Media Contacts

Jamie Edwardson

Communications Director
Ministry of Finance
250 356-2821


Cultural connections – India and B.C.

B.C.’s connection to South Asia is undeniable, due in large part to the number of British Columbians of South Asian origin or descent. The strength of this cultural connection has fostered a unique and mutually-beneficial bond, and is resulting in strengthened ties, increased trade discussions, investment and cultural exchange.


  • Punjabi is the second most common mother tongue after English, and is the most common non-official language spoken in the province.
  • More than 5,000 people immigrated to B.C. from India in 2014, making it the province’s second-largest source country for immigration.


India is a key partner in the B.C. International Education Strategy.

  • In 2015, there were 12,105 students from India studying in B.C.
  • Between 2010 and 2015, there was a 277% increase in this number.
  • Approximately 100 partnership agreements exist between schools and institutions.
    • Opportunities exist in IT, engineering and life-sciences training; vocational education and training Universities R&D partnerships.

Tourism and Immigration

  • Air Canada’s new direct flight between Vancouver and Delhi makes it easy for the Vancouver Airport to receive steadily increasing arrivals from India.
  • In 2015, over 42,000 people from India travelled through B.C.
  • India was B.C.’s 10th-largest international market in terms of direct customs entries in 2015.
  • India was Canada’s eighth-largest market in 2014, representing an estimated 3% of Canada’s overseas tourist receipts.
  • India was the sixth-largest Asia/Pacific market for B.C., and remained Canada’s fourth-largest Asia/Pacific market since 2012.In 2015, India accounted for 6% of B.C.’s Asia/Pacific entries and 9.1% of Canada’s entries.


  • B.C. exports to India have jumped from $201 million in 2011 to $623 million in 2015, making India B.C.’s fifth-largest trading partner.
  • Top 5 B.C. exports to India: Copper Ores and Concentrates ($351m); Bituminous Coal ($172m); Semi-Chemical Wood Pulp ($24m); Newsprint ($17m); Lumber ($11m).

Total Exports:

2011: $210m

2012: $328m

2013: $472m

2014: $594m

2015: $623m