By: The Working Forest Staff
TORONTO — The Ontario government is launching a virtual mission to India in December to continue to promote the province as a premier destination for international investment and create new opportunities for Ontario businesses. Led by Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, this mission builds off the success of the province’s mission to India a year ago, which resulted in nearly 150 business-to-business meetings that brought Ontario companies in direct contact with Indian businesses to explore new partnerships.
“Now more than ever, we must let the world know that Ontario is still open for business and open for jobs,” said Minister Fedeli. “Ontario-made products are recognized as the gold-standard across the country and around the world, and our province is one of the best places to invest and expand a business. With this virtual tour, our government will continue to develop partnerships in strategic markets in India, which will help us build the foundation for recovery in the short term, and prosperity in the long-term.”
A business delegation of 13 Ontario tech companies will join Minister Fedeli at the India Mobile Congress, the largest digital and technology forum in India and South Asia. During the mission, Ontario businesses will have the opportunity to participate virtually in business to business meetings and networking events with hundreds of major players in the Indian telecom industry. Minister Fedeli will promote the province’s advantage during proposed bilateral meetings with government and corporate leaders, including counterparts in the state governments of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh.
Minister Fedeli and the business delegation will also bring this message to international audiences at events hosted by the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber and the Canada-India Business Council.
“Our mission to India just over a year ago resulted in stronger commercial relationships and increased export and investment opportunities in the growing Indian market,” said Parliamentary Assistant for Economic Development, Nina Tangri. “This year’s virtual mission will build on those relationships and help Ontario businesses expand their global reach, which is a key component of our Open for Business approach.”
Two-way trade between Ontario and India was worth C$3.4 billion (US $2.6 billion) in 2019.
This year’s mission will focus on strategic sectors where Ontario enjoys competitive advantages in key global markets, including Information and Communications Technologies and Advanced Manufacturing. Boasting a highly skilled workforce, world-class innovation system, competitive business costs, and access to global markets, Ontario is well-positioned to explore and expand trade and investment opportunities with India.
In order to position Ontario as a top tier destination for job-creating investment, the government has established Invest Ontario, a new investment agency that will energize the province’s work to secure strategic projects and bolster the economy, with an initial focus on advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and technology. Invest Ontario will provide high-value investors with customized tools and services that support them to invest in Ontario and leverage the many benefits of Ontario including a high quality of life, world-class education and research institutions, a highly skilled workforce, a strong and growing innovation sector, and a competitive business environment.
As announced in the government’s 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect Support, Recover, the government is providing $3.75 million over two years to support work by the Ontario Centre of Innovation and the Toronto Business Development Centre to attract more international start-ups to Ontario. These two organizations will initially focus on attracting emerging companies from India to expand their operations across Ontario and create new jobs for local workers.