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Canada trade boost

Mortoza Tarafder in Calcutta on Monday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury

Calcutta, June 23: The Canadian province of Saskatchewan is keen to leverage its strengths in uranium mining and agriculture to expand its exports to India.

“Saskatchewan has huge shale gas reserves, diamond, gold, copper and sweet water. We have companies from mining, manufacturing, IT, processed food and new energy. There are opportunities to work in agriculture, animal genetics, commodities, grain handling and storage with India,” said Mortoza Tarafder, director (trade development, South Asia, MENA) of Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership.

He was speaking at a session organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce today.

The Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership, founded in 1996, is a public- private partnership with offices in Regina and Saskatoon in Canada. It has close to 460 members, largely led by Canadian small and medium enterprises and exporters.

At present, bilateral trade with Canada stands at around $5.5 billion, of which about $1 billion is with Saskatchewan. Tarafder said during the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister in 2012, the country had signed an agreement with India for civil nuclear power generation.

“The co-operation will be to provide technological help. Based on that, negotiation is on with a company that has a uranium mine in Canada. We are hopeful and if this happens, then we can look forward to some uranium exports starting in India,” he said.