"Our strong and dynamic relationship is rooted in deep people-to-people ties," Harper said in a statement read by Bal Gosal, Minister of Sport, at a reception hosted by the Indian Consulate in Toronto to commemorate 68th Independence Day of India.

Harper praised India and said both countries have long standing and positive bilateral relations based on mutual interests.

"India is one of Canada's largest trading partners, the second-largest source of international students in Canada, with new admissions continuing to increase every year, and our third-largest source country of immigrants."

Commending the contributions made by Indo-Canadians, Harper said, "Canadians of Indian descent contribute greatly to the prosperity, culture and social fabric of the country, and have been instrumental in fostering closer ties between Canada and India."

Gosal said, "Canada is committed to strengthen economic and cultural ties between the two countries. We have a unique opportunity to take bilateral relations to a new level with the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he said.

The Minister said that the Bollywood would soon start production of Indian films in Canada as a result of an agreement signed between the two countries to promote Bollywood.

Describing India as a land of opportunity, Consul General Akhilesh Mishra said that India was going through a profound socio-economic transformation.

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