NATURAL Resources Minister Joe Oliver and Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Indian Planning Commission, met for their first meeting on Monday under the annual Ministerial Energy Dialogue announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2012.
During the meetings, Canada and India signed a Terms of Reference for priority areas of cooperation and a Memorandum of Understanding regarding petroleum and natural gas cooperation.
“Energy cooperation is a central element of the Canada-India strategic partnership,” said Oliver. “Canada is a source of abundant, secure and stable energy resources that can support India’s rapid growth, while Canada is opening new markets and attracting capital investment.”
In his comments, Ahluwalia emphasized that assured energy inputs were a critical guarantee of India’s aspiration of ensuring decades of long-term economic growth. Canada will be a key partner for India in this context.
The annual dialogue is enhancing Canada’s close relationship with India and contributing to jobs and the long-term economic prosperity of both countries. Areas of cooperation prioritized by today’s terms of reference include:
* Promoting two-way trade and investment in petroleum and natural gas;
* Identifying areas of cooperation in renewable and green energy technology; and
* Exchanging experiences in the power sector, including lessons learned in smart grid technology.
In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding regarding petroleum and natural gas cooperation sets a foundation for strategic and technical cooperation in oil and gas, including joint research projects, exchange of expertise and promotion of cooperation between oil and gas companies.
India is currently the third-largest energy consumer in the world and is expected to quadruple its electricity supply within the next 25 years. In 2011, bilateral trade between the two countries reached a record high of more than $5.1 billion and two-way investment totalled $5 billion.