quite like the billboards erected for his arrival.

REUTERS. FEBRUARY 20, 2018 / 3:18 PM / UPDATED AN HOUR AGO
Canada's PM says India trip about broader ties not just political ones
Reuters Staff

3 MIN READ

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau downplayed talk of a snub by the Indian government on his first state visit to the country this week, and cast his trip as being focused on building business and cultural ties and not just political ones.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets the audience as he leaves after attending the Canada-India business forum in Mumbai, India, February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui
“We are here in such large number and for so many days for a very simple reason. India matters to Canada,” Trudeau told a gathering in Mumbai on Tuesday, where he said his delegation had just inked significant investments in Canada, by Indian tech companies like Tech Mahindra (TEML.NS), Infosys (INFY.NS) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS.NS).

“We welcomed over C$1 billion worth of commercial contracts and agreements,” said Trudeau. “This will lead to the creation of more than 5,800 good Canadian jobs.”

Trudeau’s eight-day trip got off to an awkward start after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who often greets his counterparts on their arrival, sent a junior minister from the agriculture department to meet him at the airport. By contrast, Modi himself was on the tarmac to greet and bear-hug Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he visited last month.

Trudeau’s lukewarm reception, according to media reports, was due to India’s concerns about Trudeau’s perceived soft approach to Sikh extremist groups in his country, and those that sympathize with them.

In comments to the media on Monday however, Trudeau strongly rejected suggestions that Canada was encouraging Sikh extremism, saying Canada’s position of supporting “one united India” had not changed.

Trudeau, whose 10-day trip to China back in 2016 also caused controversy over its duration and expense, said the India visit was “not just about political ties. It’s about deep business and economic ties that Canada will grow.”

Trudeau dismissed a question from a reporter on Monday that he had been snubbed by Modi, saying: “I have met with the prime minister in various places around the world and looking forward to sitting down with him on Friday.”

Tech Mahindra Ltd
574.2
TEML.NSNATIONAL STOCK EXCHANGE OF INDIA
+1.75(+0.31%)
TEML.NS
TEML.NS
TEML.NSINFY.NSTCS.NS

On Wednesday, he will meet the chief minister of the northern Indian state of Punjab who has in the past said he was concerned about Sikh groups in Canada trying to revive an independent state called Khalistan.

The Indian government, which put down an armed Sikh separatist revolt in the 1980s, is sensitive to any attempts to revive the Sikh secessionist movement.

Trudeau will be visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest of Sikh shrines, and state chief minister Amarinder Singh said he looked forward to meeting him there.

“I‘m hopeful that this meeting will help strengthen the close Indo-Canadian business ties as well as the deep-rooted people-to-people relations between our two countries,” Singh said in a Twitter post.

Reporting by Andrea Hopkins, Euan Rocha and Sanjeev Miglani, Writing by Suvashree Dey Choudhury in Mumbai; Editing by Hugh Lawson



NAFTA



The Globe and Mail. 20 Feb 2018. Where do NAFTA talks go from here? With no end in sight to Trump White House’s obstructionism, striking a deal before the Mexican election seems nigh impossible
LAWRENCE HERMAN, Former Canadian diplomat who practises international trade law at Herman & Associates. He is also a senior fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute 

Assuming there’s no cataclysmic NAFTA breakdown in March, it’s a reasonable bet negotiations will be suspended sometime after the Mexico City round this month.

We got a blunt and sobering message last week from Steve Verheul, Canada’s head NAFTA negotiator, telling us that negotiations with the Americans are bogged down and, apart from some agreement on peripheral things, there’s absolutely no movement on the really tough issues.

The fundamental problem, Mr. Verheul said, is that the United States isn’t approaching the negotiations with the objective of concluding a balanced deal. The Trump administration’s position is “America First” and “America Only,” reflecting the tone of the President’s bellicose inaugural address. As a result, the United States has tabled one-sided, intransigent positions, non-starters for Canada from Day 1. U.S. negotiators have no room to compromise because of orders from the White House.

It’s clear that there’s a long, slow and painful road ahead in trying to achieve a North American free-trade deal, with agreement pretty remote at this stage. Mr. Verheul’s message – which we assume was cleared through the Prime Minister’s Office – is that Canadians shouldn’t hold their breath in anticipating a successful outcome.

