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McGuinty Government To Build On India Business Mission

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McGuinty Government To Build On India Business Mission

Successful Mission Opens New Trade, Research, Culture and Education Links

Office of the Premier

Ontario has effectively delivered its message in India, says Premier Dalton McGuinty.

"We have told India's political and business leaders that Ontario has what India needs to sustain its rapid economic growth and to move its society forward, and that Ontario is a great place for Indians to invest," the Premier said as the province's business mission to India wraps up.

"Our message has been tremendously well received by some of the most important business figures and leading government officials in India," Premier McGuinty said. "While our visit is winding down, our efforts here are just ramping up. The key now is for government and business to work together to aggressively follow up. That's how we can, in time, turn the goodwill we have built here into good jobs for Ontarians."

Premier McGuinty, who often thanked India in his speeches for its many contributions to the world, thanked Indians for their warm welcome.

"India will forever have a place in my heart, just as it has a place in the heart of so many of my fellow Ontarians," he said.

Premier McGuinty praised the more than 100 members of the Ontario delegation, representing 87 businesses, universities, colleges and other organizations, for working so hard, and representing the province so well.

"Ontario stands tall in the eyes of India, and the eyes of the world, because of Ontarians like you," he told a Chandigarh business luncheon co-hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry and TiE, a non-profit network of Indian entrepreneurs and professionals.

"As Premier, I get a lot of attention. But I simply stand on the shoulders of some of the leading entrepreneurs, educators, professionals and workers in the world. Doors were opened to me because of you and our fellow Ontarians back home."

Most of the Ontario delegation arrived January 11. It has visited New Delhi, India's political capital; Bangalore, home to many of India's leading high-tech firms; Mumbai, a leading financial and cultural centre; and, Chandigarh, capital of Punjab and Haryana and often described as the breadbasket of India.

Ontarians and their Indian counterparts have signed dozens of co-operation agreements, including several reached by universities, colleges and research organizations.

"Our time in India has exceeded our expectations. The Premier and our entire mission have effectively made the case that Ontario is well equipped to help India cope with its rapid economic growth, and that Ontario is the best place in North America for Indians to invest," said Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development and Trade.

"We've made tremendous progress and everyone who has been part of the mission is ready to work to turn our relationships here into jobs back home in Ontario," said Harinder Takhar, Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Members of Ontario's business delegation said the mission has been very successful but now the work must be done to turn new contacts into new contracts.

"This is one of the most successful provincial trade missions that has come to India," added Kam Rathee, President of the Canada-India Business Council. "One of the reasons is that the Premier did an excellent job connecting with Indian businesses, corporate houses and the local diaspora."

Tomorrow, Premier McGuinty and several members of the Ontario mission will visit Amritsar and Harimandir Sahib, the most sacred shrine in Sikhism, widely known as the Golden Temple.

Then the Ontario business mission to Pakistan gets underway when it crosses the border into Wagah before traveling to Lahore and Islamabad. That mission, which includes meetings with Pakistani business and government leaders, concludes January 26.

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