ICCC’s Farewell Luncheon for High Commissioner S. M. Gavai
By A Correspondent
The bilateral relations between Canada and India are on an upward trajectory and will continue to improve rapidly, His Excellency S. M. Gavai, the High Commissioner of India to Canada, said Sunday at a farewell reception given in his honour by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) in Mississauga Sunday, August 12. Rina Gavai, the High Commissioner's wife, accompanied him to the luncheon.
Gavai lauded the work ICCC has been doing in the Canada-India space and said that the Chamber had done a tremendous job organising the regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Toronto in June 2011. He added that the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award that the Chamber got from the Government of India in 2012 was a true reflection of the Chamber’s contribution to Canada-India bilateral sphere.
In a special message on the occasion, Hon. Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister for Citizenship and Immigration, said, “The Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce has played a significant part in building strong cultural and economic relations between Canada and India and has promoted many important trade agreements between our two nations, in addition to fostering remarkable people-to-people ties. The fine efforts of the Chamber of Commerce have paved the way for many more years of cooperation and historical business ventures between our countries. In light of our strong ties with India and the important role that the Indian foreign service plays in fostering such ties, the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce is honoring Mr. Gavai, who has worked to further strengthen Canada’s friendship with India and has advanced Indian culture within Canada’s multicultural mosaic.”
Naval Bajaj, President, ICCC, along with three past presidents – Asha Luthra, Vinay Nagpal and Satish Thakkar – presented S. M. Gavai with a memento that acknowledged his fine contribution to fostering Canada-India bilateral relations.
Several dignitaries attended the luncheon; among them were Senators Asha Seth and Consiglio di Nino, former Senator Vim Kochar, Members of Parliament Patrick Brown and Joe Daniel, Member of the Provincial Parliament Deepika Damerala. Representatives of Indian diaspora and business organisations such as the Canada-India Foundation, Panorama India, IIT-Alumni Canada, Rajasthan Association of North America (Canada), and AWIC, were also present at event.
In his remarks, Naval Bajaj said, “We deeply appreciate the important contribution made by Your Excellency in strengthening relations between Canada and India, especially in a number of areas that are mutually beneficial. We value very much your encouragement and support to our Chamber.”
Naval also announced the formation and launch of an information and research cell in the Chamber. He noted, “Over the last three-and-a-half decades, our organisation has launched many initiatives that have ensured that Canada-India relations are always under focus. The information and research cell will undertake a project on how best the full potential of Canada-India partnership can be unlocked in the coming years in the context of CEPA and beyond.”
Preeti Saran, Consul General of India in Toronto, in her remarks emphasised the role played by successive Presidents of ICCC to keep the Canada-India file active.
S. M. Gavai’s tenure as the High Commissioner ended in August.