The question is: Where do we go from here? The next round of negotiations opens this Friday in Mexico City. In light of what Mr. Verheul told us, I wouldn’t think it likely that there will be any breakthroughs; perhaps some advances on less controversial items here and there, but nothing that really propels things forward.

Assuming talks don’t totally collapse, the next round after Mexico City is slated for Washington in April. But here’s where things become uncertain.

The Mexican presidential election is on July 1. But the official election period begins on March 30. It’s unlikely that the government of Enrique Pena Nieto would want to be engaged in NAFTA negotiations during the election campaign.

The leading presidential contender (according to several polls) is Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who heads a popular leftist coalition opposition. Mr. Lopez Obrador has been highly critical of Mr. Pena Nieto and his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) with respect to their dealing with the Americans. It would be highly risky politically for Mr. Pena Nieto to be engaged in NAFTA talks, especially at the end of his mandate, with the PRI candidate, Jose Antonio Meade, looking over his shoulder at Mr. Lopez Obrador.

The Mexican election was always one of the stumbling blocks on the NAFTA negotiating route and was one of the reasons why the Mexicans were initially pushing for the talks to be concluded early in 2018. That’s now clearly impossible.

The other problem is the U.S. midterm congressional elections set for Nov. 6. Looking at the calendar, Congress will recess at the end of July and only reconvene for a short period in September, when it will adjourn again to allow the midterm campaign to proceed. Assuming there’s no cataclysmic NAFTA breakdown in March, it’s a reasonable bet negotiations will be suspended sometime after the Mexico City round this month. There’s always the possibility that U.S. President Donald Trump could take a unilateral decision to suspend U.S. participation during the electoral period, but I suspect that there will be a mutual agreement on this score.

Assuming talks are put on hold, the question is, what happens next? My guess is the earliest negotiations could resume would be in the spring of 2019, once the new U.S. Congress has been sworn in.

The congressional picture could well be different by then if the Democrats regain control of the House (the Senate less likely). There’s a strong protectionist bias in many parts of the Democratic party that, perversely, could give a boost to congressional support for Mr. Trump’s “America First” trade agenda.

Overhanging all of this is the possibility Mr. Trump could peremptorily deliver the U.S. sixmonth notice of withdrawal from NAFTA, putting pressure on Canada and Mexico by leaving open definitive withdrawal some time down the road. That scenario can’t be entirely discounted. However, with the midterms coming up and the unpredictable effect that a sudden withdrawal notice would have on Republican electoral fortunes, it’s more likely that we’ll see suspension of the talks with agreement to resume sometime in 2019.

Whether there are better prospects for retooling NAFTA a year from now, given all the problems Mr. Verheul referred to, is not clear and it’s that uncertainty that weighs on Canada. Even in the short- to medium-term, business decisions have to be made and with all of these unsettled elements in the air, this plays into Mr. Trump’s hands as business investment will tend to flow to the United States.

Canadians have no choice but to live with this unsettled situation for the next year, possibly longer, while accepting that, even with all possible fortitude, it might not be possible to rescue the NAFTA when talks resume. Even if an acceptable deal emerges down the road, the reality is Canada will always be exposed to the vicissitudes of U.S. trade policies, whether under Mr. Trump or his successor.

On the positive side, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership has helped to reduce that exposure. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s India trip and the Trade Minister’s foray into Latin America open additional – albeit longterm – possibilities for reducing Canadian dependency on an increasingly unreliable trade partner south of the border.



G7



Department of Finance Canada. February 16, 2018. Minister Morneau Meets With Private Sector Economists and Visits Canadian Digital Factory

Toronto, Ontario – The Government of Canada's plan of investing in people and in communities to build a strong middle class is working. Canadians have created nearly 600,000 jobs since November 2015, and the unemployment rate is near its lowest level in 40 years. Since the beginning of 2016, we have had the fastest-growing economy of the Group of Seven (G7) countries.

