Posted on 14 December 2010
Ottawa, December 14, 2010 – The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade tabled its report today entitled Seizing Opportunities for Canadians: India’s Growth and Canada’s Future Prosperity.
The committee concluded that the rise of Russia, China and India has significant domestic, bilateral and global implications for Canadian trade and investment policies and that, for the benefit of Canada’s future commercial prosperity and the realisation of mutual advantages, the Government of Canada should formulate and implement a set of policies that strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations with the three countries.
“The committee appreciates having contributed in some way to the debate and public policy process concerning the impact on Canada of the rise of Russia, China, and India through its study, its reports and its recommendations. We also believe that our work has strengthened the awareness of what is at stake, and, ultimately, enriched the public policy discussion about Canada’s trade and investment future in a changing global economy,” stated Senator Raynell Andreychuk, chair of the committee.
The conclusion and final report on the study builds on the committee’s previous reports and recommendations. Over a three-year period, the committee heard 90 witnesses, held 45 hearings, embarked on three fact-finding missions with over 140 interlocutors, tabled three reports and made more than 30 recommendations.
Some of the report’s recurring recommendations are that the Government of Canada should develop a “Canada Brand” to raise the profile of Canadian expertise and commercial innovations in such sectors as education, agriculture, mining and the extractive industries, energy, technology, financial services, and infrastructure. That business associations and the diaspora should be leveraged more effectively as important links between Canada and the three countries in order to deepen bilateral commercial relations. Likewise, the report stresses the important role that parliamentary diplomacy can play in deepening Canadian engagement with the three countries.
The former deputy chair of the committee, Peter A. Stollery, said “the committee learned that while India’s economy has grown, it continues to face a gap between the rich and the poor of India’s society. On our visit to India, people spoke to us of Two Indias – one that is prosperous and benefitting from the country’s transformation, the other impoverished and unable to access the emerging opportunities. The challenge therefore, is to harness India’s full demographic potential and link it with inclusive growth.”
While Russia, China and India are all emerging economies, their opportunities, challenges and risks reflect the specific circumstances of each, and policies crafted in response will need to do the same.
More information on the committee’s recent reports, schedule of meetings, mandate, membership, and minutes of proceedings can be seen at: http://senate-senat.ca/foraffetrang-e.asp.
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