India and Canada held talks on a range of bilateral and international issues on Monday and decided to expand ties in diverse sectors including health, audio-visual co-production and skill development.Canada's Governor General David Johnston held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and discussed ways to further enhance ties between the two countries. India's relations with Canada are on an upswing. It had signed a civil nuclear cooperation agreement with Canada in 2010 that allowed them to initiate negotiations for uranium supply from Canada.
India is also keen on buying crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Canada on long-term basis to meet its vast and growing energy needs. After his meeting with the Prime Minister, both countries inked three pacts including the India-Canada Audio-Visual Co-production Agreement. This agreement between the Ministry of Information and the Broadcasting and Heritage, Canada, will open doors for audio-visual collaborations between the two countries. As per the pact, co-productions will receive national treatment in both the countries. Another pact for collaboration between the Department of Biotechnology and Grand Challenges, Canada, was signed to address health and development needs.
The 'Programme of Cooperation' will pave the way for a collaborative roadmap for addressing global health challenges, especially relating to women and child health, early child development and mental health. An MoU between National Skill Development Corporation and Association of Canadian Community Colleges was also inked. Trade between India and Canada surpassed USD 5.8 billion last year. This represents a 12 per cent increase over 2012 and a 39 per cent increase since 2010. Besides, Canadian investment in India totals USD 644 million, whereas Indian investment in that country is valued at USD 3.7 billion.