The department of political science organized a lecture by professor Stephen Clarkson titled, “A comprehensive economic partnership with Canada: What is in it for India?” on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011.
Clarkson is a professor in the department of political science at the University of Toronto, Canada.
Clarkson talked about the current low level trade between India and Canada and argued in favor for a new trade agreement which would be more comprehensive than what we have today.
In Clarkson’s view, Canada has a more open market for Indian investors while India has a very restrictive market for Canadian investors.
To support his claim, he cited two examples: first is the case of Mittal Steel buying up a Canadian steel plant, and second is the setting up of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) head quarters in Canada for the whole North American region.
While on the other hand, a Canadian bank, for instance he stated, is permitted to hold only a share of 4.9% in an Indian bank; which in his view, is not even worth the trouble.
To answer the question: What’s in it for India? Clarkson pointed out that after the terrorist attack on 9/11 in the US, America has put up barriers on its borders making it difficult to do business with them.
However, since Canada is party to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), setting up business in Canada will give Indian investors access to the entire North American market.
And besides access to the North American market, Indian investors also have the added advantage of having a sizable resident Indian population in Canada. Canada, he remarked, is home to about a million people of Indian origin.
Clarkson believes, an agreement between India and Canada on equal terms, will be highly beneficial to both countries
Scenes from the Event
Watch a short video clip of the event. (Link to Video)