Canadian equity investments in India top US$20 billion over past decade

Jordan Reeves

Mumbai (PTI): Canadian funds / firms have pumped in a full USD 20 billion into the country, mostly by way of equity funds over the past decade alone, while bilateral trade is clipping at 30 per cent, and both are going to get a fillip with the new bilateral pact, says a Canadian diplomat.

Fund inflows are set for acceleration with the signing of the much-awaited Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) by the two nations which will further boost investor investment, Canadian Consul General in Mumbai Jordan Reeves said.

“Canada’s investments in India have touched USD 20 billion by way of equity funds in a short span of 10 years. Several pension funds and institutional investors are looking at more investment opportunities here, including on project financing,” Reeves said.

Addressing an interactive meeting with businessmen and a 25-member visiting Canadian business delegation here Monday evening, Reeves said with the increased focus on multiple sectors bilateral trade will spike up.

He said with the FIPA and on conclusion of the ongoing free trade agreement (FTA) talks there is no looking back on investments and trade opportunities.

“Bilateral trade is currently estimated at USD 8 billion and we expect it to touch USD 16 billion by 2020 and Canada can provide its advanced technology in advance manufacturing, clean technology, infrastructure sectors as well as education and tourism sectors,” Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce president Kanwar Dhanjal said, adding trade is growing at 30 per cent annum.

Justin Trudeau will be in India next month.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s forthcoming visit in February is also expected to boost bilateral partnership in many sectors, he added.

Nearly 1,000 Canadian companies, which include Fairfax Financial promoted by NRI Prem Watsa, Brookfield, Bombardier, CGI Montreal, McCain Foods, Sun Life Financial, Amdocs,and Bank of Nova Scotia, are already doing business here while several domestic companies such as TCS, Infosys, SBI, ICICI Bank, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Aditya Birla Group, and Essar Steel are active in Canada.

Exports to Canada is estimated at USD 2 billion which includes gems, jewellery and precious stones, pharma, readymades, textiles, organic chemicals, light engineering goods, and iron and steel articles, while imports include pluses, newsprint, wood pulps, asbestos, potash, iron scraps, copper, minerals and industrial chemicals worth USD 4.13 billion.

The FIPA will provide greater predictability for and certainty to Canadian investors, Dhanjal said, adding there is tremendous opportunities to work in the areas of energy, renewable energy and solar.

Having the third largest crude oil reserves in the world along with large gas reserves, Canada is looking forward for Indians to partners in these areas.