India-Canada Relations

Canada and India have long-standing bilateral relations built upon shared traditions of democracy, pluralism and strong interpersonal connections. The deep cultural and political ties between Canada and India are strengthened by a growing network of official dialogues, agreements, memoranda of understanding and working groups.

In December 2020, the relations between the two countries were affected after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau raised his voice regarding the farmers’ protesting in India. It was considered as an interference in the internal matters of India. Following which, on December 4, the Indian foreign ministry summoned the Canadian high commissioner to India, Nadir Patel.

For information regarding India’s International Relations and Bilateral ties with other countries, candidates can visit the linked article. 

In this article, we shall discuss the India-Canada relationship, bilateral ties, trade, economic and political relations in detail. IAS Exam aspirants must focus on this topic as it is important from the examination perspective.

India-Canada Relations [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

India-Canada Bilateral Ties

  • India-Canada bilateral ties are underpinned by shared values of democracy, pluralism, expanding economic engagement, regular high-level interactions and long-standing people-to-people ties
  • At the Ministerial level, Canada and India enjoy a strategic partnership underpinned by Ministerial Dialogues on:
    • Foreign Policy
    • Trade and Investment
    • Finance
    • Energy
  • At the officials level, there are regular working groups that focus on:
    • Counter-terrorism
    • Security
    • Agriculture
    • Education
    • Science and Technology
  • To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and India work closely in multilateral fora, such as:
    • International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
    • Pacific Alliance
    • United Nations (UN)
    • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
    • World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • India and Russia are a part of and working for the development of many International organisations and groups. This includes:

UPSC 2021

Political Relations

  • As Westminster style democracies, India and Canada share commonalities in Parliamentary structure and procedures. After the general election in October 2019, Mr Raj Saini, MP from the House of Common has been appointed as the Chair of the Canada-India Parliamentary Association
  • As of 2020, the House of Common in Canadian Parliament (total strength of 338) has 22 Members of Indian origin. Know details about the Functions of Parliament in India at the linked article
  • In India, Canada is represented by the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi. Canada also has Consulates General in Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai, as well as trade offices in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata
  • India is represented in Canada by a High Commission in Ottawa and by consulates in Toronto and Vancouver
  • Agreements/MOUs under negotiation between India and Canada are: 
    • Foreign Investment Promotion Agreement (FIPA)
    • Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA)
    • Audio-Visual Co-Production Treaty
What is the India-Canada Track 1.5 Dialogue?

The Canada-India Track 1.5 Dialogue on Innovation, Growth and Prosperity is a three-year initiative between the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, to explore areas for closer cooperation.

The Canada-India Track 1.5 Dialogue strives to build closer ties between Canada and India and nurture the relationship to its full potential. Canada and India can be global leaders in innovation and the Canada-India Track 1.5 Dialogue seeks opportunities to work jointly on multilateral issues and identify areas where improved cooperation could benefit both countries. 

The first Canada-India Track 1.5 dialogue on Innovation, Growth and Prosperity was held in Ottawa from 29-30 October 2018. Both sides explored the possibility of future cooperation in the field of cybersecurity, geoengineering, climate leadership, trade in services and traditional & non-traditional forms of energy. 

Trade Relations between India and Canada

  • India is Canada’s 9th largest export market, and 10th largest trading partner overall
  • The trade between India and Canada rose to 62 per cent in the past few years, making India one of the fastest-growing export markets of Canada
  • Canada has established Trade Offices in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. Reputed Canadian companies such as  Bombardier, SNC Lavalin, CAE, Inc., etc. have a strong presence in India
  • Major Items of Indian Exports to Canada are:
Medicines Garments Diamonds, Gems and Jewellery
Chemicals Petroleum Oils Sea Food
Engineering Goods Marble and Granite Knitted Garments
Electric Equipment Plastic Products
  • Major items of Canada’s export to India are:
Pulses Fertilizers Newsprint
Aircrafts & Aviation Equipment Diamonds, Copper Ores and Concentrates Bituminous Coal
Wood Pulp Nickel Unwrought Aluminum
  • Trade and investment agreements involving Canada and India:
    • World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA)
    • Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
    • Agreement on Trade-related Investment Measures (TRIMS)
    • General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT)
    • General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)
    • World Trade Organization Information Technology Agreement (ITA)

