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Modi pitches for Canadian investment, connects with diaspora

Prime Ministeri Narendra Modi meeting with the members of business community, in Canada
Prime Ministeri Narendra Modi meeting with the members of business community, in Canada

Toronto, April 16 Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday pitched for investments for India as he met Canadian bankers and pension fund managers, winding up his three-nation tour before flying back home on Friday.

The Canadian businesspeople conveyed to Modi that demand to do business with India has gone up exponentially and India was now on top of their list.

Canada is the last leg of Modi’s three-nation tour, during which he has pushed the ambitious “Make in India” initiative and signed several agreements, including a deal on the supply of uranium to power India’s civilian nuclear programme.

In the Canadian capital Ottawa, India’s National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) on Wednesday signed 13 memoranda of understanding with 12 Canadian educational institutions, including nine colleges, NSDC said in a statement.

On Wednesday evening, Modi connected with thousands of cheering Indians at a rock-star event at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto as he promised to “clean up” the “dirt” left behind by the previous government and said there is new atmosphere of trust in India.

People cheered when Modi, while referring to his mission to clean India and root out corruption, said in Hindi:”Jinhone gandgi karni thee, woh kar ke chale gaye. Lekin hum safai kar ke jayenge (Those who created scams and dirt have now gone, we will clean up the mess”).

Modi was accompanied by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the stage.

In a repeat of the Madison Square Garden event, Modi had the crowd in raptures.

In an around-hour-long speech in Hindi, amid chants of “Modi, Modi” by the crowd, he said that the new government has brought about a change in the people’s mindset.

The prime minister drew the loudest applause when he said his mission is “Skill India while theirs was Scam India”.

There were rounds of cheers every time he took a dig at the previous regime.

The prime minister wondered why the likes of Google and Microsoft cannot be created in India when Indian IT specialists are playing an important role in these tech giants.

“We have undertaken to promote innovation in India through the Atal Innovation Mission and skill development through our Skill India mission,” he said.

Modi, who earlier travelled to Germany and France said the two biggest achievements of his visits were the signing of a deal in France for manufacturing nuclear reactors in India and the supply of uranium from Canada. “These two agreements will help India become a big contributor to clean energy in the world.”

Lauding the Indian diaspora in Canada, Modi urged them to contribute to their ancestral land. The OCI and PIO cards have been merged and the new OCI card will be for life and available to people of Indian origin up to their fourth generation, the prime minister said.

Earlier, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper introduced Modi to the gathering. “Under your leadership, Canada feels closer to India than any time before,” Harper said.

“We had extended a hand of friendship (to Modi) long before others,” the Canadian leader said, referring to Canada’s participation in the annual Vibrant Gujarat summit launched by Modi as chief minister in 2003.

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