The Maritime Energy Association believes there’s opportunity for its members to capitalize on increased trade liberalization with India, so it jumped at the chance to participate in a recent trade mission to the sub-continent.
A delegation of representatives from eight Atlantic Canadian companies and organizations participated in the multi-sector business mission to India, which allowed representatives from the food, security, energy, education and technology industries, as well as government organizations, to make connections and identify business opportunities in this priority and emerging market.
Based in Burnside, the Maritime Energy Association is the not-for-profit industry association that represents Atlantic Canada’s energy industry. It has more than 300 members throughout region.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the start of free trade negotiations with India in November 2010. A Canada-India joint study concluded that a trade agreement between the two countries could boost Canada’s economy by at least $6 billion. A trade agreement with India would eliminate or reduce tariffs on Canadian goods, liberalize trade in services and directly benefit Canadian businesses and workers in all regions of Canada in sectors such as primary agriculture, resource-related and chemical products, transport equipment, and machinery and equipment.
“Since 2006, opening new export markets for Canadian businesses has been a priority for our government. With its 1.3 billion consumers, the Indian market represents a huge potential. That’s why we’re working to sign a trade agreement with this country, a priority market for Canada,” says Bernard Valcourt, minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie. “Atlantic Canada businesses have the skills, knowledge, products and services being sought out by these markets. Growing our exports to a country like India will drive growth and create jobs for Atlantic Canadians.”
During the mission, organized in partnership with the World Trade Centre Atlantic Canada, Atlantic Canadian seafood was featured during a week-long event at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. Atlantic Canadian seafood companies Clearwater, Royal Star, P.E.I. Mussel King, Louisbourg Seafood, Acadian Seaplants and Miramichi Smokehouse provided products for this event.
Total exports from Canada to India stood at $2.5 billion in 2011, an increase of 275 per cent compared to 2001. Imports of Indian products into Atlantic Canada rose by 156 per cent during the same time period. In 2011, the value of Atlantic Canadian products exported to India totaled more than $115 million, an increase of 262 per cent compared to 2001.