Bollywood inspiration for better ties with India: Canadian PM

GURGAON, NOV 7:  Drawing a parallel between Indo-Canadian ties and Bollywood romances, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper today said both the countries need to overcome obstacles quickly, as hero and heroine do, for building a stronger relationship.

“I believe there is a kind of a parallel to Canada and India and the typical Bollywood ploy. Two young people meet, they know they are meant for each other, but they have obstacles to over come,” Harper said at the World Economic Forum on India meeting here.

A self confessed Bollywood fan, he added: “They do, in fact, overcome those obstacles and the happy ending ensures and they do so before the viewers loose interest.”

Stressing the need for Canada and India to take a cue from such happy endings, Harper said: “It’s a bit like how I see the relationship between Canada and India. We have to work hard to overcome the obstacles and we have to work quickly, if we are to get to the happy ending that we both want. It won’t be easy but can be done. So lets get it done quickly.”

While the two countries have completed a social security agreement, they are still engaged in extensive negotiations for a free trade pact and investment protection agreement.

Pointing out that the reforms taken up by New Delhi are increasingly expanding the country’s economy, Harper said Canada attached great importance to relationship with India, but the two countries are yet to fully exploit the potential.

“The untapped economic potential between us is massive and undeniable. But massive and undeniable as that potential is, it will not develop itself. It will take consorted effort on both of the countries,” said Harper, who also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his India visit.

The Canadian Prime Minister said the two countries are targeting $15 billion in bilateral trade by 2015. The current merchandise trade is about $5 billion.

He also said that there are already over 500 Canadian companies in India and another 100 have plans to enter the country.

Harper further said the two countries could have a great partnership as Canada needs emerging economies and India needs partnership with developed countries.

Keywords: Indo- Canadian ties, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Bollywood, World Economic Forum on India, social security agreement, free trade pact, investment protection agreement

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