The Government's plan to invest in the middle class and the people working hard to join it is working. But there is more to do. Today in Toronto, Finance Minister Bill Morneau met with a group of Canada's leading private sector economists to gather their views on the Canadian and global economies ahead of the federal budget, which will be delivered in the House of Commons on February 27, 2018.

Later in the day, the Minister toured Scotiabank's Canadian Digital Factory, a dedicated digital production facility designed to drive innovation in order to highlight the importance of curiosity, research and innovation in preparing for the economy of tomorrow.

As the Government prepares its next budget, it will strive for greater equality and a more competitive, diverse and prosperous Canada, where everyone can have a real and fair chance at success.

Quote

"Our plan to strengthen the middle class and help people working hard to join it is working, but we know that there is more work to do. For example, our economy needs more women in positions of responsibility and leadership. We need to eliminate the gender gap, and make sure everyone is given a real and fair chance to succeed. It is not only the right thing to do for Canada, but it is also the smart thing to do to keep our economy growing and remain competitive well into the future."

- Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

Quick Facts

  • The private sector economic forecasts have been used as the basis for fiscal planning since 1994. This practice, which is supported by the International Monetary Fund, ensures objectivity in the fiscal forecast.
  • Canada's economy is strong. Real gross domestic product has grown at an average rate of 3.2 per cent per quarter since mid-2016 and the labour market has also been growing, with nearly 600,000 new jobs created since November 2015.    
  • The Government of Canada has taken significant steps to help families regain the confidence needed to help drive the economy forward. This includes introducing a middle class tax cut that is benefitting about nine million Canadians, introducing a more generous and better targeted Canada Child Benefit, and strengthening the Canada Pension Plan so that future generations of workers can retire with dignity. The Government also proposes to lower the small business tax rate to 10 per cent, effective January 1, 2018, and to 9 per cent, effective January 1, 2019.
  • The Government is committed to sound fiscal management as it continues to make investments to support long-term economic growth and a strong middle class, while preserving Canada's low-debt advantage for current and future generations.




AVIATION



The Globe and Mail. 20 Feb 2018. South Africa’s Guptas hid Bombardier jet, EDC says in court repossession efforts
GEOFFREY YORK, JOHANNESBURG

In documents filed in a Johannesburg court, EDC says the Bombardier jet could be used for unlawful and corrupt purposes, such as fleeing from justice or taking money out of South Africa.

Canada’s export credit agency is worried that a Canadian-financed Bombardier luxury jet could become the escape vehicle for the controversial Gupta brothers as they flee a corruption prosecution in South Africa, according to court papers filed by the agency in Johannesburg.


The Gupta brothers are refusing to surrender their Canadian-financed Bombardier luxury jet, and the tracking device on the plane has been switched off in an attempt to hide its whereabouts, court documents say.
Excerpts from the documents were reported by a South Africa newspaper and confirmed to The Globe and Mail by a reliable source familiar with the court documents that EDC filed.

The Guptas are refusing to surrender the aircraft, and the tracking device on the Bombardier jet has been switched off in an attempt to hide its whereabouts, the documents say.

The Guptas, business partners of the son of former South African president Jacob Zuma, are at the heart of a corruption scandal that led to Mr. Zuma’s dramatic late-night resignation last week.

Five of the Gupta associates and family members were arrested by police last week, and several others are now the target of a police manhunt.

For years, the Guptas have flown between South Africa, India, Dubai, Russia and Switzerland on their private Bombardier Global 6000 jet, which they purchased from Bombardier for US$52-million in early 2015.

The Guptas obtained 80 per cent of the purchase price in a loan from Export Development Canada, the federal Crown corporation that helps Canadian exporters and their clients. Late last year, the Guptas began defaulting on their loan payments and EDC cancelled the US$41-million loan. Since then, the federal agency has been trying to repossess the jet, without success so far. In documents filed in a Johannesburg court, EDC says the Bombardier jet could be used for unlawful and corrupt purposes, such as fleeing from justice or taking money out of South Africa.

The documents were filed to support EDC’s legal efforts to force the Guptas to surrender the jet. The documents also ask South Africa’s aviation authority to cancel the jet’s registration so that it will be grounded.

