India Canada Bilateral Relations India Canada Bilateral Relations

India Canada Bilateral Relations

High Commission of India


Brief on India-Canada Bilateral Relations 

(as on January 2023)

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.

High-Level Exchanges

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Canada on April 14-15, 2015 was highly successful. He visited Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver; held extensive discussions with Canada’s political, business and academic leaders and also addressed some 10,000 PIO’s & friends of India, at Toronto on  April 15, 2015.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, accompanied by 6 Federal Ministers and 13 parliamentarians, paid a State Visit to India from February 18-24, 2018, at the invitation of  Prime Minister  Modi.  During the visit, India and Canada signed six Agreements/MoUs which would increase our cooperation in areas such as education, sport, intellectual property, information and communication technology, as well as science and innovation in civil nuclear cooperation.

Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, both Prime Ministers have spoken three times, on April 28, 2020, June 16, 2020 and February 10, 2021 and discussed, inter alia, regional and global issues, including global supply chain, climate change, international cooperation during COVID, collaborations in research & technology for vaccine, medicines supply from India, evacuation of stranded Indians and Canadians and Canada’s requirement of COVID vaccine from India. 

Prime Minister Modi met  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of G-7 Summit at Elmau (Germany) on June 27, 2022 and  discussed ways to further strengthen the India-Canada relations across various sectors.

There have been a series of other high-level exchanges:

Dr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister (EAM) visited Ottawa on December 19-20, In 2020, EAM spoke to the then Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne four times (on March 04,  March 21, June 06, and  July 26, 2020) on a range of      bilateral and international issues including COVID related multilateral cooperation evacuation of stranded Indians and Canadians and the emerging situation in the Indo-Pacific region.  EAM spoke to the then Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau on February 03, 2021 where a range of issues were discussed. EAM had a telephonic conversation with Canadian Foreign Minister, Melanie Joly on May 30, 2022, when a range of issues were discussed. In a first in-person meeting, EAM met the Canadian     Foreign Minister Melanie Joly in Kigali on June 23, 2022 on the margins of CHOGM. EAM met Melainie Joly and Minister of International Trade, Mary Ng again on the sidelines of East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh on November 12, 2022. EAM had a telephonic conversation with Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on December 11, 2022.

Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia visited Canada from May 02-04, 2022.   He met Canadian Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra, on May 03, 2022 in Ottawa and   discussed, inter alia, the possibility of increased air connectivity between the two  He  visited Montreal, Canada,  from 25-27 September 2022 to attend the 41st   Session of ICAO General Assembly.  During this session India was elected as Part-III    member of the ICAO Council for the term 2023-2025.

Commerce & Industry Minister Shri Piyush Goyal spoke to his Canadian counterpart  Ms. Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade on March 29, April 09, July 28, 2020 & March 11, 2021 and discussed a range of issues including supply of COVID-19 vaccine from India, maintenance of global supply chains, pharmaceuticals products availability, G-20 cooperation and issues related to bilateral trade.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal met his Canadian counterpart Mary Ng on October 11, 2021 in Sorrento, Italy on the margins of G20 meeting. Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development of Canada, Ms Mary Ng visited India from  March 10-12, 2022 and met Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food, and Public Distribution and Textiles (CIM) on 11 March 2022.  The Canadian Minister also met Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister on 11 March 2022.Ms Mary Ng, Canadian Minister also held DVCs/telephonic conversations with Mr. Piyush Goyal, CIM on 10 May 2022, 07 June 2022, 26 August 2022 and 05 October 2022 to review the progress regarding the ongoing discussions on the India-Canada Early progress Free Trade Agreement (EPTA)/Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The two Ministers also met in-person on the sidelines of WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva on 15 June 2022, and deliberated on ways to fast-track trade   negotiations (CEPA/EPTA) and further discussed key bilateral issues.  On 23 September 2022, both Ministers again met in-person on the sidelines of G20 trade ministerial meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia and discussed modalities of the EPTA/CEPA

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman met Canadian Deputy Prime Minister & Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on  October 30, 2021 on margins of the G20 meeting.

A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team visited Canada  on November 04-05, for furthering cooperation in combating terrorism.

Shri Bhupender Yadav, Hon’ble Minister of Environment, Forests & Climate Change met the Canadian Minister of Environment & Climate Change  in Stockholm in June 2022when an MoU between India and Canada on collaboration on climate change and      environment was signed on  June 02, 2022. The Hon’ble Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change visited Montreal, Canada from 16-20 December, 2022 to attend the COP15 UN Conference on Biodiversity. During the conference he held   bilateral meetings, inter alia, with the  Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Former Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Stephen Harper visited India (January 06-13, 2019 & January 08-17, 2020) for Raisina Dialogue and as a part of trade delegation of Saskatchewan, Canada (November 18-20, 2019).

