Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum. (File Photo from Twitter)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum. (File Photo from Twitter)

India attracted around USD 22 billion foreign direct investment during the pandemic. But India has potential and the need for a lot more.

It needs to create at least 90 million jobs according to a recent McKinsey report. It is difficult to conceive of this without new work-centres coming up that will require investments from the right quarters.

Obviously, when foreign companies invest in India, they look for three things. First, the market potential. Second the economics of producing in India, and even exporting the produce. Third, whether the investments they make will be safe and whether the rules of doing business are predictable. They will possibly have other items on their wishlist too.

India has the market – it is indisputably the second-largest market in the world – after China. It has the manpower. Thus a lot of focus will dwell around policies. The government, on its part, is willing to push reforms that were on the back burner for two decades. They relate to agriculture and labour. But many more reforms may be needed. Some of these issues will be discussed in the lecture that precedes the webinar.

To understand country-specific issues, The Free Press Journal in association with NMIMS, SIES and Invest India is organising a nine-part webinar series under the banner ‘Financing India’.

The series will start on October 15, 2020 and the first focus country is Canada. The panelists for the Canada session are (in alphabetical order) Shruti Chandra, Assistant Vice President, InvestIndia; Annie Dubé, Consul General of Canada in Mumbai, India; and Jaimin Shah, co-founder and managing director of DEV Information Technology Ltd, India and DEV Info-Tech North America Ltd, Canada. The panel discussion will start at 5 pm.

Preceding the webinar – from 4 pm to 5 pm – will be a lecture by RN Bhaskar, consulting editor, FPJ, on ‘The dispute over dispute resolution’. The lecture will be followed by a conversation with Dr Paritosh Basu, Senior Professor and Chairperson MBA (Law), NMIMS School of Business Management

Click here to register for the event.

Other countries represented in the series are Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan, Qatar, Russia, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

Coming back to India-Canada relations, Canada is home to around 1.9 million people of Indian heritage. Both countries have been holding regular negotiations to reach an agreement on both the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). While CEPA involves liberalisation of trade in goods and services, FIPA is exclusively focusing on protecting investments. When countries like Canada plan on investing in India, they look at some form of protection or other on their investments.

According to a CNBC report, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), which manages around 434.4 billion Canadian dollars (USD 329.75 billion) as of June 30, is looking at India as an important destination for investments. It also stated the pension fund plans to invest a third of its funds in emerging markets over the next five years. With near-zero rates of return in developed countries, pension funds are keen on investing in countries where the rates of return are higher, investment periods are longer and economic stability is ensured.

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Free Press Journal