Press release - PM Modi inaugurated the virtual Invest...
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India is undergoing a rapid change in mindsets as well as markets: PM Modi to Canadian business

Inaugurating the virtual Invest India 2020 Conference organised in Canada on October 8, 2020, Prime Minister Modi said that India-Canada bilateral ties are driven by shared democratic values and many common interests adding that trade and investment linkages were an integral art of the multi-faceted relationship. He said that India has political stability, investment and business friendly policies, skilled talent pool and despite the pandemic, has shown resilience to emerge as a land of solutions and opportunities. He added that India provided relief and stimulus package for poor and the small businesses. He said that India has liberalised its FDI policies, created a friendly tax regime for Sovereign Wealth and Pension Funds and undertaken significant reforms for developing a robust Bond market. He further said that India has proactively monetized assets across various sectors -Airports, Railways, Highways, Power Transmission lines, etc. and that Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) & Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) have been fully enabled for monetization of assets.

Complimenting Mr. Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Toronto based Fairfax Financial Holdings for creating this forum, Prime Minister Modi said that he was glad that so many investors and businesses of Canada were being exposed to the tremendous investment and business opportunities in India. He said that India has embarked on a journey of deregulation and decriminalisation of various offences under the companies act and that India has undertaken a trinity of reforms in the field of education, labour and agriculture. He said that Canada had some of the largest pension funds and that mature funds form Canada had already made significant investments of over US$ 50 billion in India in a range of sectors. PM Modi concluded by stating that India was a place where Canada could look for partners in the field of education, invest in manufacturing or services and collaborate in the field of agriculture. The text of Prime Minister address can be viewed at https://www.narendramodi.in/prime-minister-narendra-modis-key-note- address-at-invest-india-confernce-in-canada-551797

The High Commissioner of India to Canada, Mr. Ajay Bisaria spoke about the upward trajectory of India-Canada bilateral relations, the growing Canadian investments in India, the various reforms in labour, agriculture, land, infrastructure sectors introduced by Government of India to create investment friendly climate and the opportunities available for Canadian companies in India. The High Commissioner of Canada to India, Mr. Nadir Patel spoke about a range of issues concerning India-Canada commercial relationship which he said would be worth $100 billion in the coming years, adding that there had never been a better time for Canadian and Indian investors and companies to succeed and continue to thrive in both markets. CEO of NITI Aayog,

Mr. Amitabh Kant mentioned several India success stories and detailed the various reforms introduced by Government of India to attract investments. He pointed out that Canada based Brookfield Asset Management with a portfolio of around US $ 16 billion was now the largest institutional investor in India.

In a subsequent session, Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Infosys and Mr. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras discussed the trends and potentials of Canada and India emerging as Innovation hubs driven by digital growth.

In the session, 'Canadian Fund Perspective in India', Mr. Karan Bhagat, Founder, MD and CEO of IIFL Wealth and Assets Management delved into the India experience of various Canadian Funds with Mr. Mark Machin, President & CEO, CPP Investments, Ms Anita George, Executive Vice President and Deputy Head, CDPQ Global and Mr. Satish Rai, Chief Investment, OMERS. The panel concluded that the Canadian brand needs a strong purpose for investing in a country and India provides that purpose.

In the session covering Bi-national Private Sector Chair's Dialogue, moderated by Mr. Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, Mr. Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Ltd. and Ms. Nancy Southern, Chairman and CEO, ATCO Ltd., expressed positive sentiments about India's post-COVID recovery and its march towards a USD 5 trillion economy. They agreed that India offers huge manufacturing opportunities to Canadian companies looking to diversify and the Indian companies can leverage opportunities to access the entire North American market by locating in Canada.

Mr. Victor Thomas, President and CEO, CIBC thanked the panelists for their remarks. Invest India is an annual conference organised by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. in association with CIBC and other leading Indian and Canadian private sector players, which brings together investment and industry leaders from India and Canada with a focus on the investment and trade potential between India and Canada. This year, due to COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held virtually. More than 3000 investors, business entities, Chambers of Commerce and influencers from Canada and India participated in the various sessions. Prime Minister's inaugural remarks were broadcast live on digital media and attracted an audience of more than 50,000 people.

Vancouver 08 October 2020

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