"It is a major step forward in Indo-Canada relations," Consul General of India in Canada Akhilesh Mishra said this while addressing a function organized by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) to commemorate the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. The two countries signed the agreement in June 2010 but it took three years to finalize.

That's because the details of surrounding a key issue had to be ironed out, ensuring that an independent process was in place to ensure the Canadian uranium is used for peaceful purposes. Commending contributions made by Indo-Canadians and ICCC, Mishra said: "Contributions of more than 1.1 Million Indo-Canadians and ICCC to Canada’s economic and cultural life have been and continue to be substantial.

Both countries have longstanding bilateral relations, built upon shared traditions of democracy, pluralism and strong interpersonal connections with an Indian diaspora of more than one million in Canada, Mishra said. India needs Canadian investment in infrastructure, energy, mining, food, education, science and technology, he added.

Paying his tributes to Gandhi, he said, "Throughout his life, Gandhi practiced humility and that was his biggest virtue. Gandhi showed the power of peacefully opposing oppression, injustice and hatred.       "We believe that a closer economic relationship with India could deliver commercial benefits to businesses on both sides," President ICCC Naval Bajaj said.

(Agencies)

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