'We want partnerships in multimedia, IT and biotech'

DQI Bureau
New Update

A high-powered business mission from the Canadian province of Quebec was in

India to project the state as a partner for the future to Indian Inc. The

country's assistant deputy minister Marc Ferland, who led the delegation,

spoke with Zia Askari of CyberMedia News about the objectives of the

high-profile mission to India and how a country like Canada can strengthen its

IT activity with Indian companies.


What are the areas where India and Canada can partner in general and

Quebec in particular?

We are looking forward to partnering with India within three prime areas-the

multimedia industry, the IT industry and the biotechnology industry. Canada is

well known for its multimedia skills the world over and within Quebec itself,

there are close to 3,500 people working for 275 companies in the multimedia

sector. Quebec alone employs more than 1,40,000 people in IT working for close

to 5,000 IT companies. This kind of environment has pushed us to generate close

to $5.5 bn in terms of exports to the US. Indian companies looking forward to

developing alliances for the US market can seriously look towards setting their

base in Quebec and formulate partnerships with our companies in the areas of

R&D and marketing.

Why is there a lack of partnership between Indian and Canadian companies

despite India sharing a very good business relationship with lots of US


Indian companies started to work closely with the US because of the huge

market for IT services and products. Whereas we don't have that kind of huge

market, but at the same time the cost of living and company operating

expenditure is pretty much on the lower side when compared to any US location.

Marc Ferland 


We already have big companies like Ericsson, Nortel, and other global

organization. So now is the ideal time for Indian companies to set up base in

Canada and partner with global companies on various fronts of R&D and

marketing. This can help them in further cutting their operating costs and they

will be very close to US-based customers as well.

What kind of incentives are you going to provide for Indian companies?

We are working on a single-window clearance concept and have designed a

website that provides all the needed information for companies planning to set

up bases in Quebec.

There are incentives being given by the government on various fronts like

land, energy, electricity and high-speed connectivity. Canadian way of life is

much cheaper when compared to other countries like the US. So close proximity to

the US and lower operating costs are the twin benefits of setting up operations

in Canada.


What kind of response have you seen from the Indian IT and biotechnology

sector so far?

We are getting great response from the Indian IT as well as biotechnology

sector. In the coming months we are expecting good number of Indian companies to

start their Canadian operations and work in tandem with some of the best

Canadian companies.

With bioinformatics being seen as the new paradigm that could offer cures for

diseases, Quebec is keen to develop expertise in this area. India, with its

well-recognized skills in IT, is seen as a good talent pool to attract talented

youngsters to migrate.

An estimated 30,000 Indians migrate to Canada annually but only a small

number head for Quebec, with Toronto and Vancouver as the preferred places of

residence. So we have a lot of scope of increasing immigrations in this part of