NEW DELHI, INDIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 24, 2014) - I am delighted to have met today with Prime Minister Singh and to have witnessed the signing of these important agreements.
I would like to thank the Prime Minister for inviting my wife, Sharon, and me to India for this State visit. We have been so enthusiastically looking forward to it.
We are pleased to be joined by Canadian parliamentarians and an accompanying delegation whose goal is to strengthen our countries' business, academic, cultural and people-to-people ties.
Despite having only arrived yesterday, we have already had a taste of the wonderful hospitality and dynamism of India. The Taj Mahal and Agra Fort are truly breathtaking examples of this country's rich heritage, and it was a great privilege to be able to pay respects to Mahatma Gandhi in Rajghat.
Thank you for the opportunity to begin our visit to India in this way, as well as for the impressive official welcoming ceremony.
The themes of our visit are education, innovation and entrepreneurship. This program reinforces our goal of fostering a smarter, more caring Canada in a fairer, more just world-a goal which we as leaders have a responsibility to work towards.
This visit to India comes at an important time in the relationship between our two countries. Canada and India have a long association and much in common, and today we are poised to deepen our engagement.
I am encouraged by the constructive and enlightening discussions I have just had with Prime Minister Singh, and I am looking forward to meeting with President Mukherjee and Vice-President Ansari later today.
I was also pleased to witness the signing of the Audio-visual Co-production Agreement, which will deepen the level of engagement between our respective audio-visual sectors. In doing so, the Agreement promises to bring cultural and economic benefits to Canadians and Indians-while entertaining and inspiring audiences worldwide. Our delegation is looking forward to visiting Film City in Mumbai, home of so many Bollywood films and television series.
Canada similarly welcomes the signing of the Programme of Cooperation that formalizes the partnership between Grand Challenges Canada and India's Department of Biotechnology. This agreement is dedicated to saving lives and improving health through innovation, and it is a wonderful example of being both "smart" and "caring" in our collaboration.
As well, the signing of the MoU between the National Skills Development Council and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges underscores the importance of skills development for economic growth, employment generation, and social development.
May I thank all who have worked hard to make these agreements a reality. I also look forward to receiving the recommendations of the Canada-India CEO Forum which meets this week to discuss ways to strengthen our commercial relations.
Our two countries are natural partners. We are parliamentary democracies with geographically large and ethnically diverse federations.
Together, we are working on such important matters as education, innovation, trade and investment, with a special focus on the contributions of women and girls. We also look forward to further expanding co-operation in energy and food security, as well as civil aviation and defence research. In these and other priorities, I am convinced that Canada and India have much to gain by working together.
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