By NOUMAN KHALIL
MISSISSAUGA — Dozens of Mississauga-based businesses related to the trade and service industry explored various business opportunities in India.
The Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT) this morning hosted a “Doing Business with India” event to educate local companies about the opportunities available in the international market.
“We recognize that in a highly integrated, fast-paced and competitive global environment, Canadian and Mississauga businesses need to take advantage and grow their businesses,” said Sheldon Leiba, president and CEO of Mississauga Board of Trade.
“MBOT is playing an important role in raising awareness about international business opportunities like import, export and outsourcing services to India.”
Leiba said due to globalization, countries around the world are enhancing trade relationships and Canadians also need to be proactive to tap into international business opportunities.
He said India is a growing and emerging consumer-based economy and, based on commonalities between India and Canada, businesses can grow by working together.
In the past few years, Canada attached great importance to trade ties and economic relations with India including the ongoing negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement.
On the occasion, Irwind Raj, president of Indigo Marketing Solutions Ltd., introduced India to the audience and explained massive infrastructure of the emerging power on the surface of the earth.
“We have the most sophisticated capital market and an extremely sophisticated banking sector,” said Raj. “If I use my Indian credit card in India, I will get an SMS within few seconds to confirm … that’s the quality of infrastructure that is available in India.”
Raj’s Indigo Marketing is a consulting company that serves Canadian clients and has a team of professionals across the key cities of New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore.
Raj also explained India’s railways network, which is the longest network in Asia and the fourth longest network in the world after the United States, Russia and China.
Akhilesh Mishra, Consul General of India, welcomed Canadian businesses in India and said both countries have a great history of friendly and bilateral trade relations.
Mishra said the range of opportunities between India and Canada are huge and truly significant — but, he said, ‘patience’ is the key.
“You cannot just parachute yourself and expect results right away. You have to be patient and will definitely see results,” said Mishra.
The economy of India — the 9th largest in the world with a population of more than 1.2 billion — is currently flourishing and attracting industrial, trade and service sectors all around the world.
The annual bilateral trade between India and Canada is approximately $5 billion, which is likely touch the target mark of $15 billion by 2015.
“In India, there are 48,000 kilometres of railway tracks; 15 new seaports; 5,000 new shopping malls; and new 400 airports. And then, if you look at the population of almost 1.3 billion people with such as massive infrastructure, it means there are huge opportunities for the Canadian entrepreneurs regardless in which area they are doing business,” said Ned Nedungadi, Regional Director, Global Initiatives, Business Development Bank of Canada.
John Fisher, business information officer at Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre, said the City of Mississauga is dedicated to foster new businesses and help them grow.
He said the city’s international marketing strategy is based on developing Mississauga as a global business magnet.
The Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre is located in the Mississauga Central Library, 4th floor, 301 Burnhamthorpe Rd. West.
For more information, visit www.mbot.com.
By NOUMAN KHALIL