Ottawa: India and Canada will resume commercial cooperation in the civil nuclear energy sector after decades, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday while hoping his visit would act as a "springboard" for taking the bilateral relationship to a new level.
"During this visit, our two countries will resume commercial cooperation in civil nuclear energy after decades. This will be a defining symbol of our mutual trust and understanding, and of our willingness to look beyond the boundaries of the past to the opportunities of the future," Modi wrote in an opinion piece in the Canadian paper 'The Globe and Mail'.
Under a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Canadian producer Cameco Corp is expected to provide fuel for Indian reactors.
Asserting that the pessimism of the past about India has turned into optimism about the future, Modi said both countries will benefit immensely by an early conclusion of a Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.
"I have come to build a strategic partnership with Canada in pursuit of India's economic transformation and a more peaceful, secure and stable future for our two countries," he wrote.
"Our relationship has been adrift in the past. The potential of our partnership remained a promise on a distant shore. However, in recent years, India and Canada have begun rediscovering each other," Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Canada in 42 years, said.
He lauded Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's efforts in promoting bilateral ties, saying he has led with great vision to chart a new, more purposeful course in the relationship.
"As in Canada, the relationship enjoys broad political support in India," Modi said adding that a "close strategic partnership" between the two countries is natural.
"The second-most-populous country in the world has shifted economic gear," he said.
Highlighting that India has become the fastest-growing major economy in the world, he said, "There is no area of national development priority in which Canada cannot be an important partner ?- energy and mineral resources, finance and infrastructure, manufacturing and technology, science and technology, and human resource development."
"I hope to make this visit a springboard to take our partnership in trade, investment and innovation to a new level. We will encourage and facilitate closer engagement between our industries," Modi said.
Talking about terrorism, Modi said India and Canada must strengthen their cooperation and seek a global response to the global menace.
"We must also prepare ourselves for the challenges in the cyberworld and outer space," he said.