Vice-consul offers to help Indian business houses locate right partners

The Canadian Consulate in Chennai is working on a webinar to introduce Tamil Nadu to Canadian companies and throw light on business potential in tier-II cities such as Madurai, Tirunelveli and Sivakasi, according to its Vice Consul and Trade Commissioner Dial Singh.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of an interactive session with members of Confederation of Indian Industry here on Thursday, he said that the idea is to give Canadian companies a wide perspective of the entire State of Tamil Nadu rather than restricting them to opportunities in Chennai alone.

Later, during the interaction on ‘Exploring Business Opportunities in Canada,’ he said that Canada has a huge network of diplomats for helping Indian companies locate business partners in Canada besides ensuring that they were networked with the right people.

Referring to the commitment made by Prime Ministers of both countries in November last to increase bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2015, he said that core sectors that could contribute to growth would be education, energy, food security and infrastructure.

The number of Indian students who had chosen Canada for higher studies had increased from around 3,000 in 2008 to about 12,000 in 2011 because Canada is considered to be a safe, welcoming as well as a multicultural destination for a high quality education at an affordable cost, he said. International students who undergo courses for a considerable duration are permitted to take up part-time jobs. They also stand a good chance of immigrating to Canada. “Canada thrives on immigration. Each province in Canada has its own cultural identity and Punjabi is the sixth most spoken language,” he added.

On the food security sector, Mr. Singh pointed out that the province of Saskatchewan was the largest supplier of pulses to the Indian market. Canadian companies were also leaders in providing state-of-the-art technologies in solar, wind and hydro power generation.

A. Kathir Kamanathan, chairman, CII, Madurai zone, said that Indian businessmen could certainly not ignore Canada as a viable destination for business collaborations as Indians were the third largest immigrants to the country after the Filipinos and the Chinese.

Vice-chairperson Rohini Sridhar said that Madurai was growing faster than expected by anyone and therefore it was apropos for the Canadian vice-consul to have shown interest in travelling south of Tamil Nadu and focus more on tier II cities.