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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 25.02.2014

H.E. The Rt. Hon. David Johnston, Governor General of Canada and Mrs. Sharon Johnston called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee yesterday (February 24, 2014) at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The President also hosted a banquet in their honour following the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said Canada has been a partner in the initial stages of India’s development. Pandit Nehru had a personal friendship with Prime Minister of Canada Lester Pearson. Massanjore dam, across the Mayurakshi River in Dumka district of Jharkhand, commissioned in 1956, was built with Canadian aid. It is popularly known as Canada Dam or Pearson Dam and is one of the best examples of Canadian contribution to India’s development. The President said India is interested in receiving investments and technological know-how from Canada, especially in the field of infrastructure, mining, etc. where Canada has well-developed technical expertise. Indian public sector companies are also interested in opportunities in oil and natural gas in Canada, as well as in purchasing stakes in energy assets.

In his banquet speech, the President said the State Visit of the Governor General of Canada, the first such bilateral engagement in more than a decade and a half, is taking place at an important juncture. This is a moment when both Governments have committed themselves with renewed vigour to dialogue and initiatives aimed at increasing mutual understanding and achieving the promising potential of complementarities. He said although Canada and India are separated by continents and the oceans, the two countries are bound by shared values, political and legal traditions and deep commitment to democracy, pluralism, individual liberties and the rule of law. Both the countries celebrate secular traditions and the diversity of their peoples. These are the firm underpinning of a very rewarding partnership.

The President said in the field of energy India looks forward to work together with Canada in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and efficient utilization of hydrocarbons and renewables. As India pursues its goals of food security and the strengthening of agriculture sector, it looks forward to co-operation in this field, including in the production of fertilizers.

The President said many linkages of India and Canada have fruitfully evolved over the years. He paid tribute to the community of over one million Canadians of Indian origin who have worked hard to build the spirit of mutual respect and understanding that exists between the two societies. He said the "Inukshuk” that will be installed near Shanti Path in New Delhi will be a lasting symbol of the amity and goodwill between peoples of India and Canada.

Speaking at the welcome banquet, the Governor General of Canada expressed the hope that his visit would further strengthen the bonds between the two nations, steeped in traditions of parliamentary democracy, pluralism and strong people to people ties. He said Canadians of Indian origin, numbering more than a million, are contributing greatly to Canada’s success.

This release issued at 1420 hrs