Canada keen to invest in Himachal Pradesh
Canadian Government has shown keen interest to invest in agriculture, horticulture, food processing, tourism, forest produce and hydro power generation in the State. This was revealed by Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister in a meeting with visiting High Commissioner of Canada in India Shri Stewart G. Beck and Shri Scot Slessor, Consul General of Canadian High Commission held here today. Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal said that there were vast opportunities available in the State for making investment of multi national companies thereby strengthening the trade ties with Canada. He said that the entire hydro potential available in the State was being exploited with the help of private players and there still exist vast opportunities for exploitation of the remaining potential by multinational companies experts in the field. Chief Minister said that State had the biggest hydro power projects like 1500 MW Nathpa Jhakri project, 2100 MW Parbati Hydel Project. He said that since Canada which also had immense hydro potential and expertise, Himachal Pradesh could benefit with their experience. Prof. Dhumal said that agriculture and horticulture happened to be the traditional income generating avocations of the people residing in rural areas of the State and Government was according high priority to diversify the same by launching various schemes to benefit the farmers with incentives and high yielding of the produce. He said that over Rs. 1000 crore worth of schemes were under implementation in agriculture alone while apple re-plantation scheme was also under implementation to replace the old rootstocks. He said that last year the State had bumper apple crop and same could be multiplied with the plantation of high yielding varieties where Canadian Government could help the State growers. He said that tourism happened to be the basic industry of the State and large number of youth of the State were engaged in tourism related activities for their livelihood. Chief Minister said that State had vast forest wealth which had been preserved with the active participation of the masses in general. He said that forest produce which was containing additional and other cosmetic values would be marketed to different markets in Canada thereby generating employment to youth in the sector. He added that State Government would be keen to welcome Canadian investment in education, food processing sectors etc. He said that State had industrial friendly environment where all investment were safe and income generating. He said that State was taking care of interest of entrepreneurs investing in Himachal Pradesh in different sectors. Shri Stewart G. Beck High Commissioner of Canada congratulated the Chief Minister for spectacular development that State was making. He said that Canada and Himachal Pradesh had similar geophysical conditions and both could benefit with the experience of each other. He said that Canada was generating 75 percent of the power through hydro power generation. He said that environment had also been a matter of concern in Canada and expressed happiness over the initiatives taken by Himachal Pradesh on environment front. He said that Canada would be keen in participating in different tourism related activities in Himachal Pradesh and invited the Chief Minister to visit Canada to see all such projects. He lauded the contribution of Indians living in Canada in GDP of the country. He said that possibilities could be explored for processing the fruit produce of the State for international marketing. Dr. Arun Sharma, Director, Tourism and other senior officers were present on the occasion.