India-Canada – Economic & Investment Relations

  • More than 400 Canadian companies have a presence in India, and more than 1,000 companies are actively pursuing business in the Indian market
  • Notable Indian companies which have invested in Canada include ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Mahindra Tractors, Tata Steel Minerals Canada, Tata Consultancy Services, Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Communications, Zee Group, Aditya Birla Group, Jubilant Life Sciences, Infosys Technologies Limited, Tech Mahindra, ESSAR Steel Algoma Inc., IFFCO Canada Enterprise Ltd., Abellon Energy Inc., Wipro Technologies, Prime Focus World and Polaris Financial Technologies
  • Given below are the details about India-Canada bilateral trade over the years (in Billion US$):
Details 2010-11 2011-12 2017-18 2018-19
India’s Exports 2.064 2.581 2.51
India’s Imports 2.024 2.635 4.72
Total 4.088 5.216 7.23 6.3 

Educational Ties between India and Canada

  • India, recently, became the top source of foreign students with 203000 Indian students studying in Canada
  • The MoU on Higher Education (2010) with Canada was renewed in February 2018. This MoU focuses on expanding the collaboration in the areas of student and faculty mobility
  • As of 2020, 69 reputed Canadian faculty members have visited India, so far under the Global Initiative of Academic Works (GIAN) programme for teaching assignments in Indian institutions
  • Canada is one of the 28 countries covered under the Scheme for promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC), an initiative aiming to improve research ecosystems in India’s higher education institutions
  • The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) is a unique bi-national organization fostering, since 1968, education and cultural cooperation 4 and collaboration between India and Canada
  • IC-IMPACTS (the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability), which is a Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence dedicated to the development of research collaborations between Canada and India, seeks to bring together researchers, industry innovators, community leaders, government agencies, and community organizations from across India and Canada to work together to find solutions to the key challenges facing the communities
  • As part of the commemoration of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji, it was decided by GoI to set up a Chair on Guru Nanak Devji in a Canadian University

Other Important Sectors of India-Canada Relations

Apart from the bilateral ties mentioned above. The two countries also share relations in other sectors, which have been discussed below in brief.

Science and Technology

  • Indo-Canadian Science and Technology cooperation has been primarily focussed on promoting Industrial R&D which has potential for application through the development of new IP, processes, prototypes or products
  • Department of Earth Science and Polar Canada has started a programme for exchange of knowledge and scientific research on Cold Climate (Arctic) Studies
  •  An MoU on Cooperation in Information and Communication Technology and Electronics (ICTE) was signed in 2012 for 5 years


  • ISRO and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) had signed two MOUs in the field of exploration and utilisation of outer space in October 1996 and March 2003
  • ANTRIX, the Commercial arm of ISRO, has launched several nanosatellites from Canada
  • ISRO in its 100th Satellite PSLV launched on 12 January 2018, also flew Canadian first LEO satellite, from Indian spaceport Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh

Security and Defence

India and Canada collaborate closely in international fora, particularly through the UN, Commonwealth and G-20. There is robust cooperation on counter-terrorism issues particularly through the framework of the JWG on Counter-Terrorism. 

Cultural Ties

  • Canada was the Country of Focus at the 48th International Film Festival of India held in Goa in November 2017
  • There is also an India – Canada Co-production Agreement in films
  • Diwali has been celebrated on Parliament Hill for over a decade now. Canada Post and India Post joined hands to issue a commemorative stamp on Diwali in 2017.

India-Canada Relations [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

FAQ about India – Canada Relations

How old is India – Canada relations?

India established diplomatic relations with Canada in 1947. India and Canada have a long-standing bilateral relationship based on shared democratic values, the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of two societies and strong people-to-people contacts.

What is the status of India – Canada bilateral relations?

During the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Canada in April 2015, the two sides agreed to elevate the bilateral relations to a strategic partnership.

Aspirants preparing for the upcoming Civil Services Exam must get updated with the latest UPSC Syllabus at the linked article. 

Candidates can also know the detailed IAS Salary for various posts and grades at the linked article.  

For any further exam dates, study material or preparation tips, visit BYJU’S. 

Also, refer to the International Relations India shares with other countries through the links given below:

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