In recent weeks, flight-tracking websites have shown the Gupta jet flying between Switzerland, France, Dubai, India and Russia. The documents, filed in the Johannesburg court last week, say that the jet’s tracking device has now been switched off, apparently after it was flown to Moscow earlier this month.

The court documents also cite a large discrepancy between the financial statements that the Guptas provided to EDC in 2014 and the realities of their finances as described in recent court filings by South African prosecutors. If the prosecutors are correct, the Guptas deceived EDC by providing a “grossly overstated” estimate of their income and assets, the EDC court documents say.

Critics have questioned whether EDC conducted an adequate “due diligence” review of the Guptas when it approved the loan in 2014. One Canadian human-rights group, Above Ground, says it will push for reforms that require the EDC to conduct a more rigorous screening of its potential clients. The agency’s enabling legislation is due to be subject to a parliamentary review this year.

In December, when EDC confirmed its cancellation of its loan to the Guptas, the agency acknowledged that the “political exposure” risks of its dealings with the Guptas had increased. But it has denied that there were any mistakes in its due-diligence process.

The political influence of the Guptas has been widely reported for many years in the South African media and in investigations by independent watchdog agencies. In 2013, for example, the Guptas obtained the use of a military airport in South Africa so that a planeload of wedding guests from India could bypass the normal immigration and customs procedures. An inquiry found a series of illegalities in the incident.

The India-born Gupta brothers, who controlled an empire of South African mining companies and media outlets at the peak of their power, were so influential that they allegedly hand-picked their favourite politicians for appointments in Mr. Zuma’s cabinet.

Last month, in sworn statements filed in court, South African prosecutors said the Guptas had pocketed about US$20-million in government money that had been intended for impoverished farmers in a dairy project. The government project was a “well-orchestrated plan” to “swindle” the government, and almost all the money ended up in the bank accounts of the Guptas and Gupta-controlled companies, the prosecutors said.



WHOLE SALE



StatCan. 2018-02-20. Wholesale trade, December 2017


Wholesale sales declined 0.5% to $63.0 billion in December, the first decrease in three months. Lower sales were recorded in five of seven subsectors, representing 65% of total wholesale sales. The personal and household goods and the miscellaneous subsectors led the decline.

In volume terms, wholesale sales declined 0.9%.

In the fourth quarter, current dollar wholesale sales increased 1.1% while constant dollar sales increased 0.7%. For both current and constant dollars, this marked the seventh consecutive quarterly increase.

Chart 1: Wholesale sales decrease in December

Chart 1: Wholesale sales decrease in December

December decline attributable to decreases in five of seven subsectors

The personal and household goods subsector reported the largest decline in dollar terms in December, dropping 3.3% to $8.5 billion, its lowest level since April 2017 and only the third decrease for the subsector in 2017. Five of six industries in this subsector reported declines in December, led by the home entertainment equipment and household appliance industry.

Sales in the miscellaneous subsector fell 2.4% to $7.9 billion, erasing the combined gains from the previous two months. Four of five industries posted declines, with the decrease in the agricultural supplies industry being the leading contributor to December's downward movement.

Wholesale sales declined 1.4% in both the food, beverage and tobacco, and the motor vehicle and parts subsectors in December. Sales in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector fell to $12.0 billion as a result of drops posted in the food industry, down 1.9% to $10.8 billion. In the motor vehicle and parts subsector, all three industries posted declines in December, with the motor vehicle industry being the leading contributor.

Sales in both the machinery, equipment and supplies (+2.3% to $12.7 billion) and the building material and supplies (+2.7% to $9.3 billion) subsectors recorded gains in December.

Six provinces record declines in December, led by Ontario

Ontario recorded a second decline in 2017, down 0.8% to $32.6 billion in December. Three of seven subsectors declined, led by the personal and household goods subsector (-7.3%). This subsector has declined for three of the past four months. The food, beverage and tobacco subsector (-2.0%) declined to $5.2 billion, the fourth decrease in five months. Despite the decline, the subsector remains up 0.1% over the last five months. The building material and supplies subsector (-2.7%) declined for the second time in three months, to $3.6 billion.