Mr. John Baird, former Foreign Minister of Canada visited India ( November 11-13, 2019).

Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan accompanied by Mr. Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Trade and Export Development of Saskatchewan visited India with a trade delegation (November 18-22, 2019).

Victor Fedeli, Ontario Minister for Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade visited India (November 16-23, 2019).

Mr. Jeremy Harrison, Minister of Trade and Export Development, Government of Saskatchewan along with his trade delegation visited India from  April  25-28, 2022.

Former Prime Minister of Canada, Mr. Stephen Harper visited India from  April 24-30, 2022 and participated in the Raisina Dialogue  held in New Delhi from  April 25-27, 2022.

Parliamentary Exchanges

Speaker of Lok Sabha, Shri Om Birla, alongwith a parliamentary delegation consisting of six MPs and officers, visited Canada to attend 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference organised by Canada CPA Branch in Halifax from 20-26 August 2022. Speakers, Deputy Speakers and Secretaries of various state legislatures of India also attended the Conference. On the sidelines of 65th CPC, the Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha met, inter alia, Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, Anthony Rota and Speaker of Senate of Canada, George J. Furey. Earlier, Speaker of Lok Sabha Shri Om Birla along with Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Shri Harivansh Narayan Singh had visited Canada from January 05-12, 2020 to participate in the 25th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of Commonwealth (CSPOC) held in Ottawa. On the margins of CSPOC, Speaker met Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada, Anthony Rota; and Speaker of Senate of Canada, George J. Furey and invited him to lead a Parliamentary exchange delegation to India.

Speaker of the Canadian Senate George J. Furey alognwith a parliamentary delegation visited India  in February 2020.  He met, among others, Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla and then Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu.

Bilateral Mechanisms

Both sides pursue bilateral relations through the dialogue mechanisms such as Ministerial level- Strategic, Trade and Energy dialogues; Foreign Office Consultations; and other sector specific joint working groups (JWG). The following bilateral dialogue mechanisms have met since 2019:

Joint Working Group (JWG) on Higher Education (Feb. 26-28, 2019)

16th JWG on Counter Terrorism (March 26-27, 2019).

Joint Committee Meeting on Civil Nuclear (June 6-7, 2019)

First Consular Dialogue with Canada (September 30-October 01, 2019)

Foreign Office Consultation on March 14, 2022 in New Delhi.

Second India-Canada Consular Dialogue in New Delhi on November 14, 2022

India-Canada Strategic Dialogue co-chaired by former EAM Smt. Sushma Swaraj and her Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland was held on February 22, 2018 on the sidelines of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit.

India-Canada Foreign Office Consultations co-chaired by Mr. Saurabh Kumar, Secretary(East) in the Ministry of External Affairs and Ms. Marta Morgan, Deputy Foreign Minister of Canada, were held in New Delhi on March 14, 2022. The two sides discussed a range of bilateral issues and reviewed the status of bilateral institutional mechanisms.

People-to-People Relations

With 1.6 million PIOs and an additional 700,000 NRIs, Canada hosts one of the largest Indian Diaspora in the world, which account for more than 4% of its total population. The Diaspora, whose main concentration are in the Greater Toronto area, the Greater Vancouver area, Montreal (Quebec), Calgary (Alberta), Ottawa (Ontario) and Winnipeg (Manitoba) has done commendably well in every sector in Canada. In the field of politics, in particular, the present House of Commons (total strength of 338) has 19 Members of Parliament of Indian-origin. This includes three (03) Ministers in the Cabinet: Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand; Minister of International Development, Mr. Harjit S. Sajjan; and Minister of Seniors, Ms. Kamal Khera.

There are numerous business and Diaspora organisations, supporting enhanced bilateral relations between the two countries.

Economic Relations

The trade and investment linkages between India and Canada form an integral component of the multi-faceted partnership between the two countries. Bilateral trade in goods amounted to USD 7.11 billion in 2021 (India's exports : USD 4.76 billion and India's imports: USD 2.35 billion) which is well below the potential of two countries’ growing relations. The bilateral trade in Services in 2019 was USD 3.10 billion. The bilateral trade in Services in 2020 was USD 5.49 billion. India’s exports to Canada in 2022-23 (April-August) are worth US$ 1.90 billion and imports from Canada are US$ 1.70 billion. Total bilateral trade in goods between India and Canada is worth US$ 3.6 billion in 2022-23 (April-August).

Canadian Pension Funds have cumulatively invested around US$ 55 billion in India and are increasingly viewing India as a favourable destination for investments.

More than 600 Canadian companies have a presence in India and more than 1,000 companies are actively pursuing business in the Indian market. Indian companies in Canada are active in the field such as Information Technology, software, steel, natural resources and banking sectors.

