Home International Canadian province premier on ‘green mission’ to India

Canadian province premier on ‘green mission’ to India

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS,

Toronto: Dalton McGuinty, premier of Canada’s Ontario province, Saturday left for India on a week-long trade mission to sell green technology to the energy-starved country.

Coming close on the heels of the India-Canada nuclear agreement last week, the trade mission by the premier (equal to a chief minister in India) from Dec 6-11 will take him to New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

The visit assumes siginificance as Ontario with Toronto as its capital is the powerhouse of Canada, accounting for more than 40 percent of the nation’s economy and much of manufacturing and auto industries.

Before leaving for New Delhi, McGuinty told the media that his mission will have “a laser-like focus” in India.

He said, “We are very focused on what we want to do now – if you have got an interest in that, great let us talk. If you don’t, then we are moving on to the next person.” The premier said India’s “so many challenges” offered many opportunities to Canada as “we have so many solutions for them.”

He said India has “some real environmental challenges and we have got over 2,600 environmental technology companies.

“Why not put two and two together? Let us go over there and bring them some solutions.”

McGuinty has set a target of creating 50,000 “green jobs” in his province in the next three years as his government tries to promote green energy technology to check global warming. He is targeting India and China for selling green technology to create these many jobs here.

With over $200 billion needed in new investments to raise its renewable energy production capacity to 200 GW by 2030, India offers a huge market for Canadian green companies.

Canadian companies are also eyeing India’s water and wastewater treatment market which is growing at a rate of 10-12 percent.

The trade mission includes 31 people from 27 Ontario companies and universities which have expertise in green technology and infrastructure.

Economic development and trade minister Sandra Pupatello, Canada-India Business Council president Rana Sarkar, experts in green energy, sewage and water treatment and energy storage, and representatives from four universities are among those in the mission.

After meeting Indian ministers in New Delhi, the premier will visit Mumbai and Hyderabad to meet business leaders.

Though it has not been mentioned whether he will visit the Golden Temple, but a trip to Amritsar is likely because of a huge number of Sikh votes here. Traditionally, Canadian Sikhs and other immigrant communities have voted the premier’s Liberal Party.

This will be the second visit of the premier to India after his first mission in January 2007.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at [email protected])