Quebec recorded a third decline in four months, down 1.3% to $11.3 billion. In December, five subsectors recorded declines, led by the miscellaneous (-10.4%) and the machinery, equipment and supplies (-5.0%) subsectors.

New Brunswick declined for the first time in four months, down 6.1% to $554 million in December. Four of seven subsectors decreased, with the largest drop coming from the food, beverage and tobacco subsector (-12.9%).

Alberta (+0.9%) and British Columbia (+0.5%) were two of four provinces that recorded increases in December, both on the strength of the building material and supplies subsector. This was Alberta's third increase in four months, while British Columbia recorded a second increase in three months.

Wholesale inventories rise in December

Wholesale inventories rose 1.7% to $82.8 billion in December. Four of seven subsectors posted increases, representing 66% of total wholesale inventories.

Chart 2: Inventories increase in December

Chart 2: Inventories increase in December

In dollar terms, the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector (+3.6%) led the increase, with higher inventories in three of four industries. The construction, forestry and mining (+5.1%) and the farm, lawn and garden (+6.2%) industries contributed the most to the gain.

Inventories in the food, beverage and tobacco subsector (+5.6%) grew for the tenth consecutive month. Elevated inventory levels in the subsector were largely attributable to a 4.9% gain in the food industry.

The motor vehicle and parts subsector (+2.3%) rose for the first time in three months. The majority of the increase was driven by the new motor vehicle parts and accessories (+3.2%) and the motor vehicle (+1.7%) industries.

The inventory-to-sales ratio increased from 1.29 in November to 1.31 in December. This ratio is a measure of the time in months required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.

The year 2017 in review

Wholesale trade in Canada rose for the eighth consecutive year in 2017, up 9.4% to $741.1 billion, as a result of higher sales in all seven subsectors. This was the highest growth rate since 1997 (+13.7%) and the highest level on record. Growth in wholesale trade in 2017 was driven mainly by growth in the first two quarters, up 3.9% and 2.5% respectively.

In volume terms, wholesale sales were up 7.7% to $652.7 billion in 2017, reaching their highest level and growth rate on record.

Chart 3: Wholesale sales, 2008 to 2017

Chart 3: Wholesale sales, 2008 to 2017

In 2017, the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector was the largest contributor to higher wholesale sales, followed by the motor vehicle and parts subsector and the building material and supplies subsector.

Higher sales were recorded in all provinces, led by Ontario and Quebec.

According to the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours, an average of 777,275 payroll employees worked in wholesale trade from January 2017 to November 2017, up 0.4% after declining 1.2% for the same period in 2016. For the same time period, the wholesale trade sector accounted for 5.9% of Canada's economic output as measured by gross domestic product.

Labour productivity, or output per hour worked, in the wholesale trade sector grew 3.9% in the first quarter of 2017, as output increased 3.8% and hours worked edged down 0.2%. This was the second consecutive quarterly increase and the highest growth rate since the fourth quarter of 2005 (+5.1%). The wholesale trade sector, along with the finance and insurance, retail trade, and manufacturing sectors, were the main sources of overall productivity growth among industry sectors in the first quarter.

Higher sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector coincides with gains in business investment

The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector, the largest of the seven subsectors, accounted for 19.7% of wholesale sales in 2017. After two consecutive annual declines, wholesale sales in this subsector grew by 10.8% to $146.0 billion. On a quarterly basis, the machinery equipment and supplies subsector was one of the leading contributors to the gains in the first (+4.7%) and second (+5.4%) quarters. These gains coincided with those reported in the business investment in machinery and equipment as measured by expenditure-based real gross domestic product, up 6.4% in the first quarter and 1.7% in the second quarter.

Higher sales in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector were due to gains reported in all industries within the subsector, led by the construction, forestry, mining, and industrial machinery, equipment and supplies industry. This industry grew 13.6% to $46.9 billion in 2017, more than offsetting two consecutive annual declines. The gains in this industry coincided with those reported by the imports (+37.0%) and exports (+2.5%) of logging, mining and construction machinery equipment in 2017.

The other machinery equipment and supplies industry increased for the third consecutive year, up 16.5% to $35.3 billion in 2017.

