India is undergoing a rapid change in mindsets as well as markets: PM Modi to Canadian business

Inaugurating the virtual Invest India 2020 Conference organized in Canada on October 8, 2020,
Prime Minister Modi said that India-Canada bilateral ties are driven by shared democratic values
and many common interests adding that trade and investment linkages were an integral part of
the multi-faceted relationship. He said that India has political stability, investment, and business-friendly policies, skilled talent pool and despite the pandemic, has shown resilience to emerge
as a land of solutions and opportunities. He added that India provided relief and stimulus
package for the poor and small businesses. He said that India has liberalized its FDI policies,
created a friendly tax regime for Sovereign Wealth and Pension Funds, and undertaken
significant reforms for developing a robust Bond market. He further said that India has
proactively monetized assets across various sectors -Airports, Railways, Highways, Power
Transmission lines, etc. and that Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) & Infrastructure
Investment Trusts (InvITs) have been fully enabled for monetization of assets.
Compliment Mr. Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings
for creating this forum, Prime Minister Modi said that he was glad that so many investors and
businesses of Canada were being exposed to the tremendous investment and business
opportunities in India. He said that India has embarked on a journey of deregulation and
decriminalization of various offences under the companies act and that India has undertaken a
trinity of reforms in the field of education, labour and agriculture. He said that Canada had some
of the largest pension funds and that mature funds from Canada had already made significant
investments of over US$ 50 billion in India in a range of sectors. PM Modi concluded by stating
that India was a place where Canada could look for partners in the field of education, invest in
manufacturing or services, and collaborate in the field of agriculture. The text of the Prime Minister address can be viewed at

The High Commissioner of India to Canada, Mr. Ajay Bisaria spoke about the upward trajectory
of India-Canada bilateral relations, the growing Canadian investments in India, the various
reforms in labour, agriculture, land, infrastructure sectors introduced by Government of India to
create investment friendly climate and the opportunities available for Canadian companies in
India. The High Commissioner of Canada to India, Mr. Nadir Patel spoke about a range of
issues concerning India-Canada commercial relationship which he said would be worth $100
billion in the coming years, adding that there had never been a better time for Canadian and
Indian investors and companies to succeed and continue to thrive in both markets. CEO of NITI

Aayog, Mr. Amitabh Kant mentioned several India success stories and detailed the various
reforms introduced by Government of India to attract investments. He pointed out that Canada
based Brookfield Asset Management with a portfolio of around US $ 16 billion was now the
largest institutional investor in India.
In a subsequent session, Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, Infosys and Mr. Bhaskar Ramamurthi,
Director, IIT Madras discussed the trends and potentials of Canada and India emerging as
Innovation hubs driven by digital growth.
In the session, ‘Canadian Fund Perspective in India’, Mr. Karan Bhagat, Founder, MD and CEO
of IIFL Wealth and Assets Management delved into the India experience of various Canadian
Funds with Mr. Mark Machin, President & CEO, CPP Investments, Ms Anita George, Executive
Vice President and Deputy Head, CDPQ Global and Mr. Satish Rai, Chief Investment, OMERS.
The panel concluded that the Canadian brand needs a strong purpose for investing in a country
and India provides that purpose.
In the session covering Bi-national Private Sector Chair’s Dialogue, moderated by Mr. Prem
Watsa, Chairman and CEO, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and Mr. Anand Mahindra, Chairman,
Mahindra Group, Mr. Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Ltd. and Ms. Nancy Southern,
Chairman and CEO, ATCO Ltd., expressed positive sentiments about India’s post-COVID
recovery and its march towards a USD 5 trillion economy. They agreed that India offers huge
manufacturing opportunities to Canadian companies looking to diversify and the Indian
companies can leverage opportunities to access the entire North American market by locating in
Mr. Victor Thomas, President and CEO, CIBC thanked the panelists for their remarks. Invest
India is an annual conference organised by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. in association with
CIBC and other leading Indian and Canadian private sector players, which brings together
investment and industry leaders from India and Canada with a focus on the investment and
trade potential between India and Canada. This year, due to COVID-19 pandemic, the event
was held virtually. More than 3000 investors, business entities, Chambers of Commerce and
influencers from Canada and India participated in the various sessions. Prime Minister’s
inaugural remarks were broadcast live on digital media and attracted an audience of more than
50,000 people.

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