As tensions rise between the two nations over the killing of a Sikh community leader, here is an overview of their trade and education ties.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there are credible allegations that India played a role in the killing of Sikh separatist leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia province in June.
The Indian government dismissed the allegations as “absurd” and instead asked Canada to crack down on anti-India groups operating on its territory.
Since then, tensions between Canada and India have escalated, with the feud centering around Sikhs demanding a separate homeland called Khalistan.
Here’s a look at Canada-India relations:
Canada’s population is approximately 37 million people, of which nearly 1.4 million people are of Indian ethnic or cultural origin, making up approximately 3.7 percent of the country’s total population, according to the 2021 census.
More than 770,000 people reported their religion as Sikh, accounting for about 2 percent of Canada’s population.
According to the United Nations, India is the most populous country in the world with 1.43 billion inhabitants in April. Sikhs make up just 1.7 percent of the country’s population, with the majority living in the northern state of Punjab.
Bilateral trade in goods between Canada and India reached nearly US$12 billion ($9 billion) in 2022, a significant increase of 57 percent from the previous year, the Canadian government said.
Major imports from Canada include fertilizers and energy products such as coal, coke and briquettes, while India exports consumer goods, clothing, engineering products such as auto parts, aircraft equipment and electronic items.
Canada’s top exports to India in 2022 were fossil fuels and related products worth nearly $1 billion, followed by fertilizers worth nearly $748 million, and wood pulp and plant fibers worth about $384 million, according to Trading data Economics/UN Comtrade.
Canada is India’s 17th largest foreign investor, raising more than $3.6 billion since 2000, while Canadian portfolio investors have invested billions of dollars in Indian equity and debt markets.
According to industry estimates, the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Canada and India could boost trade by as much as $6.5 billion, resulting in a gross gain of $3.8 to $5.9 billion for Canada by 2035 would produce domestic product.
As of 2018, India is the largest source country for international students in Canada.
In 2022, their numbers rose 47 per cent to nearly 320,000, accounting for about 40 per cent of foreign students, according to the Canadian Bureau for International Education, which also helps universities and colleges offer subsidized education to domestic students.
The share of Canada’s Sikh population has more than doubled in two decades as large numbers of Sikhs have migrated from India in search of higher education and jobs.