With more than 1.35 billion inhabitants, India is one of the most dynamic markets in the world. The country’s GDP is expected to grow by 7.6% in 2018, surpassing China’s growth rate, which The Economist estimates at 5.8%.
Investissement Québec President and Chief Executive Officer Pierre Gabriel Côté, and Vice-President, International Affairs Éric Dequenne led a prospecting mission to Mumbai and Delhi from December 3 to 8 to tap into that potential.
Accompanied by the new Director of Investissement Québec’s Mumbai office, Aasheesh Chudasama, Mr. Côté and Mr. Dequenne took part in several meetings with Indian companies, particularly in the aerospace, farm machinery, automobile and visual effects industries.
A little known fact is that several Indian companies have operations in Québec. Three of them are large conglomerates: TATA, Mahindra and Jubilant Pharmaceutical. Indeed, despite the obvious distance, the two business communities share a common business culture, stemming from their British heritage.
“Attracting foreign investment is a long-range project, but the signs are encouraging. The business cultures are similar, and Indian companies were highly receptive to our messages. In the past, this community of interests has led to some key projects, and the mission helped advance some promising files, particularly in the manufacturing sector, where Québec could serve as a doorway to the North American market,” noted Pierre Gabriel Côté.
Investissement Québec is well aware of that enormous country’s potential, and has focused on the signing of an upcoming free-trade agreement between India and Canada, which could come about in 2018, according to Canada’s International Trade Minister, François-Philippe Champagne.
That is why Investissement Québec has stepped up its presence in India over the past few years by maintaining a permanent base there and organizing several exploratory missions for Indian companies in different sectors.