Joint Statement during State Visit of Canadian PM to India (February 23, 2018) Bilateral Relations

Joint Statement during State Visit of Canadian PM to India (February 23, 2018)

India-Canada Joint Statement during State Visit of Prime Minister of Canada to India (February 23, 2018)

February 23, 2018

"Partnership for Security and Growth"

Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, paid a State Visit to India from 18 to 24 February 2018 at the invitation of the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi.

The prime ministers met in New Delhi on February 23 and reaffirmed the breadth and scope of Canada-India relations, based on the fundamental principle of respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the two countries. They reaffirmed their commitment to the ongoing diversification and growth of the strategic partnership, based on shared values of democracy, diversity, pluralism, and rule of law. The leaders also affirmed the importance of protecting and advancing human rights at home and abroad, promoting gender equality and the importance of civil society groups as a mainstay of democratic societies. They agreed to continue deepening their close ties and to leverage the complementarity between their two countries in key areas.

3. Towards this objective, the leaders agree on the following: 

Investing in Mutual Growth

i. To continue strengthening the government-to-government framework for cooperative economic engagements, the prime ministers welcomed the conclusion of, and progress on, cooperation agreements/MoUs in areas such as civil nuclear science and technology, education, audio-visual co-production, information technology, intellectual property and sports.

ii. To realize the full potential of bilateral trade and investment, both sides will renew efforts to expand and diversify bilateral economic and commercial relations. They will also intensify negotiations to finalize a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and a Bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. 

iii. To encourage the private sectors to further explore investment opportunities in both countries, including through India's flagship programmes such as Make in India, Start-Up India, Digital India and Smart Cities, as well as Canadian programs such as the Innovation and Skills Plan, the Canadian Technology Accelerators, the Start-Up VISA Program and the Global Skills Strategy. The leaders welcomed the signing of commercial agreements which will create new economic opportunities and jobs in both countries. They applauded the launch of the Canada-India Accelerator Program for Women Tech Entrepreneurs, as well as the decision to convene a Canada-India Track 1.5 Dialogue on Innovation, Growth and Prosperity.

iv. The Prime Ministers emphasized the importance of ensuring access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for all, and noted that transparency and predictability of market access conditions, including sharing of information on production of agricultural commodities, are key in advancing the food security goals of both countries. India and Canada will work closely together to finalize an arrangement within 2018 to enable the export of Canadian pulses to India free from pests of quarantine importance, with mutually acceptable technological protocols. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will continue to work closely with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority to facilitate access for Indian organic products.

Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans, Space and Clean Energy

v. To strengthen bilateral and international cooperation to address climate change and secure a clean energy future, they committed to promoting the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The leaders welcomed the initiative to establish the International Solar Alliance to promote renewable energy for sustainable development. They urged research institutions and industry in both countries to collaborate to promote greater use of solar technology.

vi. The leaders underscored the importance of accelerating the global transition to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy sources and acknowledged that renewable energy is a pathway to a low-carbon and more sustainable energy system. In this regard, they agreed to work together to explore opportunities to use innovative financing mechanisms. They also agreed to the importance of providing clear and predictable signals for long–term investment and innovation in clean technologies and working at the global level to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals.

vii. The leaders agreed to expand the scope of the Canada-India Ministerial Energy Dialogue to additionally include electricity, energy efficiency and renewables, and agreed to hold the fourth meeting of the Ministerial Energy Dialogue in Canada in 2018.

viii. The leaders welcomed the continuation of uranium exports from Canada for peaceful use of civil nuclear power. The leaders agreed to expand the ongoing mutually-beneficial civil nuclear cooperation by developing collaboration in nuclear science and technology. They welcomed the signing of an Agreement between the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Natural Resources Canada.

ix. To enhance geo-spatial collaboration and to consider Indian participation in Canadian Arctic research. The prime ministers also expressed satisfaction at the expansion of India-Canada space cooperation, including the launch of Canadian satellites.

Advancing Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls

x. The leaders highlighted the importance of empowering women and girls in order to secure a more just and prosperous future for everyone. They recognized the importance of sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls and welcomed the announcement of new health innovations in India through Canada and India Grand Challenges. 

xi. The leaders underscored the commitment to combat all forms of gender-based violence and exploitation against women, girls and children. The leaders also affirmed their joint commitment to Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, underscoring their shared commitment to gender equality and the realization of human rights for women and girls across all spheres of economic, social, cultural and political life.

