Ontario Business Mission Arrives In The Punjab
Dalton McGuinty Is First Ontario Premier To Visit The Region
For the first time, an Ontario Premier is visiting the Punjab.
Premier Dalton McGuinty and Ontario's business mission to India arrived today in Punjab's capital, Chandigarh.
"Ontarians from the Punjab have contributed so much to our province, culturally, economically and spiritually, and it is a real honour to visit their homeland," Premier McGuinty said. "We're here to strengthen our ties with Punjab and India -- ties between friends, and ties between partners."
Premier McGuinty met with Captain Amarinder Singh, the Chief Minister of Punjab. They renewed discussions that first began in 2005 when the Premier received Singh and a delegation to Ontario.
The Punjab is home to the Harimandir Sahib, the most sacred shrine in Sikhism, and widely known as the Golden Temple.
The region is known for its spirituality, its natural beauty, and its agricultural production. In fact, it is considered the breadbasket of India.
Premier McGuinty is stressing Ontario's strength in the agri-business sector and Ontarians' desire to find new opportunities here in India.
"I'm emphasizing that Ontario's tremendous expertise in dairy genetics is recognized around the world," Premier McGuinty said.
"It's wonderful to be back in the Punjab, and to share this place, which means so much to so many of our fellow Ontarians, with our Premier, " said Harinder Takhar, Ontario's Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
"This is the highlight of the mission for so many of us who call this place our homeland," said Dr. Kuldip Kular, MPP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton-Springdale.
"I am so proud to be here, with the first Ontario Premier to visit the Punjab, and we look forward to a very productive time here," said Vic Dhillon, MPP for Brampton West-Mississauga.
Earlier today in Mumbai, Premier McGuinty was part of a networking session for Ontario and Indian business people, educators and other groups hosted by the Aditya Birla Group, which has manufacturing units and service businesses in several countries including India and Canada.
The company is working with Toronto-based Sun Life Financial to provide financial services in India.
Premier McGuinty also met with top business executives during a round table hosted by ICICI Bank Ltd., the second largest bank and largest private sector bank in India.
"This was a major meeting that allowed the Premier to talk directly to many of the people who make some of the biggest business decisions in India," said Sandra Pupatello, Ontario's Minister of Economic Development and Trade. "We have been so well received by the people of India and so has the Premier's message."
In his remarks, Premier McGuinty stressed that Ontario has the expertise India needs to sustain its rapid economic growth. He urged Indian business leaders to access the North American market by locating and investing in Ontario.
Tomorrow, Premier McGuinty is scheduled to meet with Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the Chief Minister of neighbouring Haryana. He will also attend a ceremony marking the signing of cooperation agreements between groups in Ontario and the Punjab and then travel to Jalandhar.
The following day, the Premier and the mission are scheduled to visit the holy city of Amritsar.
"My hope is that our visit there will symbolize the debt all Ontarians owe to the thousands of Indians, and many Sikhs, who have contributed so much to our province and to Canada," the Premier said.