Long-term strategic interests of India and Canada are aligned: envoy

Gandhinagar: Canada’s High Commissioner to India Cameron Mackay on Thursday 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.

Addressing a seminar on ‘India-Canada Business: The Way Forward’ at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, he said, “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.”

He also highlighted the event as a valuable platform to reaffirm business-to-business and people-to-people ties.

“The business-to-business ties will support job creation, technology partnership and prosperity of both the countries, he added.

The India-Canada ties faced strain last year due to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusation regarding India’s alleged involvement in the killing of Khalistani separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. India categorically rejected the claim as absurd.

He said that the diplomacy should be left to governments and he was pretty sure in the long term Canada’s strategic interest and India’s strategic interest are absolutely aligned.

“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.