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India and Canada Look Forward to Deeper Ties

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi speaks to a crowd during a dinner hosted by his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper in Vancouver, British Columbia, April 16, 2015.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday he hoped India and Canada maintain close relationship after his visit.

Modi, who was in Vancouver at a dinner reception hosted by his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper, said his visit to the North American country was not only significant as the first Indian Prime Minister to do so in 42 years but because of how the visit had rejuvenated ties between the two countries.

“I feel this visit has been successful in many ways. Although India and Canada have so much in common, we were not in each others' thoughts in so many years. But today it is my deep belief that not only will we be present in each others' thought, but also in our endeavors; we will work together, we will be with each other,” he said.

Modi added he was hopeful that a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement between the two countries will happen soon.

While Harper stressed on the contribution made by the Indo-Canadian community, he declared Canada would always stand by India.

“Make no mistake, the government of Canada and Canadians overwhelmingly support and will always stand by the unity and the strength of India in the world,” he said.

Canada is home to 1.2 million Indians but the size of bilateral trade is a relatively small $6 billion a year.

On Modi's bilateral visit, the Canadian government unveiled a C$350 million ($280 million) deal to supply uranium fuel to India, formally ending a lengthy dispute that began after New Delhi used Canadian technology to develop a nuclear bomb.

Modi also held round-table meeting with Canada's heads of pension funds, banks and other financial leaders in Toronto to boost investments in his country's infrastructure sector.

He also addressed a crowd of 10,000 members of the Indian community at the Ricoh Coliseum ice hockey stadium in Toronto.

Modi rounds up his three-nation tour of France, Germany and Canada after the reception, of which the primary aim was to seek investment for his ambitious 'Make in India' program to generate employment and revenue in the economy.

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