His Excellency, Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources of Canada accompanied by a high level delegation including the Canadian High Commissioner to India called on Dr. Ashwani Kumar, Minister of State for Planning, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences today in New Delhi to discuss the India’s planning perspective in advancing Canada’s energy perspectives.
During the meeting Dr. Ashwani Kumar called for consolidation of the fast expanding partnership between the two countries. He informed Minister Oliver that India is committed to faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth by harnessing its knowledge and potential in Science & Technology and that innovation was a key focus area for the Government. Dr. Kumar stated that during the 12th Plan, India looks forward to achieving 8.2% GDP growth. He stressed upon the needs for collaborative science rather than competitive science in order to take advantage of the synergies.
He highlighted the need for collaboration in the field of Nuclear Energy, Tidal Energy, Shale Gas etc. The possibility of research in the areas of Gas Hydrates and exploration of mineral resources in the ocean were also discussed. The Canadian side expressed great interest in forging concrete business partnership in sustainable technologies, non conventional and alternative energy areas, oil and gas and advanced scientific and technological research. Dr. Kumar thanked Minister Oliver for Canada’s support for Indo-US civil Nuclear Agreement. Dr. Kumar expressed the hope that the Indo-US Civil Nuclear Agreement 2010 would be formalized soon.
Dr Kumar stressed on research and development of new and alternative sources of green and sustainable energy.
The Canadian minister stated that Canada is looking at making big investments in development of the requisite infrastructure in various sectors for which billions of dollars are needed. He hoped that Indian companies would be available to participate in the ventures. These reserves could meet India’s ever growing energy requirements. In this connection Canada hopes to attract large capitals from Indian companies. Canada is also looking forward for enhancing strategic relations for developing clean technology. The visit of the Canadian Energy Resources Minister is an advance preparatory visit for the forthcoming visit of the Canadian Prime Minister Harper in November 2012, when a large business delegation is expected to accompany the Canadian PM to explore further arenas to boost Indo-Canadian bilateral trade for which a target of US D 15 billion has been set for the coming five years. The two Ministers discussed the possibility of CNG exports from Canada to India. Investment in India todate are around USD 14 billion whereas Canadian USD 4.5 billion. Dr. Kumar expressed the hope that more Canadian investments will be seen in the year ahead.
Dr. Kumar assured the visiting Canadian Minister that India is fully committed to investor friendly regime and respects the sanctity of contracts and would ensure a stable fiscal and statutory regime.