India today signed an agreement on procurement of uranium from Canada for its civilian nuclear power plants, launching a new ero of bilateral cooperation.
"It also reflects a new level of mutual trust and confidence. Further,it will contribute to India's efforts to power its growth with clean energy," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a joint media interaction with his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper after their talks in Ottawa.
"Prime Minister Harper and I are absolutely committed to establish a new framework for economic partnership.I am pleased that we have made rapid progress on long pending agreements," he said.
Mr Modi said he was confident that the two countries could conclude the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement very soon. They will also implement the road map to conclude the Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement (CECA) by September 2015, he said.
Mr Modi said he attached the highest importance to India's relatins with Canada, which had been reinforced by his excellent experience with that country as Chief Minister of Gujarat.
"Our relationship had drifted in the past. In recent years, Prime Minister Harper's vision and leadership changed the course of our relations. I am consciousof the significance of this visit in the history of our relations," he said, referring to the fact that his was the first standalone Prime Ministerial visit to Canada in 42 years since the last such visit in 1973.
"I have come at a time when the importance of this relationship for our two countries has never been stronger. We are two major democracies with deeply shared values. Few countries in the world can match Canada's potential to be a partner in India's economic transformation. And, it exists in a new environment in India, which is open, predictable, stable and easy to do business in," he said.
"Equally, the vast scale of India's transformation, and our rapid economic growth, offers immense opportunities for Canada," he said.
Mr Modi sought Canada's cooperation and investment in every area of India's national development priority -- energy and infrastructure, manufacturing and skills, smart cities and agro-industry, and research and education.
He said the agreements on skill development signed today reflected his commitment to empower the youth of India with world class skills for India and the global economy.
He said that, as the agreement today on space highlighted, the two countries had strong synergy for cooperation in areas of advanced technologies.
He said that, to support greater engagement and people-to-people contacts, his government had liberalised its visa policy for Canada. He said India would issue Electronic Visa Authorisation for tourist visa for Canadian nationals. They will also be eligible for ten-year visas now.
Mr Modi said Mr Harper and he agreed that a strong bilateral relationship would provide a solid foundation to pursue their common international interests. They also agreed that, in the troubled world of today, their cooperation would help advance their shared values and peace in the world.
"We in India felt Canada's pain when this city was struck by a senseless act of terrorism. The threat of terrorism is growing; its shadow extends over cities and lives across the world," he said.
He said the two countries would deepen their cooperation to combat terrorism and extremism. They would also promote a comprehensive global strategy, and consistent policy and action against all sources of terrorism and its support.
"We also agree on the need to enhance our defence and security cooperation. I welcome our recent agreement on cyber security," he said.
Mr Modi said both countries recognised that peace and stability would make them safer at home, so would Afghanistan's successful transition.
"I believe that Canada is a major Asia Pacific power and should play a more active role, including in regional institutions, in promoting a stable and prosperous future for the region. I look forward to our continued partnership in G 20.
'In conclusion, let me say that ours is a natural partnership of shared values. It is an economic partnership of immense mutual benefit. It is a strategic partnershipthat can help address many of our shared global challenges. And, it is a relationship nurtured by the emotional bonds of a vibrant Indian community of 1.2 million," he said.
"I am confident that this visit will be a springboard for a new strategic partnership between our two democracies," he added.
Mr Harper said the initiatives taken today would help to further advance bilateral relatins between the two countries.
"The initiatives announced today will promote greater collaboration in the areas of civil aviation, railway transportation, education and skills development, space, social security and maternal, newborn and child health," he said.
“The historic visit by Prime Minister Modi to Canada combined with the number and scope of agreements signed today between our governments clearly demonstrate the commitment of both countries to taking bilateral relations to new heights," he added.