Industry Pledges to Help Double Ontario-India Trade
Focus on high tech partnerships the key -- Commonwealth Advantage
March 30, 2006

For immediate release

Toronto, Ontario, April 3, 2006 -- Canada's business community can grow dramatically if it follows the advice of Ontario's Minister of Industry Joe Cordiano, Commonwealth Advantage President the Honourable Sinclair Stevens said today. The two men were speakers at a recent Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce meeting in Toronto. The Commonwealth Advantage is a partner program with Canada's largest high-tech organization the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance), which has 22,000 members across Canada.

"India-Canada trade will double over the next four years," noted Mr. Stevens. "We are determined that Canadian businesspeople make full use of our uniquely advantageous position in the world to guarantee them access to Indian markets and Indian partnerships. Ontario is in an especially strong position, with its great access to the world's largest developed economy: the United States."

To act as a catalyst, the Commonwealth Advantage will launch a business-to-business partnership program to allow companies in both countries to initiate investment, marketing and product and service development deals.

Mr. Stevens pointed to the Export Profile (E-Profile) tool as a 21st-century enabler of business partnerships: "The E-Profile is a new online business matchmaking service which has been used to successfully connect more than 100 Canadian companies to American multinationals for sales and partnership growth. We are confident that companies in India and Canada will also find it useful, especially for high-tech services and products." E-Profile is expected to be operational with India within a month.

While in India recently Minister Cordiano opened an Ontario office, to draw attention to opportunities in Ontario. He also indicated that Ontario will open an Indian Desk to engage members of Canada's Indian community and help them use their contacts to leverage trade relationships. "India is on a roll," he commented, "The Premier will visit India in 2007, to help us build on the warm relationship we are developing in the country."

"Canada is in a first-rate position for India's trade," said Mr. Stevens. "We are the nexus -- the door to NAFTA, the world's largest trading block and the stepping-stone to the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is the world's second-largest trading block and the world's first 'global domestic economy' where common language and common tradition gives us a 15% trading advantage. Canadian companies that partner with Indian companies will be much more competitive in the American market. Indian companies can enter NAFTA much more effectively by going through Canada.

"India is the jewel in the Commonwealth's trading crown, and the growth opportunities from its new consumers are immensely larger than any other markets we can foresee. The future is in India, and let's enjoy it, let's share it, let's be true partners with our Commonwealth colleagues."

About the Commonwealth Advantage
The Commonwealth Advantage was founded in Canada as a private-sector, member-based association that seeks to lever ties within the Commonwealth to build practical business advantages for businesses. It is a non-profit organization sponsored by the Royal Commonwealth Society of Toronto Foundation and the Toronto Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Society. The Canadian Commonwealth Advantage provides a unique ability to bridge barriers to international trade and promote successful global business strategies. It works in partnership in Canada with the country's largest high-tech business organization, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, and the Canadian Innovation Centre, which provides case-by-case strategies for business growth.
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