'India interested in working together with Canada'

President Pranab Mukherjee has said Indian public sector companies are "interested in opportunities in oil and natural gas in Canada" as well as "purchasing stakes in energy assets".

In his speech at the banquet he hosted for visiting Canadian Governor General David Johnston and his wife Sharon Johnston at Rashtrapati Bhavan Monday, Mukherjee said: "India is interested in receiving investments and technological know-how from Canada, especially in the field of infrastructure, mining, etc. where Canada has well-developed technical expertise."

The president also sought Canada's cooperation in the field of agriculture and energy where it "looks forward" to working together with the country in the "peaceful uses of nuclear energy and efficient utilization of hydrocarbons and renewables".

"As India pursues its goals of food security and the strengthening of agriculture sector, it looks forward to cooperation in this field, including in the production of fertilizers."

Mukherjee said the state visit, the first such bilateral engagement in more than a decade and a half, is taking place at an important juncture as both the governments have committed themselves with "renewed vigour to dialogue and initiatives".

Johnston too hoped that the visit would "strengthen the bonds between the two nations, steeped in traditions of parliamentary democracy, pluralism and strong people to people ties".