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Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen stand with Chief Minister of Punjab state Parkash Singh Badal, left, at the Virasat-e-Khalsa complex, the Sikh heritage museum, in Anandpur Sahib, in the northern Indian state of Punjab, Nov. 7, 2012.Kapil Sethi/The Associated Press

Stephen Harper is stepping up Canada's diplomatic representation in India's Silicon Valley, opening a consulate in the fast-growing southern city of Bangalore.

The prime minister made the announcement Thursday during a visit to India to spur slow-going talks to liberalize two-way commerce and investment.

The new consulate in Bangalore will be Canada's fourth in the south Asian country. Besides its high commission in New Delhi, Canada has trade offices in three cities – Hyderabad, Ahmadebad and Calcutta.

Mr. Harper said the Bangalore office will function as a hub for Canadian representation in southern India, offering consular, immigration and assistance for Canadian business.

The new consulate, previously a merely a trade office, is expected to open in the summer of 2013.