Mumbai: The state of Maharashtra and Canada’s Quebec region will be setting up a working group soon. This group will work towards creating new agreement and to establish new priorities between Maharashtra and Quebec.
Speaking to The Free Press Journal, Christine St-Pierre, Quebec’s Minister of International Affairs and La Francophonie, said, “We want to establish a stronger partnership between Maharashtra and Quebec. The Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will probably be in Montreal for an official mission soon and then we will sign another agreement with the Chief Minister.” Earlier, both regions had signed an agreement in 2006.
Christine further said, “The working group is a best way to establish our priorities. We want to work and don’t want to rush into an agreement.”
Quebec’s focus areas are maritime strategy, aeronautic sector, artificial intelligence and green energy. Meanwhile, Maharashtra sets its eye on electrification of transportation and artificial intelligence. “We are developing a hub on artificial intelligence in Montreal. There are companies from the US like Google, Facebook and etc, in Montreal. Apart from companies, the government wants to work with universities for this,” added Christine.
Yet another area of focus for both regions is blue economy (port) and its development. While Quebec has a vision to develop their waterway assets, Maharashtra too has the same vision under the national Sagarmala project. Christine added, “We want to invest in research, tourism and transportation.” Recently, Port of Montreal and Mundra port, Gujarat signed an agreement of cooperation. When quizzed about any such agreement with Mumbai ports, Christine feels it is early days and there are lot of options.
Christine also feels that this partnership will work both ways and envisages that tourism will get a boost if there will be a direct flight that would connect Montreal to Delhi or Mumbai.