This week I embarked on a trade mission to India organized by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) – a national organization that works to promote economic development between Canada and India. Since becoming Mayor, I’ve worked closely with the ICCC to strengthen relations between Mississauga and public and private-sector leaders from India. In November of last year, I delivered a keynote address about Mississauga’s promising economic future to ICCC members.
Organizations like the ICCC are helping Mississauga leverage its international expertise, cultural diversity and networks to help our local economy reach higher. I’m proud to have the ICCC represented on the Mississauga International Partnership Program Committee – a working group that brings together thought leaders to help our Economic Development Office attract and retain foreign-direct investment.
It makes sense for Mississauga to cement relations with India. In 2006 my predecessor Mayor Hazel McCallion embarked on an important trade mission to India. Building on Mayor McCallion’s work, in February of last year, I participated in Premier Wynne’s 2016 Ontario Business Mission to India.
Our community is home to over 54,000 new Canadians of Indian descent and over 156,000 people of South Asian descent. Our thriving cultural synergies are matched by our economic ones as well. Mississauga is home to 17 Indian-based businesses that make up Mississauga’s key industry sectors including: information and communications technology; financial services; life sciences; and automotive and aerospace.
Ontario has exported $307 million in goods to India and imported $1.6 billion in products from there. Bilateral trade between India and Canada has reached $4.14 billion. India plans to invest over US $1 trillion in infrastructure development to accommodate its fast-growing urban centres.
The first day of our mission took our delegation to Mumbai, the most populous city in India. We held meetings with Jordan Reeves, Canadian Consul General in Mumbai, and Tara Scheurwater, Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner. I had the opportunity to address a roundtable discussion about Mississauga’s competitive advantages at the Consul General’s Office. We received an important briefing about the western India region’s economy.
Later on, I delivered a keynote address, and took questions from business leaders, at a networking session hosted by the All India/All Industries Association at the World Trade Centre Mumbai entitled – Enhancing Trade and Investment with Mississauga, Canada. It was a great debate of ideas, and another important reminder that if municipalities are going to attract new job-creating investments – we must be on the ground, making our pitch, building important and lasting connections, and sharing Mississauga’s story.