Major items of India's exports to Canada include gems, jewellery and precious stones, pharmaceutical products, ready-made garments, mechanical appliances, organic chemicals, light engineering goods, iron & steel articles, etc. India’s imports from Canada include pulses, newsprint, wood pulp, asbestos, potash, iron scrap, copper, minerals and industrial chemicals, etc.

Energy Cooperation

Energy has been a primary area of focus of India-Canada bilateral relations. The last India and Canada Ministerial level Energy Dialogue was held in New Delhi on September 08, 2016. During the visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau  in February 2018, the scope of the Energy Dialogue was expanded to additionally include electricity, energy efficiency and renewable.   India Oil Corporation has a 10% participating interest in a Liquid Natural Gas project in British Columbia.

Civil Nuclear Cooperation

A Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (NCA) with Canada was signed in June 2010 and came into force in September 2013. The Appropriate Arrangement (AA) for the NCA was signed in March 2013, under which a Joint Committee on Civil Nuclear Cooperation was constituted. During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Canada (April 2015), Department of Atomic Energy and M/S CAMECO Inc. signed an agreement for supply of uranium ore concentrate to India in 2015-2020.

India’s Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) signed an Arrangement with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on September 16, 2015 to exchange experiences  in nuclear safety and regulatory issues.

An MOU between the Department of Atomic Energy, India and the Department of Natural Resources of Canada concerning cooperation in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation was signed during the visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in February 2018.

Under the Agreement signed between India and Canada for “Cooperation in Peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy” in 2010, a Joint Committee to oversee the implementation of the agreement was constituted.

Science and Technology

Indo-Canadian S&T cooperation has been primarily focussed on promoting Industrial R&D which has potential for application through development of new IP, processes, prototypes or products. Canada was a partner country for the Technology Summit 2017, held in New Delhi on November 14-15, 2017.

Secretary, Department of Science & Technology, led a delegation to Ottawa for the 7th India-Canada Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC), which he Co-Chaired with Deputy Minister of International Trade at Global Affairs Canada on 19th May 2022. On the sidelines of the JSTCC, an MoU on Cooperation in industrial research, Development & Innovation, between DST and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) was signed. The DST delegation had meetings in Vancouver and Toronto with S&T institutions on16-18 May 2022. On 18th May 2022, Department of Science & Technology and Department of Biotechnology also signed an MoU with Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for cooperation in Science &Technology. The MoU with NRC will be valid for a period of 5 years, while that with NSERC will be valid till March 2024.

Mitacs, Canada and Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) are implementing a Student research internship program launched in 2018.

DST and NSERC launched a bilateral entrepreneurship program, with a focus on women entrepreneurs, in partnership with Mumbai-based Zone Startups and Ryerson Futures inc, Canada on February 20, 2018. The program is jointly funded by Canada and India, under the aegis of the Canada-India Science and Technology Agreement.

Department of Earth Science and Polar Canada have started a programme for exchange of knowledge and scientific research on Cold Climate (Arctic) Studies. A group of scientists from National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa visited Canada’s Arctic Research Station, Cambridge Bay in September-October 2019. A Memorandum of Cooperation between NCPOR and POLAR Canada was signed on 26 February 2020.

Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under IC-IMPACTS program implements joint research projects in health care, agri-biotech and waste management. Under “Mission Innovation” program, India is collaborating with Canada in various activities in the areas of Sustainable Biofuels (IC4). The Biotechnology industry Research Assistance Council, DBT and Canada are working under Grand Challenges Canada (GC Canada) Programme which funds innovations focusing on maternal and child health. The virtual Annual Conference of IC-IMPACTS was held on August  06-07, 2020.


The bilateral MoU on agriculture cooperation was signed at the federal level in 2009. A Joint Working Group has been set up under the MoU. The first meeting of the JWG was held in New Delhi in 2010, which led to the creation of three sub-groups on knowledge exchange in emerging technologies; animal development and agricultural marketing. The fifth (5) round of JWG on Agriculture was held on November 13-14, 2017. A Joint Working Group for Pulses has been set up separately. A team from Canadian Food Inspection Agency visited India in December 2018 for verification of organic system of India. A technical meeting (virtual) between India and Canada held on October 14,  2020.

Information Technology

A Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Information and Communication Technology and Electronics (ICTE) was signed in 2012 for 5 years. A JWG on ICTE was set up and the last meeting held in October 2015. Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development met Minister of Electronics and Information Technology on the margins of Technology Summit on  November 13, 2017. As agreed in the meeting to renew the MoU in ICTE, a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) for cooperation in the field of ICTE was signed during the visit of Prime Minister Trudeau in February 2018.


