VIDEO: Trade Deal Between Windsor-Essex and Chhattisgarh, India
The local economy may be in for a major boost thanks to an agreement between the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation, the Canadian Association of Mold Makers and Chhattisgarh, India.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed following almost a year of negotiations.
Mold Makers Chairperson Jonathan Azzopardi says representatives from the area visited India on four occasions during the last eight months to start the process for the MoU.
He says the two regions will now be able to build relationships, trade information and create jobs.
"We've signed an MoU with Chhattisgarh to be able to be able to create clusters to help them grow their initiatives and they have reciprocally agreed to help us grow ours," says Azzopardi. "What does that mean? Well we're signing the first MoU with India to be able to collaborate, to be able to take advantage what potentially could be the largest economy in the world."
He says the region has the ability to work with the potentially the largest economy in the world.
"Canada is positioned to be an exporter so we have to go where the business is," says Azzopardi. "So India is 1.35-billion people, so there's going to be a lot of business in India and what we do really well here is we grow stuff and we make stuff but if nobody buys it, there's no point in making it so we have the ability now to access that market."
He says it will take time for the partnership to take off.
"Do I think we'll be exporting tremendous amount of goods to India right off the bat, no but we have the ability right now to build the relationships for our medium to small businesses to be able to start landing product, transferring technology to be able to take advantage of that market, creating jobs, growth," says Azzopardi.
Chhattisgarh is also looking to grow and Azzopardi believes this area is positioned to help that happen.
"Their region in India has the appetite to be able to grow, not only in agriculture but they want to grow an actual manufacturing group. What better place than Windsor-Essex when it comes to manufacturing and advanced manufacturing, if you want to come to the heart land of Canadian of manufacturing is, it's right here in Windsor-Essex," he says.
The MoU was signed in front of a packed house at St. Clair Centre for the Arts.