Despite recent tensions, long-term strategic interests of India and Canada are aligned: Canadian Envoy Cameron Mackay


Canada’s High Commissioner to India Cameron Mackay said notwithstanding the recent tensions, the strategic interests of India and Canada are “absolutely aligned”, and he was encouraged by the continuance of bilateral trade and investment relationship, according to a report by Press Trust of India.
Speaking at a seminar on ‘India-Canada Business: The Way Forward’ at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, he said this annual gathering of investors was a “great platform to reassert our business to business and people to people ties.”
The relations between the two countries saw some bitterness following Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation about India’s suspected involvement in the killing of Khalistani separatist and designated terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in his country. India denied the allegation as absurd.
“In the past months it has been a time of some tensions between our two countries. It is no secret. But I am encouraged by leadership and vision of business community present here and outside the room to continue with trade and investment relationship which is in the interest of both of our countries,” Mackay said.
The business-to-business ties will support job creation, technology partnership and prosperity of both the countries, he added.
“My advice to my government and that to the Indian government and business community on both sides is to let the governments do what they are doing, let the government do diplomacy but everyone knows that in the long term, Canada’s strategic interest and India’s strategic interest are absolutely aligned,” the high commissioner said.
“In the meantime let’s have business to business ties. We should work together to make our business and nations friendly again,” he added.
Business relations between the two countries have remained unaffected by the diplomatic row, Mackay said.
“Over 100 Indian companies have invested in Canada and over 600 Canadian companies are present in India. Yesterday, I visited the McCain plant here in Gujarat,” he said.
Former Indian high commissioner to Pakistan and Canada Ajay Bisaria said the tensions between the two countries seem to be a temporary phase.
“Though there is a glitch between the two countries in political relationship, the business is going on and the message from the top leadership of both the countries is clear that the business has to go on and none of the stuff in the political space will impact the business relationship,” he said at the seminar.