India and Canada are pursuing successful cooperative and commercial relations in the field of Space since 1990s mainly on space science, earth observation, satellite launch services and ground support for space missions. ISRO and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has signed two MoU in the field of exploration and utilisation of outer space in October 1996 and March 2003, under which two implementing Arrangements specifically addressing satellite tracking and space astronomy were signed. ANTRIX, the Commercial arm of ISRO, has launched several nanosatellites from Canada. ISRO in its 100th Satellite PSLV launched on January 12, 2018, also flew Canadian first LEO satellite, from Indian spaceport Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.


Education is a key area of mutual interest. Recently India became the top source of foreign students with 230,000 Indian students studying in Canada. There are about 300 MoUs between institutions of higher learning in India and Canada.

The MoU on Higher Education (2010) with Canada was renewed in February 2018. Under this MoU, 2nd Joint Working Group meeting was held on February  26-28, 2019 in Ottawa to oversee and implement the MoU. Both side agreed to expand the collaboration in the areas of student and faculty mobility.

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. So far 19 projects under SPARC and 106 under GIAN have been awarded to Canadian faculties.

The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) is a unique bi-national organization fostering, since 1968, education and cultural cooperation and collaboration between India and Canada. A consortium of 120 universities and institutions of higher learning and research with offices in India and Canada.


Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has signed an MoU for cooperation with Canada’s York University (signed in November 2012), which focuses on biological and chemical warfare and sensors. A Statement of Intent (SoI) on Cooperation between DRDO and Canada’s Defence Research and Development Council was signed in January 2015.  An MoU between DRDO and Canadian Commerical Corporation (CCC) for development of military and defence related technology, infrastructure, training and services was signed on 5 October 2016 which was renewed in 2021.   A team from DRDO visited Ottawa on December 02-04, 2019 to discuss project involving Canadian Defence supplier.

Security Cooperation

The two countries have signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in 1994 (operationalised in 1998) and Extradition Treaty in 1987. The Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism was set up in 1997. There is substantial engagement on counter terrorism issues particularly through the framework of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on Counter Terrorism. The security cooperation was further enhanced with the Framework for Cooperation between India and Canada on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism signed by the National Security Advisor of India and the National Security and Intelligence Advisor of Canada on  February 14, 2018. The 16th JWG on Counter-Terrorism was held in Ottawa from  March 26-27, 2019.   A  National Investigation Agency (NIA) team visited Canada on  November 04-05,  2021 for furthering cooperation in combating terrorism.   An RCMP delegation visited India in June 2022 and held meetings with NIA officers.

SSIFS-CFSI Cooperation

The cooperation between Foreign Service Institutes  of both countries has seen positive momentum with Canada’s Foreign Service Institute (CFSI) trainers imparting three days training program in Bilateral & Multilateral Negotiation and Diplomacy and Global Affairs including Canada’s Foreign Policy Approach to Indian diplomats at Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service (SSIFS), New Delhi, from January 20-23, 2020.

Consular Matters

Recognizing the dynamic role of people-to-people ties in the India-Canada partnership, both sides agreed to address consular issues of mutual concern through discussion during Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to India. The second India-Canada Consular Dialogue was held in New Delhi on November 14, 2022. Discussions were also  initiated on the draft of Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement (MMPA) between India and Canada in New Delhi on November 14, 2022.

Cultural Exchanges

Given that people-to-people ties form the bedrock of the India-Canada relationship, cultural exchanges remain vital. Canada was the Country of Focus at the 48th International Film Festival of India held in Goa in November 2017. Eight (08) Canadian films were screened at the Festival. There is also an India - Canada Co-production Agreement in films. For the first time, Canada Post and India Post joined hands to issue a commemorative stamp on Diwali in 2017. Canada Post issued Diwali Stamps again in 2020 and 2021.


In October 2020, Canada announced the voluntary repatriation of ancient Annapurna statue which was illegally acquired by a Canadian collector and had been kept at University of Regina. The statue has since been handed over to India and has been placed inside Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi in November 2021.

India-Canada COVID-19 Collaboration

As part of the series of shipments of the drugs to various countries, India supplied consignment of five million tablets of HCQ to Canada. The consignment arrived Canada on  May 04, 2020.   India offered to make available its production capacities in diagnostic kits, PPEs, pharmaceutical products and vaccines to Canadian companies in collaboration.     India and Canada made arrangement to evacuate their respective stranded nationals from each other’s country.   On the request from Canadian government in February 2021 for COVID-19 vaccines, India approved export of 2 million Covishield vaccines to Canada under commercial agreement between Serum Institute of India and Verity Pharmaceuticals of Canada.  On March 3, 2021, first tranche of 500,000 doses of vaccines arrived from India to Canada.  In order to provide COVID-19 support to India,  Canadian government donated  C$10 million to Canadian  Red Cross to assist Indian Red Cross Society, in the form of  oxygen  plants, oxygen concentrators, ventilators etc. Supports from other provinces of Canada also reached India.


January 2023.