Growth in the motor vehicle and parts subsector

The motor vehicle and parts subsector reached its highest level on record, rising 10.1% to $140.2 billion in 2017. Imports of motor vehicles and parts (+4.9%) also reported gains in 2017.

In 2017, higher sales were reported in all industries. The gain was mainly attributable to the motor vehicle industry, which increased for the eighth consecutive year, up 10.6% to $113.0 billion. The new motor vehicle parts and accessories (+7.8%) and the used motor vehicle parts and accessories (+19.9%) industries also increased in 2017, following declines in 2016.

Higher prices of lumber and metal boost sales in the building material and supplies subsector
Sales in the building material and supplies subsector increased 11.8% to $104.5 billion in 2017, its highest growth rate since 2004. A gain in the lumber, millwork, hardware and other building supplies industry contributed the most to the increase, as the industry grew 12.0% to $52.6 billion. Related indicators including housing starts (+12.0%), and exports (+3.9%) and imports (+3.8%) of building and packaging materials, also increased in 2017. The industrial product price index for lumber and other wood products increased 4.9%, its highest growth rate since 2004.

The metal service centres industry increased following two consecutive annual declines, up 16.6% to $19.9 billion in 2017. The growth was attributable to increases in metal prices and capital spending in oil and gas exploration. The raw material price index for metal ores, concentrates and scrap increased 12.2%, while capital spending on oil and gas and mineral exploration was up 2.5%.

Ontario and Quebec contribute to higher sales

Wholesale sales increased in all provinces in 2017, led by Ontario and Quebec. Ontario accounted for 51.5% of total wholesale sales.

Sales in Ontario increased 9.3% to $381.3 billion on the strength of widespread gains, led by the miscellaneous (+20.3%) and the motor vehicle and parts (+8.0%) subsectors.

In Quebec, wholesale sales increased 10.0% to $133.4 billion led by the motor vehicle and parts (+24.0%) and the food, beverage and tobacco (+10.7%) subsectors.

The machinery, equipment and supplies subsector led the gains in the Prairie region, with Alberta contributing the most to the gains. Sales in Alberta increased following two consecutive annual declines, up 10.5% to $79.3 billion. The gain in Alberta coincided with the increasing business investment and stability in oil prices as the province recovered from two years of economic contraction. Capital spending in Alberta's oil and gas and mineral exploration grew by 15.7%, following a 58.6% decline in 2016. Higher sales in Saskatchewan (+7.1%) and Manitoba (+7.4%) were also led by the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector.

Wholesale sales in British Columbia increased for the eighth consecutive year, up 9.7% to $76.6 billion. The strongest growth came in the building material and supplies subsector, as the housing market posted gains along with a rise in prices of lumber and other wood products.

FULL DOCUMENT: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/180220/dq180220a-eng.pdf

REUTERS. FEBRUARY 20, 2018. Canadian wholesale trade dips on household goods weakness

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The value of Canadian wholesale trade dipped 0.5 percent in December, pulled down in part by weaker demand for home entertainment equipment and household appliances, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast an increase of 0.4 percent. Statscan revised November’s month-on-month gain down to 0.3 percent from an initial 0.7 percent to incorporate corrected data from some respondents.

Lower sales were recorded in five of the seven subsectors, representing 65 percent of wholesale trade in December, while volumes declined 0.9 percent.

The personal and household goods subsector dropped 3.3 percent to its lowest level since April 2017 while sales in the miscellaneous subsector fell 2.4 percent on weakness in the agricultural supplies industry.

Wholesale trade in 2017 rose for the eighth year in a row, jumping 9.4 percent to a new record. The year-over-year increase was the biggest advance since the 13.7 percent leap in 1997.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Paul Simao



TOURISM



StatCan. 2018-02-20. Travel between Canada and other countries, December 2017


Year-end review, 2017

Record number of tourists from abroad arrived in Canada in 2017

During the year of Canada 150 celebrations, international tourists made 20.8 million trips of one or more nights to Canada, up 4.4% from 2016 and a new annual record, surpassing the previous record of 20.1 million set in 2002.

