Ontario stealing our thunder

This stuff just drives me nuts (you may have to sign up to read this article).

From the Toronto Star:

“For the better part of the last decade, we were missing in action,” said Economic Trade and Development Minister Joe Cordiano, who is to open a new trade office in the Indian capital of New Delhi today.

The 22-member delegation, led by Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, is on a 10-day mission to Mumbai and New Delhi to convince Indian companies to set up shop in the GTA. It is the team’s second trip to India. The first, last year, was more exploratory in nature, said McCallion, adding that while she experienced culture shock last year upon arriving in India, the transition was easier this time.

The team made one pitch last week in Mumbai at the annual 4-day meeting of NASSCOM (the National Association of Software and Service Companies), held at the swanky 5-star Grand Hyatt Hotel in North Mumbai, near the airport.

The association has 600 members including India’s largest high-tech firms such as Tata, Infosys and Satyam, all of which already have offices in Canada.

The alliance hired a consulting firm to target 40 small-to-medium-sized Indian software firms at the conference that are likely candidates to set up operations in Greater Toronto. They ended up meeting face to face with about half of those targeted.

Saurabh Mehta, owner of Avani Cimcon Technologies Ltd., a small software company in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, about 450 kilometres northwest of Mumbai, skipped the president’s speech to meet with GTMA members.

Mehta, whose $2 million (U.S.) company specializes in software solutions for the financial services sector such as banks and insurance companies, employs 100 people in Ahmedabad.
The company has served U.S. clients out of an office in Santa Rosa, Calif., since 1993, “but doing business in the U.S. is getting more and complicated due to security concerns after 9/11,” said Mehta, adding that the wait just to meet with U.S. embassy officials in New Delhi for an interview for a visa is six months.

He is considering either Vancouver or Toronto as near-shore locations from which to expand his business in the U.S. and was impressed with the GTMA’s showcase effort.

Vancouver or Toronto as near-shore locations.

Please tell me how Vancouver or Toronto can be positioned as near-shore locations. Near-shore locations are supposed to be communities close to large economic areas (like the US) but that offer more competitive costs (so that outsourcers can service the large market at a lower cost).

Atlantic Canada is the logical near-shore alternative in Canada but the larger urban areas have stole our thunder.

Good for them, shameful for us.