Premier McGuinty Talks Jobs At International Conference
Promotes Trade With Delegates From Around The World And Meets With President Of Portugal
Premier Dalton McGuinty told a major international trade conference in Bangalore -- home to many of India's leading information and technology companies -- that Ontario is aggressively pursuing jobs and prosperity for its people.
"We get out there and hustle for investment," Premier McGuinty said in a speech to about 500 delegates and journalists from around the world.
"In the past three years alone, we have won more than $7 billion worth of new investment in the auto sector. We are now North America's largest auto producer -- bigger than New York, California or even Michigan."
Premier McGuinty was speaking to a session at the Partnership Summit 2007. The Confederation of Indian Industry organizes the event, which is attended by national and sub-national governments, major businesses and other organizations interested in new opportunities created by India's rapid economic growth.
Premier McGuinty spoke as part of a panel that included Pascal Lamy, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization; Manuel Pinho, Portugal's Minister of Economy and Innovation; Kamal Nath, India's Minister of Commerce and Industry; and, Professor Jagdish Bhagwati of Columbia University.
Premier McGuinty also hosted a luncheon at the summit where he delivered another major speech, this time to investors and employers specifically interested in Ontario. He stressed that Ontario is committed to research and innovation.
"There are countless Ontarians and Indians working today on exciting new products and services that will change the world for the better," Premier McGuinty said. "They need our help to develop and commercialize those ideas and turn them into jobs."
Ontario's special guest at the luncheon was Nandan Nilekani, CEO of Infosys, one of India's largest and most successful IT companies.
Ontario has the ability to "turn imagination into innovation," Premier McGuinty said, citing the BlackBerry as an example. The handheld communications device was developed in Waterloo and is now used by seven million people around the world.
"In today's highly competitive, global economy, Ontario and India are both in the race to provide the best opportunities and the highest quality of life for their people," Premier McGuinty said. "Imagine how much faster we could go -- and how much farther we could advance our societies and our people -- if we run this race together."
Before delivering two speeches at the conference, Premier McGuinty met with the President of Portugal, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, who is also in India seeking investment.
Premier McGuinty started his day by presiding over the signing of several co-operation agreements between Ontario educational institutions and their Indian counterparts.
More than 100 representatives of 87 Ontario companies, universities and colleges, and other organizations are participating in the India business mission.
The mission is designed to help these groups find potential opportunities for partnerships and investment, either in India or Ontario. The delegation now moves on to Mumbai, the headquarters of several financial institutions and much of India's Bollywood film industry.
The India mission concludes on January 22. Premier McGuinty and other Ontario delegates then explore opportunities in Pakistan from January 22 to 26.