This year-end review presents 2017 annual totals for travel (involving same-day and overnight trips) and tourism (involving overnight trips only). Figures are based on preliminary estimates of arrivals to Canada at certain airports during the latter months of 2017. These data are subject to revision. Please refer to the Note to readers for further details.

Tourists

Chart 1: Tourists to Canada from abroad

Chart 1: Tourists to Canada from abroad

The number of US tourists rose 3.1% in 2017 to reach 14.3 million, the highest figure since 2005. There were also a record 6.5 million tourists from overseas countries, up 7.2% from 2016.

Compared with the previous 2002 record, a greater share of tourists to Canada in 2017 were from countries other than the United States, the result of declines in tourism from the United States and an increase in the number of tourists from overseas.

In 2017, tourist arrivals from the United States, despite rising in each of the last four years, were still 11.4% below the high of 16.2 million reached in 2002. Meanwhile, arrivals from the rest of the world rose from 3.9 million in 2002 to 6.5 million in 2017 (+67.6%), including increases in each of the last eight years. As a result, residents of countries other than the United States, who represented only one in five international tourists to Canada in 2002, accounted for nearly one in three in 2017, the highest proportion on record.

Travellers

US travel to Canada increases for third straight year

US residents made 24.3 million same-day and overnight trips to Canada in 2017, up 1.8% from 2016. This was the third consecutive year of growth, following increases of 8.3% in 2016 and 8.4% in 2015.

Chart 2: United States residents entering Canada 

Chart 2: United States residents entering Canada

Trips to Canada by car by US residents, which made up about two-thirds of total US trips to Canada in 2017, dropped 0.5% to 16.2 million following two years of growth. The number of overnight car trips remained unchanged from 2016 at 8.0 million. However, same-day car trips were down 0.9% to 8.2 million.

Trips by plane increased 6.6% to 5.7 million in 2017, the eighth consecutive year of increased plane travel to Canada by US residents. The proportion of US travellers to Canada arriving by plane has increased steadily over time. In 2002, plane trips accounted for about 1 in 10 (10.3%) US trips to Canada while, in 2017, nearly 1 in 4 trips (23.3%) to Canada by US residents were by plane, the highest proportion on record. This occurred as car trips decreased by half since 2002, led by declining same-day trips, while plane trips increased 34.0% during this period.

Record number of arrivals from overseas countries

A record 6.7 million travellers from overseas (countries other than the United States) arrived in Canada in 2017, up 6.6% from 2016. This marked the eighth consecutive year of increased travel to Canada by overseas residents, with volumes increasing by close to 60% since 2009.

Chart 3: Residents of countries other than the United States entering Canada 

Chart 3: Residents of countries other than the United States entering Canada

There were year-over-year increases in travel from all continents, most notably a 26.1% increase from the region of North America, Central America and the Caribbean (excluding the United States) and a 19.0% increase from South America. These increases follow the lifting of visa requirements for travellers from Mexico in December 2016 and modifications to visa requirements for citizens of Brazil which took effect in May 2017. Excluding the United States, Mexico and Brazil are the two largest sources of travellers from the Americas.

The number of travellers to Canada from Asia rose 7.2% in 2017 to 2.3 million, more than twice the figure recorded in 2009. The number of travellers from Europe rose 1.7% from 2016 to 2.9 million, up 29.4% from 2009.

Travel by Canadians to the United States posts first increase in four years

Following three years of decline, the number of same-day and overnight trips to the United States by Canadian residents rose 2.7% in 2017 to 42.1 million, 25.1% fewer than in 2013 when the Canadian dollar was last on par with the US dollar. In 2017, the average value of the Canadian dollar was US$0.77, up slightly from an average of US$0.76 in 2016.

Chart 4: Canadian residents returning from the United States 

Chart 4: Canadian residents returning from the United States

In 2017, overnight trips to the United States increased 4.8% to 20.2 million, after the number dipped below 20 million in 2016 for the first time since 2009.

Trips by car, which represent about three of every four trips by Canadian residents to the United States, increased 1.0% in 2017, to 32.2 million. However, this was 30.6% lower than the number of car trips to the United States in 2013. Overnight trips rose 1.7% in 2017 to 10.7 million while same-day trips rose 0.6% to 21.5 million.

