Digitization and innovation, words that define the fourth industrial revolution, have become key drivers of change for national, regional and global economies. One of the defining aspects of this shift is emergence of the idea of ‘startup cities’, with an ecosystem that provides resources, opportunities and an enabling environment for innovation.
In the first week of March, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will be hosting a delegation from Calgary, Alberta, Canada – a city that is emerging as one of the leading innovation partners for various markets across the globe.
The mission is being led by Mayor Naheed Nenshi, to explore synergies and mutual opportunities for growth between India and Calgary. The mayor has been driving the idea of making Calgary a destination for developing solutions to some of the biggest challenges’ humanity faces today – cleaner energy, safe and secure food, safer transport of goods and people, and better health solutions.
Achieving the vision relies on building linkages with regional and state economies or markets around common growth trajectory.
Calgary Economic Development has identified direct investments, higher education partnerships, high-end technology collaboration and tech talent exchange as ways to achieve that goal through the economic strategy Calgary in the New Economy.
That focus means Calgary is a promising match with India as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, a vibrant creative industry, an unparalleled pool of skilled talent, a hi-tech services base and a maturing ‘startups’ ecosystem is a natural choice for a partnership.
But a crosscutting connect between India and Calgary is also the way digital transformation is happening across industries. In other words, as more and more cities and states forge the next generation of a sustainable, inclusive and resilient innovation ecosystem, the shared vision can drive businesses and exchange to new heights. With a history producing successful entrepreneurs, it’s not surprising that Calgary has one of the hottest ‘startup” ecosystems in Canada.
Trade between India and Canada has steadily increased for the last two decades, and in 2018, imports from India were the Canadian market’s fastest-growing (non-US) source at a 30 per cent increase from the previous year.
The latest information available shows the stock of direct investment by Indian companies in Canada was CAD $3.1 billion in 2017, while Canada’s cumulative direct investment that year was CAD $2.6 billion into India.
The potential for Indo-Canadian bilateral trade and investment are much greater than it is currently. From an investment and business collaboration point of view, the key sectors present high-potential for Indo-Canadian industry engagement, include education, media & entertainment, ICT and fintech, water and infrastructure, energy, agriculture, as well as life sciences and health.
Calgary can emerge as a stronger partner based on the synergies that are apparent in terms of convergence of sectors and vision for growth driven by technology and innovation.
Visiting Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai, the delegation will be participating in a number of industry roundtables, one-to-one meetings and public speaking opportunities between March 1st and 7th.