One of the first significant defence deals between a Canadian company and the Indian Armed Forces after the announcement of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, came close to being cancelled due to delays in permission from Ottawa.
Current Scientific Corporation, based in Port Coquitlam in the province of British Columbia, had signed a CA$5 million contract with the Indian Navy, under which they would ship optical systems to the navy by Thursday. However, the company had been waiting for over five months for a response from Global Affairs Canada, the country’s foreign ministry, to get an export permit before the first consignment could be shipped to India.
The permission only came hours before the deadline after the outlet National Post reported on the company’s crisis, quoting the company’s president Greg Menzies as saying, “I never dreamed that I would have this many challenges with this export permit.”
The permission finally came hours before the deadline after the media outlet National Post reported on the company’s crisis, quoting the company’s president Greg Menzies as saying, “I never dreamed that I would have this many challenges with this export permit.”
A spokesperson for Current Scientific Corporation told Hindustan Times that the permit had finally been issued. Menzies received a call late on Wednesday evening to confirm that the permit had been granted.
“We’ve been working a very long time to open business in India,” Menzies told the National Post earlier.
He added that in 20 years of being in the business, only once had an export license been refused, and there had been no response from Global Affairs Canada to multiple messages.
“We have a firm contract and a deal for trade — we’re allies with India, this shouldn’t be an issue,” he said.
Current Scientific Corporation manufactures electro-optical infrared systems. According to their website, Current’s “multi-sensor camera systems are installed worldwide on vessels in a variety of fields, including coast guard, super-yachts, paramilitary & navy, ferries & explorer cruises, icebreakers, marine mammal research, and other specialty vessels” and “land-based systems deployed internationally for use in coastal surveillance.”
The spokesperson was not able reveal details of the equipment for the Indian Navy due to the terms of the agreement.
The Indo-Pacific Strategy announced in November described India as a “critical partner in Canada’s pursuit” of its objectives in the region.