Building a More Peaceful and Secure World

xii. Recognizing that terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization to violence present acute challenges to global peace, stability and prosperity, the leaders resolved to combat terrorism and violent extremism in all their forms and manifestations. They called for bringing terrorists to justice and holding accountable state sponsors of terrorism, including cross-border terrorism. They further emphasized that no country should allow its territory to be used for terrorist and violent extremist activities.

xiii. Towards this end, the leaders agreed to expand security cooperation through institutionalization of NSA-level Dialogue and regular convening of Foreign Minister-level Strategic Dialogue. They welcomed the meetings of their national security advisors and of the bilateral counter-terrorism working group, which focused on practical measures to enhance cooperation in that sphere. In this regard, the leaders welcomed the agreement on a bilateral Framework for Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism.

xiv. The leaders expressed strong concern at the prevailing security situation in Afghanistan and noted that terrorist activities pose a grave threat to peace, security and stability of Afghanistan and the region. They called for immediate cessation of violence, renunciation of links with international terrorism and dismantling of infrastructure of support to terrorism from across borders of Afghanistan. Both sides reaffirmed their support to the Government and the people of Afghanistan in their efforts to achieve an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled national peace and reconciliation process and build a peaceful, secure, united, democratic, prosperous and pluralistic nation.

xv. To reaffirm the importance of lawful commerce and the freedom of navigation and over-flight throughout the Indo-Pacific region, in accordance with international law, including the rights and jurisdiction of states under UNCLOS. The leaders supported bolstering regional connectivity through transparent development of infrastructure and use of responsible debt financing practices, while ensuring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, the rule of law and environment.

xvi. Recognizing that Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s continued enhancement of its nuclear and ballistic missile program poses a grave threat to regional security and global peace, the leaders called on DPRK to abide strictly by its international obligations and commitments. They called on all states to implement rigorously relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and hold accountable all those that have supported DPRK’s nuclear and missile programmes.

xvii. The two leaders congratulated South Korea on the successful PyeongChang Winter Games and welcomed the participation of DPRK in the Games, expressing hope that sports cooperation would lead to easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula and improvements in inter-Korean relations. 

xviii. The two leaders expressed strong concern about recent developments in Maldives and their implications for a free society. As leaders of parliamentary systems, they deplored the degradation of judicial independence and authority and of democratic institutions, as well as respect for fundamental freedoms, including those of speech and assembly, constitutional rights and obligations under international law. The Government of Maldives was urged to ensure early resumption of the political process after revoking the state of emergency and to allow democratic institutions, including the judiciary, to function independently in a fair and transparent manner.

xix. The two leaders discussed the humanitarian and security crisis in Rakhine State of Myanmar and across the border in Bangladesh. Canada and India call for the voluntary, safe and sustainable return of the people displaced, while stressing the importance of ensuring law and order and respect for human dignity in this process. They called for restoration of humanitarian access for relevant UN and other international organisations to facilitate the return process.

xx. To develop bilateral defence cooperation by exploring cooperation possibilities in diverse fields including cold climate training, enhancing naval interactions, and staff exchanges.

xxi. The two leaders affirmed cooperation on peacekeeping to provide an effective response to global challenges. They stressed the importance of integrating gender perspectives into peace and security activities and interventions in line with the women, peace and security agenda, including prevention of conflict-related sexual violence. 

xxii. The leaders agreed that Canada and India would coordinate on cyber security and addressing cyber crimes at bilateral and multilateral forums going forward.

xxiii. Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Trudeau for Canada’s support towards India’s accession to the MTCR, Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group. Prime Minister Trudeau reaffirmed Canada’s strong support for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group. 

Enhancing People-to-People Contacts

xxiv. Recognizing the dynamic role of people-to-people ties in the India-Canada partnership, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to address consular issues of mutual concern through discussion between the concerned officials. They welcomed the expansion of direct air connectivity between Indian and Canadian cities. 

xxv. Noting the significant increase in number of Indian students in Canada, the leaders expressed satisfaction at the renewal of the MOU on higher education. They recognized the 50th Anniversary of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute in promoting understanding between India and Canada through academic activities and exchanges, with the support of both governments to the institute. The leaders also agreed on the benefits of supporting the arts, sports and cultural activities in each other’s country, and agreed to encourage collaboration between academia and think tanks.

xxvi. The prime ministers also resolved to facilitate the movement of highly skilled persons from India to Canada under the Global Skills Strategy, to fully harness the complementarity between their technological capabilities and human resources.

4. Prime Minister Trudeau invited Prime Minister Modi to return to Canada at an early date. Prime Minister Modi accepted the invitation.

New Delhi
February 23, 2018