Canada – Initiative that protects Morocco’s argan forests and supports women’s economic empowerment

November 9, 2021 – Members of the media are invited to make use of a package of videos, images and quotes on a Canada-funded project that protects argan forests in Morocco.

November 9, 2021 – Members of the media are invited to make use of a package of videos, images and quotes on a Canada-funded project that protects argan forests in Morocco. 

Mélissa Harvey, an entrepreneur based in Montreal, co-founded Zorah Biocosmétiques 15 years ago when she travelled to Morocco and met with Berber women’s cooperatives that produce argan oil. Canadian cosmetics companies such as Zorah Biocosmétiques import about 10 tonnes of argan oil from Morocco annually, which is about the weight of 50,000 hockey pucks. The oil largely comes from cooperatives such as those involved in a project supported by Canada’s climate financing program. 

This project, part of Canada’s contribution to the Green Climate Fund, is focused on planting and preserving argan orchards to take pressure off argan forests. The project not only ensures climate change mitigation and adaptation, it also fosters women’s cooperatives, providing women with sustainable incomes and improving their social standing.

Some 20 percent of the surface area of argan forests has been lost over the last decade, with 500 to 600 hectares of the trees disappearing each year due to urbanization—an area larger than Stanley Park in Vancouver. The forests are also threatened due to the impact of climate change on its ability to regenerate.


This content package includes video interviews, quotes, B-roll and images from the project in Morocco and from Zorah Biocosmétiques in Montreal. The content is for non-commercial use only. 

To access the full package, media may contact: Media Relations Office

Initiative to Enhance Cooperation of China and Central Asian Countries Concludes

The 8th China-Central Asia Cooperation Forum was concluded in Lanzhou, capital of Northwest China’s Gansu Province on October 17, and a joint initiative was released, aiming at more profound and practical openness and cooperation among participators.
With “Strengthen Solidarity and Cooperation for Building a Community of Security and Development” as its theme, the forum was co-hosted by the Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Committee of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the People’s Government of Gansu Province.

The Forum included four sub-forums covering topics including “China-Central Asia cooperation on China’s BDS” and “green development.” A themed exhibit on China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), which can provide customized services according to the needs of different countries and industries, was also held during the event.

Representatives from China and Central Asian countries including Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as international organizations, attended the forum online and in person.

Secretary-General of the SCO Vladimir Norov said the China-Central Asia Cooperation Forum is an authoritative platform for extensive exchanges between China and Central Asian countries. It helps strengthen political interaction, and deepens the relationship between all parties in ensuring regional security, and in responding to current challenges and threats. It also promotes a mutually beneficial cooperation, especially with regards to economy and trade.

“Under these conditions, cooperation in the health sector remains a priority. We propose to put environmental protection at the top of the agenda. We have actively participated in the development of the global agenda for sustainable development until 2030, and intend to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060,” said Alikhan Smailov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan.

Tajikistan’s ambassador to China Saidzoda Zohir pointed out that despite the various challenges of the new era, China’s economy continues to grow, and this will have a positive impact on the joint construction of a healthy, green and digital Silk Road. The volume of Chinese investment and bilateral trade with Central Asian countries has been growing steadily for two decades in a row.

The volume of accumulated direct Chinese investments in five countries of the region amounted to about $15 billion in 2020. “A new stage in the advancement of the Belt and Road may be the alignment “point” of China’s development programs with the national strategies of the Central Asian countries,” Saidzoda Zohir added.

In a first of its kind initiative, PM to interact with Heads of Indian Missions abroad and stakeholders of the trade & commerce sector on 6th August

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will interact with Heads of Indian Missions abroad along with stakeholders of the trade & commerce sector of the country on 6 August, 2021 at 6 PM, via video conferencing. The event will mark a clarion call by the Prime Minister for ‘Local Goes Global – Make in India for the World’.

Exports have a huge employment generation potential, especially for MSMEs and high labour-intensive sectors, with a cascading effect on the manufacturing sector and the overall economy. The purpose of the interaction is to provide a focussed thrust to leverage and expand India’s export and its share in global trade.

The interaction aims to energise all stakeholders towards expanding our export potential and utilizing the local capabilities to fulfil the global demand.

Union Commerce Minister and External Affairs Minister will also be present during the interaction. The interaction will also witness participation of Secretaries of more than twenty departments, state government officials, members of Export Promotion Councils and Chambers of Commerce.



(Release ID: 1742978)
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Make in India Initiative

Make in India initiative was launched by the Government on September 25, 2014 with the objective of facilitating investment, fostering innovation, building the best in class manufacturing infrastructure, making it easy to do business and enhancing skill development.  The initiative is further aimed at creating a conducive environment for investment, modern and efficient infrastructure, opening up new sectors for foreign investment and forging a partnership between government and industry through positive mind-set. 

‘Make in India’ initiative in defence sector is implemented through various policy initiatives which promotes indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence items. These initiatives, inter-alia, include priority to procurement of capital items from domestic sources under Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020; notification of ‘Negative list’ of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them; simplification of Industrial licensing process; liberalization of FDI policy; simplification of Make Procedure; launch of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) scheme; and implementation of “Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India), Order 2017. 

In the last three financial years i.e. from 2017-18 to 2019-2020, Government has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) to 123 Defence proposals, worth Rs. 169,750 Crore approximately, under the various categories of Capital Acquisition, which promotes domestic manufacturing as per the Defence Acquisition Procedure. 

Many significant projects including 155mm Artillery Gun system ‘Dhanush’, Bridge Laying Tank, Thermal Imaging Sight Mark-II for T-72 tank, Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’, ‘Akash’ Surface to Air Missile system, Attack Submarine ‘INS Kalvari’, ‘INS Chennai’, Arjun Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle, Medium Bullet Proof vehicle etc, have been produced in the country under ‘Make in India’ of the Government in the last few years. 

Based on the Authorisation/License issued by Department of Defence Production and actual exports done by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) & Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs), some of major items exported in the past few years are Fast Patrol Vessels, Coastal Surveillance System (CSS), Light Weight Torpedoes, Light Weight Torpedo  Launcher and Parts, Do-228 Aircraft,  Wheeled  Infantry  Carrier, Light Specialist Vehicle, Mine Protected Vehicle, Passive Night Sights, Battle Field Surveillance Radar Extended Range, Integrated Anti-Submarine Warfare, Advanced Weapons Simulator, Personal Protective items, 155mm Artillery Gun Ammunition, Small Arms and Ammunitions, Weapon locating Radars, Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF) –Interrogator etc. Considering the strategic sensitivity of the matter, in the interest of national security, the country-wise details of exports cannot be divulged.  

The contracts for various capital acquisition requirements of the Government in the Defence Sector are awarded to domestic, public & private sector companies including those situated in State of Tamil Nadu, as per the extant provisions prescribed in Defence Acquisition Procedure. In addition, the OFB & DPSUs  place orders on Indian vendors including those situated in Tamil Nadu for supply of various items, components etc. as per their requirements.  A decision has been taken to set up a Defence Industrial Corridor in the State of Tamil Nadu with 5 nodes at Chennai, Coimbatore, Hosur, Salem and Tiruchirappalli to develop defence manufacturing ecosystem and promote indigenous manufacturing. 

This information was tabled in a written reply by Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Shripad Naik to a question asked by Dr Kalanidhi Veeraswamy in Lok Sabha today.


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