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Canada, Andhra Pradesh sign geographic information systems accord

Hyderabad, Nov 13 (IANS) Canada and Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday, the 13th November have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation in geomatics, geo-science and geographic information technology.

Geomatics and geo-science are essential tools to provide information about a country’s geography, environment and natural resource base.

Canadian Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu witnessed the signing of the agreement between
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the state government.

The agreement, with a five-year timeframe, provides for cooperation in areas such as geo-spatial information, databases, digital mapping, geographic and land information systems and services, remote sensing applications, economic geology (energy and mineral resources) and geodetic surveys.

Irwin Itzekovitch, Canada’s deputy assistant minister in the earth sciences sector, and Andhra Pradesh’s information and communications technology principal secretary J. Satyanarayana signed the agreement.

Dhaliwal, who is leading a seven-day business development mission to India, hoped it would prove mutually beneficial and enable both sides to build on their strengths. Accompanied by representatives of 45 Canadian companies specialising in geomatics, geo-science, energy, mining and forest products, Dhaliwal is also visiting Mumbai, Kolkata and Chandigarh.

“Canada and India have excellent capacity in both geomatics and geo-science. By working together, we can take advantage of cost-competitiveness, expertise and management excellence,” he said. “We are laying the foundation for future agreements and opening doors to more business in coming years.”

Availability of geo-spatial information promotes sound decision-making in a wide range of development initiatives. Remote sensing, geographic information systems and global positioning systems are examples of geomatics technology.

Naidu said the two sides would work out specific projects under the framework. “We can develop a model to replicate the same in other states and other developing countries,” he told newsmen after the ceremony.

Naidu said the global market for geomatics services is worth $13 billion. An annual growth rate of 20 percent is expected in this field over the next five years.

Source: Mohammed Shafeeq, Indo-Asian News Service