Province hosts inaugural BC-India Global Business Forum

The Province of B.C. will host an exciting forum this week aimed at engaging British Columbians with India’s rapidly growing marketplace. 

The inaugural BC-India Global Business Forum today, March 12,  has attracted prominent investors and business leaders from India, Canada and British Columbia to discuss trade and investment opportunities.

Panellists will include Praveen Kadle, founding managing director and CEO of Tata Capital, part of Tata Group, a multi-billion dollar Indian conglomerate and Puneet Vatsayan, founder of The Hatch for Startups, India’s largest incubator and accelerator for entrepreneurs.

By exploring mutually beneficial opportunities in key sectors that align with the BC Jobs Plan, the forum will provide B.C. companies with an opportunity to learn how to benefit from India’s fast-growing economy. The event will also enable executives to network, share ideas and identify opportunities and challenges.

As Asia’s third-largest economy, India is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. India’s middle class is expected to grow to 583 million in the next 15 years from just 50 million today. This growth will unleash enormous buying potential, much of which will be met by global imports.

In 2002, in partnership with industry, the B.C. government reached out to secure new markets in China. These efforts resulted in a 540 per cent overall increase in B.C. exports to China and a 3691 per cent increase in B.C. wood exports to China. Following these successes in China, the Province is expanding its efforts with India and is seeking opportunities to create greater awareness of B.C.’s advantages as a trade partner and to increase investment.

The BC-India Global Business Forum is one piece of the Province’s market outreach efforts in India. Other initiatives include:

  • Premier’s Jobs and Trade Mission to India in November 2011.
  • Two new Trade and Investment Offices in India, nearly tripling the number of staff representing B.C. business in India, opened in December 2012.
  • A new Forestry Innovation Investment Office, officially opened in December 2012.
  • Sponsoring the Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA).

Panelists, speakers and moderators at the BC-India Global Business Forum include:

  • B.C. Premier Christy Clark
  • Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma, Indian High Commissioner to Canada
  • Praveen Kadle, founding managing director & CEO, Tata Capital
  • Puneet Vatsayan, founder & chairman, The Hatch for Startups
  • Adam Roberts, South Asia bureau chief, The Economist
  • M.J. Akbar, leading Indian journalist and editor-in-chief, The Sunday Guardian
  • Mike Manson, CEO and co-founder, TaraSpan
  • Nicholas Sonntag, executive vice-president, Westport Innovations
  • Vivek Rastogi, vice-president, business, Americas region, Abellon Clean Energy
  • Nimal Rajapakse, dean, faculty of applied sciences, Simon Fraser University
  • Arvind Vijh, director, India Services Group, Deloitte
  • Yuen Pau Woo, president and CEO of the Asia Pacific Foundation
  • Jas Johal, British Columbia correspondent, Global National
  • Renu Bakshi, communications and media strategist, Renu Bakshi Communications