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India – Canada bilateral relations

India – Canada bilateral relations


Canada-India relations, also known as Indo-Canadian relations, represent the dynamic bilateral ties between Canada and India. This article provides an extensive exploration of their historical connections, diplomatic collaborations, trade relations, and mutual efforts to strengthen this important international partnership. 

Historical Foundations

Shared Values: Canada and India’s relations are built on a foundation of mutual commitment to democracy, pluralism, and strong people-to-people links, reflecting the shared values of both nations. 

Historical Complexities: The relationship faced challenges, such as the Air India Flight 182 bombing and India’s Smiling Buddha nuclear test. These events impacted the ties between the two countries but also underscored the resilience of their connection. 

Strategic Partners: Both Canada and India, as former British colonies and members of the Commonwealth of Nations, have the potential to become strategic partners. The Indian diaspora in Canada is one of the largest in the world, further strengthening their bond. 

Trade Relations

Trade Expansion: Trade relations between Canada and India have seen significant growth since 2004, with a remarkable 70% increase, despite global economic challenges. 

Trade Balance: In 2009, Canadian exports to India amounted to C$2.1 billion, and imports from India totaled C$2.0 billion, resulting in a C$100 million trade surplus for Canada. 

Bilateral Trade Potential: While the relationship is warm, trade between Canada and India is currently less than its potential. India constitutes less than 1% of Canada’s total exports and imports, making the ongoing negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) crucial. 

CEPA Negotiations: Canada and India are actively negotiating the CEPA to enhance their trade relations. The most recent round of negotiations was held in New Delhi in March 2015. 

Diplomatic Missions 

Commonwealth Connection: As members of the Commonwealth of Nations, both Canada and India maintain high commissioners rather than ambassadors for diplomatic representation. 

High Commissions: Canada’s High Commission in India is situated in New Delhi, while India operates one in Ottawa. 

Consulates and Trade Offices: Canada maintains consulates in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chandigarh, along with trade offices in Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad. India, in turn, operates consulates in Vancouver and Toronto, solidifying their diplomatic presence.


Canada-India relations reflect a partnership founded on shared values and a commitment to democratic principles. As trade continues to grow, both countries are actively working to strengthen their economic ties and expand their diplomatic presence, fostering a bright future for this significant international alliance. 

To know more about bilateral relations between India and Canada, please download our booklet.

To know more about India – Canada, DTAA, please download our guide.

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