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Vibrant Gujarat International delegation generates huge interest among Canadian business community

With India's credible growth story under the leadership of Prime Minister of India, Shri NarendraModi has started yielding results in terms of high interest and large investment by foreign investors. The visiting Vibrant Gujarat delegation generated huge excitement among Canadian business and industry, who extended a warm welcome to the visiting Vibrant Gujarat delegation from India. The delegation visited Toronto on 6th September and Montreal on 7th September 2016. The vibrant Gujarat international delegation comprising of both Government officials and industry people visited both the cities, held roadshows and met a large number of CEOs/ top management people of the top companies of Canada during various roadshows and also held one to one meetings organized as a part of the visit.

The international delegation visit to Canada aimed at further strengthening the brand India / brand Vibrant Gujarat to further explore/ facilitate Canadian companies to invest and do business in Gujarat.

KPMG (Canada) in collaboration with Fairfax Inc organized a roadshow, which was attended by CEOs of top Canadian companies. Mr. Prem Watsa, Founder Chsirman, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd who is also known as Warren Buffet of Canada, has been aggressively investing in India and has plans to make further investment in India, chaired the meeting. He spoke about the inspiring leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Modi and spoke about various initiatives taken by him both at the national level and during his stint as Chief Minister of Gujarat. He said that these steps have opened new opportunities as economic activities are expanding, and more and more people are joining the middle class. The Consul General of India to Toronto, Shri Dinesh Bhatia introducing the delegation and highlighting India as the preferred investment destination. Shri Dinesh Bhatia spoke about how India has become the fastest growing large economy in the world and the dynamic opportunities that exists for the Canadian business community.

Shri Bharat Lal, head of the delegation and Resident Commissioner, Government of Gujarat, made the presentation on competitive advantage of Gujarat vis-a-vis other states in India. He detailed how Gujarat became number one state in many areas including ‘ease of doing business’. He said that the very culture of entrepreneurship that exist in Gujarat and the ethos of Government, promotes business and industry as this creates opportunities for the people of not only Gujarat but whole India. Due to these characteristics, Gujarat has become preferred destination of business.

Mr. Deepak Bagla, CEO Invest India spoke about the dynamic role India is playing in the modern world and tremendous growth opportunities that are existing in varied sectors in India. He spoke about the change which is taking place in India under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri. Modi. The event was attended by more than 30 top CEOs of Canadian companies.

The roadshow at KPMG office was also attended by Mr. Neemkumar, President – IIFL Holdings Ltd., Mr. Gary Comerford, President and CEO of Canada India Business Council. Mr. Ajay Pandey, CEO of GIFT city highlighted the advantage of this emerging International Financial Service Centre. The session ended with key remarks from Mr. Willy Kruh, Partner, Global Chair - Consumer Markets, Partner-in-Charge - High Growth Markets, KPMG in Canada.

The Business Council of Canada, headed by Mr. John Manley, President & CEO, and former Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister of Canada, hosted a reception-cum-luncheon meeting, which was attended by another set of top industry people. More than 40 representatives from the Ontario Government and Canadian business community attend the event. In the meet, various business people from Canada narrated the ongoing change taking place in India. Shri Bharat Lal and Mr. Bagla spoke at the event about Vibrant Gujarat and emerging new opportunities in Gujarat and India. Mr. PremWatsa said that it make immense sense to move early in Gujarat and India. Many CEOs accepted the invite to attend the VG Summit in January – 2017.

Mr. Ajay Kumar Pandey, CEO, Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) spoke about the globally benchmarked International Financial Service Centre (IFSC) developed by Government of Gujarat. He further said that GIFT City is a first of its kind in India, designed to be at or above par with globally benchmarked financial centres such as Shanghai, La Defense Paris, London Dockyards, Hongkong and Singapore.

The delegation also had 1:1 meetings with the CEOs of the top fortune 500 companies. In these meetings the possible opportunities for Canadian companies in Gujarat was discussed. The day long roadshow witnessed a series of high-level meetings with eminent Canadian business leaders such as - Mr. Satish Rai, CIO - OMERs, Pavi Binning, CEO - George Weston Group, David Harris, CEO & Dr. S. Husain Mehdi, Director – Kinectrics and Janet Ecker, CEO - Toronto Financial Services Alliances.

Shri Dinesh Bhatia, Counsel General of India and Shri Sanjay Makkar, President, the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce hosted a reception cum dinner in the honour of visiting delegation wherein more than 70 business and industry leaders participated. As a part of Vibrant Gujarat delegation, Mr. Balrajsinh Parmar, Managing Director – Suzlon and Mr. Jaiman Shah, Co-founder and Managing Director – Dev IT discussed varied business opportunities and the advantages that Gujarat offers to prospective companies.

On the second day of the Canada visit, the Vibrant Gujarat delegation visited Montreal and the roadshow began with a large conference, organised by the Indian High Commission Ottawa.The roadshows in Montreal witnessed the participation of eminent industrialists, business community and Government officials. The event was graced by Mr. Arun Kumar Sahu, Deputy High Commissioner, Ottawa and Deputy Mayor Mary Deros, Frank Baylish, who currently sits on the Standing Committee on Industry, Science & Technology, and is Chair of the Canada—United-Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Association Canadian and the high-profile business community from Montreal and Québec province.

In the roadshow, delegation leader, Shri Bharat Lal recalled the success story of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit which was conceptualized and initiated in the year 2003 by the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi and the current Prime Minister of India. He further stated that, the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, in its 8th edition, will bring together Heads of States and Governments, Ministers, leaders from the corporate world, senior policy makers, heads of international institutions and academia from around the world to further the cause of development and promote cooperation. In the end, heextended invitation to the invitees to attend the vibrant Gujarat summit on 10th and 11th January 2017.

Vibrant Gujarat delegation also had high-level one-to-one meetings with some of the leading Canadian companies who are exploring an opportunity to enter India such as Bank of Montreal and the Caisse Depot dePlacement. Vibrant Gujarat delegation, headed by Shri Bharat Lal, Resident Commissioner, Government of Gujarat, narrated the enormous opportunities that are existing in India, especially in the State of Gujarat, which is considered to be the driving engine of India. From here, the delegation moves to Chicago as a part of 2nd leg of the tour to promote Gujarat and attract investment and technology to further accelerate of economic growth of the State.

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