Mumbai is a historic trading port that played a leading role in bringing the world to India. Today, as the country's financial, commercial and entertainment centre, the city honours that heritage. The business done in Mumbai benefits the middle class in India and, through trade between nations, Canada's middle class as well.
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, began his day in Mumbai by ringing the opening bell at the Bombay Stock Exchange—the oldest stock exchange in Asia. The Minister also met with Ashishkumar Chauhan, chairman of the Exchange.
The Bombay Stock Exchange is a partner—along with Canada's Ryerson University, Ryerson Futures and Simon Fraser University—in Zone Startups India, a program that supports the growth of companies in the information and communications technology sector. While touring the Zone Startups India offices, Minister Bains promoted Canada as an ideal launching point for small and mid-sized firms from India looking to expand into North America.
Minister Bains also met with Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of the State of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is located. Minister Bains and Chief Minister Fadnavis signed an agreement between Canada and Maharashtra on urban infrastructure development. This agreement will boost productivity and lead to new investment in Maharashtra, in areas such as agriculture, water management, renewable energy, security and "smart cities"—urban areas that use information and communications technology to manage their infrastructure and improve residents' lives.
The Minister also met with senior executives from three of India's biggest industrial conglomerates: Tata Group and Reliance Industries. During his trip, Minister Bains met with more than 20 executives and government ministers.
During his time in India, the Minister worked to open doors for Canadians looking to do business in India. He also encouraged Indian companies to look to Canada for investment opportunities.