Drawing a parallel between India-Canada ties and Bollywood romances, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday said the two countries need to overcome obstacles quickly, as heroes and heroines do in a Hindi movie, in order to build a stronger relationship.
“I believe there is a kind of a parallel to Canada and India and the typical Bollywood ploy. Two young people meet, they know they are meant for each other, but they have obstacles to overcome,” Mr. Harper said at the World Economic Forum on India meeting here. A self-confessed Bollywood fan, he said: “They do, in fact, overcome those obstacles and the happy ending ensues and they do so before the viewers lose interest.”
Stressing the need for Canada and India to take the cue from such happy endings, Mr. Harper said: “It’s a bit like how I see the relationship between Canada and India... We have to work hard to overcome the obstacles and we have to work quickly, if we are to get to the happy ending that we both want. It won’t be easy but can be done. So let’s get it done quickly.”
While the two countries have completed a social security agreement, they are still engaged in extensive negotiations on a free-trade pact and an investment protection agreement.
Pointing out that the reforms taken up by New Delhi were increasingly expanding the country’s economy, Mr. Harper said Canada attached great importance to its relationship with India, but the two countries were yet to fully exploit the potential.
“The untapped economic potential between us is massive and undeniable. But massive and undeniable as that potential is, it will not develop itself. It will take concerted effort by both the countries,” the Canadian PM said.