Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

June 06, 2013 15:04 ET

Atlantic Canadian Companies Grow Business Relations; Benefit From Expanding Opportunities in India

MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwired - June 6, 2013) -

Editors Note: There is a photo, a PDF document, and one video associated with this press release.

It all started five years ago with an Atlantic Canadian delegation heading to India to promote the transportation sector and shipping through Atlantic Canada. Since that time, Atlantic Canadian businesses have been working hard to build trade relationships in India, one of the world's fastest growing economies.

In 2012, Atlantic Canada exported $140 million in goods to India. During that same period, bilateral trade between India and Canada was approximately $5 billion - and the two countries are aiming to triple that figure by 2015.

With the help of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and its partners, including the four Atlantic Provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador), the Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Atlantic companies are actively exploring a variety of sectors in India, including food and beverage, education, and energy to seize the promising opportunities that India offers.

Hungry for more

With a population of 1.2 billion people, and a rise in its middle- and upper-class population, India holds major potential for Atlantic Canada's food sector, particularly high-value products like seafood, blueberries and cranberries, and niche markets like hotels and restaurants, and nutraceuticals.

A major launch and branding of Atlantic Canadian seafood in the India marketplace at the Taj Food Festival in 2012, and a repeat appearance at the event in 2013, whet international appetites for our local products, resulting in negotiations for seafood orders by leading importers.

And to really get mouths watering, UpperCrust magazine, a popular food and wine magazine in India, recently published a 60-page spread in its January-March 2013 issue promoting Atlantic Canada as a food and tourist destination. Not to mention, India's NDTV Good Times celebrity chef Vicky Ratnani filmed a series of 30-minute television episodes highlighting food offerings in each Atlantic province. "Chef Vicky Goes Foreign - Canadian Tadka" reaches over 30 million viewers in India and can currently be viewed on NDTV Good Times' website.

Booming education market

Education is another sector with significant potential: demand in India is surpassing supply, and an increasingly mobile student population is collectively spending more than $13 billion a year to study abroad, a number that is expected to grow by 10% to 15% over the next decade.

Atlantic Canadian learning institutions are capitalizing on this increasing demand. From April 15 to 26, 2013, a delegation of guidance counsellors and school principals from India toured 12 learning institutions to see first-hand the high quality educational resources our region has to offer.

"Bringing in key decision makers and having them see the quality of our education system, and speaking with Indian students already on-site, really creates enthusiasm for our institutions," says Mike Rosson, Director of Marketing and Recruitment at EduNova, who has organized several education sector missions for the India market. "And an upcoming visit planned to India really aims to solidify those ties, and will allow us to meet with potential students and their parents on-site and answer their questions directly."

The upcoming education marketing mission to Northern India is planned for August 2013 with visits to seven cities in order to increase student recruitment. And, a recent mission of Indian delegates headed home in early May after touring half a dozen facilities across the Atlantic region, in order to facilitate research partnerships and mobility agreements between universities. Both missions are funded through the Canada-Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development, an agreement between the Government of Canada and the four provincial governments in Atlantic Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador).

Need for fresh energy

In the past few years, India has seen an energy deficit ranging between 10% and 13%, creating an increased demand for energy equipment and renewable energy expertise. Blackouts also revealed the vulnerabilities of existing systems.

Atlantic Canada's energy sector could potentially help satisfy an energy-hungry market in India, where off-the-grid solutions are increasingly appealing. In fact, market studies show the requirement for technical expertise in installation, operations, maintenance, troubleshooting, and other aspects of clean energy implementation, areas where Atlantic Canadian companies have the expertise India needs.

To seize the opportunities that exist for the Atlantic region's energy sector, recruitment is ongoing for an Atlantic delegation to attend the Renewable Energy Expo India 2013 in Delhi, in September 2013.

"India is a market with tremendous potential right now. They are in desperate need of power solutions that companies from Atlantic Canada can provide," says Barbara Pike of The Maritimes Energy Association. "Renewable Energy India Expo is the leading event for clean energy in India - it's definitely not something our companies will want to miss." Companies looking to participate can contact The Maritimes Energy Association.

With more than a dozen business missions having already taken place in a variety of sectors and more on the horizon, it is clear that Atlantic businesses will continue to seek out opportunities in this fast-growing market. And if, as Mahatma Gandhi said, "action expresses priority", there is no doubt that India is a top-of-mind market for Atlantic Canada.


  • With a total population of 1.2 billion people, India is the second largest market in the world, and will be the fourth largest economy by 2025.
  • India counts itself among the top 10 GDP generators in the world.
  • The country holds research and development facilities for 20% of all Fortune 500 companies.
  • In 2012, Atlantic Canada exported $140 million in goods to India. During that same period, bilateral trade between India and Canada was approximately $5 billion - and the two countries are aiming to triple that figure by 2015.
  • The middle class population, with disposable income for travel, education and food, is estimated at 250 million and growing by about 10 million per year.
  • Canada has seen a significant increase of Indian students coming to study in Canada since 2008. In 2012, about 14,000 new Indian students entered Canada for study, equivalent to approximately 12% of foreign students. About 23,000 Indian students currently live in Canada.
  • Hindi is the official language in India; English is the subsidiary official language and is widely used for national, political and business communication; 14 other official languages exist in India.

To view the photo and video associated with this press release, please visit the following links:

India's NDTV Good Times Celebrity Chef Vicky Ratnani takes in the sights in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, as part of his TV tour of Atlantic Canada:

"Chef Vicky Goes Foreign - Canadian Tadka" episodes filmed in Atlantic Canada can currently be viewed on NDTV Good Times' website:

UpperCrust Magazine:

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