Toronto: India offers huge scope for Canadian firms to participate in its $ 1 trillion infrastructure development plan, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has said.
"India expects 50 per cent of this investment to come from the private sector. These developments create major opportunities for both Canadian and Indian companies," Tharoor said while addressing the Canada-India Business Council (C-IBC) Diwali gala dinner attended by scores of corporates from two countries in Toronto on Friday.
"India's 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-2017) envisages investment of $ 1 trillion in infrastructure as the country aims at maintaining a high economic growth," he said.
Referring to India's phenomenal economic growth and technological transformations over the years, he said that Canadians should take advantage of the huge growth potential that India has to offer.
"Mobile phones have empowered the Indian under-class," Tharoor said while explaining how even fishermen and farmers, watermen and vegetable vendors are using the device to look for better bargains for their produce.
Earlier, Tharoor launched the India Innovation Institute, a joint initiative of the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
The Institute will be a multidisciplinary hub for faculty and students researching the field of innovation.
Prem Watsa, Chancellor of Waterloo University was the keynote speaker, who has been dubbed the "Canadian Warren Buffet."
Watsa who is also the founder, chairman and chief executive of Fairfax Financial Holdings, said that every country including Canada will face economic challenge in coming months and no one can escape it.
Don Stewart, CEO of Sun Life Financial, was presented with this year's Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions to promote economic ties between the two countries.
Gary Comerford, executive vice president and CMO International at Reinsurance Group of America, Roy MacLaren, Chairman of the C-IBC and Preeti Saran, Consul General of India were among those who were present on the occasion.
2011 is the Year of India in Canada which celebrates the important trade, business and cultural ties between the two countries and hopes for this relationship going forward.
"We are in a global environment where Canada s long term prosperity and security depends on our ability to innovate alongside India, becoming a country known not simply for our resources but for our resourcefulness, Rana Sarkar, the President and CEO of the C-IBC said.