The good thing is we’re having conversations around CEPA again: H.E. Ajay Bisaria

The good thing is we're having conversations around CEPA again H.E. Ajay Bisaria

The Indo-Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC) was honoured to have H.E. Ajay Bisaria, High Commissioner of India to Canada, as the chief speaker at its webinar focusing on “Navigating Canadian Economy Post COVID-19”, on Tuesday evening.  Responding to a question by Ajay Khanna (Chief Strategic & Public Affairs & Group Ombudsman, Jubilant Bhartia Group), on the status of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries, H.E. Bisaria said, “The good thing is we are having conversations around CEPA again”.

This was the sixth of an ongoing series of Webinars hosted by ICBC to bolster trade and investment between India and Canada, particularly in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy.

Besides close to 200 stakeholders of the Indo-Canadian business corridor, leading lights of trade and industry including Ms. Nathalie Béchamp (Chief of Investor Services, Invest in Canada), Soumen Roy (Country Head, Canada Tata Consultancy Services), Harshvendra Soin (Global Chief People Officer and Head Marketing, Tech Mahindra Ltd) and Sandeep Goel (President and CEO, ICICI Bank Canada) also presented their views. The hour-long webinar was moderated by Ms. Nadira Hamid (CEO, ICBC).

Béchamp, while outlining the various initiatives taken by the Government of Canada to help businesses emerge out of the global COVID-19 crisis, emphasized that Invest in Canada remains committed to working with companies in India and helping them navigate the investment landscape during this unprecedented time. Acknowledging the experience of her fellow panellists, she noted that Canada and India collaborate in a variety of sectors including clean technologies, digital technologies, advanced manufacturing and materials, life sciences, and agriculture.

H.E. Bisaria also divulged that flights between India and Canada were on the anvil in the next phase of the Vande Bharat mission of the Government of India, which is repatriating Indian citizens stranded abroad due to lockdowns imposed in countries on account of controlling the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Thousands of Indians will be repatriated in the next phase of Vande Bharat in flights from Vancouver and Toronto”, he said.

H.E. Bisaria envisioned a G-20 led world order in the future. He also outlined India’s immediate, short-term and long term plans in dealing with the crisis as “saving lives”, “a package for MSMEs” and “deeper reforms including that of land, labour  and business-friendly conditions for FDI”, respectively. He also alluded to and lauded the $260bn stimulus package announced by the Indian Prime Minister, Shri. Narendra Modi, while the webinar was going on.

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