Senator Asha Seth Leads Discussion on Inclusive Development
By A Correspondent
Senator Asha Seth, on October 7, hosted the ICICI Bank, India's largest private bank, for the first discussion on unlocking India’s potential through inclusive development on Parliament Hill. Mrs. Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank Limited, was the evening’s special guest speaker along with statements from the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade; the Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board; and the Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
(L to R: Minister Chris Alexander, Mr. Sriram Iyer, Ms. Chanda Kochhar and Senator Asha Seth)
In attendance were high level stakeholders including Mr. Sriram H. Iyer, President and CEO of ICICI Bank Canada, and ICICI Board Members Mr. N.S. Kannan, Mr. Vijay Chandok, Mr. Yezdi Pavri, Ms. Pamela Pitz, Mr. Glenn Rourke and Mr. Lawrie Savage.
“I am excited to see how India’s new leadership has launched concrete inclusive development projects focused on economic growth which promotes wealth creation among all socio-economic sectors […] I believe that Canada can assist its global partners to meet their inclusive development goals by adopting a long term perspective that is concerned with sustainable growth and by assisting to provide financial literacy and access to marginalized groups in developing countries,” remarked senator Seth during her opening statement.
A recipient of the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian honours, Chanda Kochhar was ranked second in the Fortune list of ‘The Most Powerful Women of the Asia Pacific 2014.’ She presented a positive outlook on the Canada-India partnership for inclusive development. “What has changed in India is the leadership and direction that the country has now taken […] the new Prime Minister has clearly laid out a direction for inclusive growth,” Kochhar explained.
The government expressed Canada’s willingness to help India reach its goals of inclusive development by expanding bilateral relations. President of the Treasury Board Tony Clement said that, “It is clear that Indian companies enjoy doing business in Canada and there is also a thirst for Canadian companies to do more business in India.” Minister Chris Alexander added that, “When Canada looks around the world at all of its partners […] I don’t think, ladies and gentlemen, there is any more natural partner, there is any more exciting partner, than India today.”
Minister Ed Fast highlighted that “the (Canada-India) bilateral trade relationship is worth between 5 to 6 billion dollars per year, and it has grown by about 38% over the last 5 years.” All speakers emphasized that now is the time to work together and realize the mutual goal of tripling bilateral trade to $15 billion dollars annually.
The event was successful in showcasing the wiliness to collaborate to create policies and practices that grow the Canada-India partnership for the benefit of all citizens.