Travel overseas by Canadians continues its upward climb

Canadian residents made a record 12.8 million trips to overseas countries in 2017, 7.2% more than in 2016. The number of Canadians travelling overseas has increased every year since 2003, rising 153.3% from 5.1 million over this period.

Chart 5: Canadian residents returning from countries other than the United States

Chart 5: Canadian residents returning from countries other than the United States

Monthly review, December 2017

In December, US residents took 2.0 million trips to Canada, 4.0% more than 12 months earlier but 1.9% fewer than in November. Both car trips and plane trips contributed to the decline from November. However, both car (+1.9%) and plane (+10.6%) trips increased from December 2016.

The number of trips in December from overseas countries (countries other than the United States) reached 566,000, down 6.9% from November but a 3.0% increase compared with December 2016.

Canadians made 3.6 million trips to the United States in December, edging down 0.1% from November but up 7.6% compared with December 2016. The trend was similar for travel overseas, as Canadians made 0.2% fewer trips in December compared with November, but 5.3% more than in December 2016. Canadians made a total of 1.1 million trips to overseas countries in December 2017.

FULL DOCUMENT: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/180220/dq180220c-eng.pdf

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. February 20, 2018. Minister Chagger celebrates Canada’s best tourism year ever. New Canadian record for international arrivals set in 2017

Ottawa, ON - Canadian tourism is booming. It is our largest service export, supports more than 1.8 million jobs and more than 200,000 businesses, and it is the largest employer of youth.

Today, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, celebrated the release of Statistics Canada’s preliminary year-end tourism figures for 2017. The results show last year was the best-ever year on record for international visitors coming to Canada.

Minister Chagger celebrated these numbers from Mumbai, India, where she is accompanying Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on a state visit to further promote stronger Canada-India tourism, trade and investment. Canada welcomed an incredible 20.8 million visitors from around the world last year, thanks in part to celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation.

The 2017 figures are a 4.4-percent increase over the near-record year Canada’s tourism sector enjoyed in 2016. The Government of Canada is committed to growing Canadian tourism. This includes making key investments through Budget 2017 and launching Canada’s New Tourism Vision. The Vision aims to increase the number of international tourists to Canada by 30 percent by 2021, double the number of Chinese visitors by the same year, and position Canada to compete for a top 10 destination ranking by 2025. It also includes actions to grow culinary tourism and support Indigenous tourism.

Quotes

“Canadians are known the world over for our generosity, inclusiveness and warm hospitality. And thanks to the leadership of our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, more and more travellers from around the world want to visit. Throughout 2017, I had the privilege to meet with many amazing tourism operators and I would hear so many great stories about the growth in this vital sector. I am proud of the fact that we welcomed more than 20.8 million visitors to our beautiful country last year—a new record. However, I know that we are only just beginning. Looking to the future, I am excited for what is still to come. As we celebrate the Canada-China Year of Tourism this year, I am certain that the good news will only continue. I am looking forward to many more great months and years ahead.”

– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

“Canada 150 provided Canadians with a unique opportunity to come together to reflect on our past and inspire a vision of a vibrant and inclusive future. I’m thrilled that people from around the globe took the opportunity to visit Canada and join with us in celebration of this milestone year.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

Quick Facts

  • Tourism is a vital component of Canada’s economy, representing 2 percent of our GDP and is an important source of jobs, a driver of entrepreneurship and the largest employer of youth.
  • Canada’s New Tourism Vision is a 20-point, government-wide plan to grow Canada’s tourism sector. It sets out the goal of growing international visitation to Canada by 30 percent and doubling visitation from China by 2021.
  • The Government has been delivering this vision through actions such as lifting the visa requirement for Mexican nationals as well as facilitating the temporary entry of low-risk travellers, including business visitors.
  • The Government of Canada has implemented visa changes for key international markets by introducing the electronic travel authorization (eTA) and has opened seven new visa application centres in China.
  • The 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism is an opportunity to showcase Canada’s tourism sector to the Chinese market to meet the 2021 target and to benefit from this important market for years to come.

FULL DOCUMENT: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2018/02/minister_chaggercelebratescanadasbesttourismyearever.html


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LGCJ.: