The 46-year-old Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is all set for his maiden 7-day trip to India starting Saturday, which is aimed at further boosting strategic ties with a focus on defence and counter-terror cooperation.
Trudeau, Canada's second youngest prime minister, is the son of Pierre Trudeau, the distinguished late Canadian prime minister.
Before embarking on his debut India visit, Trudeau tweeted, "Wheels up for India and a busy visit, focused on creating good jobs and strengthening the deep connection between the people of our two countries."
Wheels up for India and a busy visit, focused on creating good jobs and strengthening the deep connection between the people of our two countries. href="https://t.co/Jg6UmL9y4S">pic.twitter.com/Jg6UmL9y4S
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) February 16, 2018
The ties between India and Canada have been on an upswing. Approximately 1.4 million Canadians are of Indian heritage and India is Canada's second largest source of immigrants.
Canada is also a leading education destination for Indian students, and India is the second largest source of international students, an estimated 124,000 in 2017, as per official figures.
He will be accompanied by his cabinet colleagues including Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan, Science and Sports Minister Kirsty Duncan and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi are also visiting India.
Here are the top 5 highlights of Justin Trudeau's debut India visit
1. Besides his engagements in New Delhi, Trudeau will visit Agra, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Amritsar.
Officials said Trudeau's visit to Gujarat will be first by a Canadian prime minister. He will engage with youth and visit several landmarks, including the Taj Mahal, the Jama Masjid, and Swaminarayan Akshardham. Canadian Prime Minister will visit the Golden Temple on February 21.
2. The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on February 19, making him the first foreign leader to address a business school in India in recent years.
3. In 2017, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and India amounted to $8.4 billion, split equally between exports to and imports from India. That same year, India was Canada's eighth largest destination for merchandise exports.
4. On trade, the sources said Canadian investments in India were likely to decline in absence of a mechanism to protect them and Trudeau and Modi may deliberate, during their talks on February 23, on making forward movement in firming up the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the two countries.
5. National Security Advisers of the two countries prepared the ground for PM Trudeau and PM Modi to intensify defence and security cooperation. India's concerns over Sikh radicalism in Canada are understood to have figured in the meeting held a couple days back.