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Stewart Beck may be new Canadian envoy to India
Toronto, Jul 17 (IANS):
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Published on 17 Jul. 2010 11:14 PM IST
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Stewart Beck, who currently serves as his country’s consul general in San Francisco, is among the front-runners to be appointed Canada’s new high commissioner in India soon, according to well placed sources.
Joseph Caron, who is the current envoy in New Delhi, is retiring and leaving to join the Institute of Asian Research (IAR) at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver as an honorary research associate.
With Canada signing nuclear and mining deals with India and opening new trade offices in three Indian cities, the likely appointment of Beck - who has an extensive background in trade matters - will give the much wanted fillip to trade ties between the two countries, according to sources.
“A new envoy with expertise in trade matters will definitely play an important role as India and Canada jointly work on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement to triple their trade in the coming years,’’ the sources told IANS, speaking only on condition of anonymity.
During their talks last month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper had identified clean energy as the priority area for cooperation, while resolving to grow their bilateral trade nearly three-fold to $15 billion in the next five years.
“The appointment of an envoy with trade expertise will be keeping in with the new Canadian thrust on deepening economic relations with India after years of neglect because Ottawa’s nuclear sanctions on New Delhi,’’ sources said.
With a major irritant of nuclear embargo being removed by Ottawa, India is now wooing Canadian investors and uranium and mining companies vigorously.
Deputy Planning Commission chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, who accompanied the prime minister to Toronto, invited Canadian companies to make India as their hub for operations in south Asia.
Mines minister Bijoy Krishna Handique signed an MoU with Ontario Mines Minister Michael Gravelle here last week, asking Canadian mining companies to enter India.
“With so much happening between the two countries now, the new Canadian high commissioner is going to New Delhi at a very crucial time,” sources said.
Beck, who played a major role in formulating Canada’s Foreign Direct Investment Programme, has been the country’s consul general in San Francisco since last year.

 
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