Islamabad: Pakistan and Canada can get mutual benefit through cooperation in energy, fertilizer, education and agriculture fields and a little sector-specific effort could jack-up trade volume between both countries to around $2 billion in a short span of time.
These views were expressed by the Leader of Opposition and head of the delegation of Legislative Assembly of Ontario, Canada, Mr. Patrick Brown while speaking at the meeting with All Pakistan Business Forum.
Mr. Patrick Brown pointed out that there were around 350,000 Pakistan origin Canadians in Ontario and now the third and fourth generation were taking their place as productive members of society in a wide variety of professions, businesses and vocations. Many such Canadians feel strongly about contributing to the betterment of the people of Pakistan. This group is also a natural bridge in promoting commerce and trade between the two countries.
He identified several areas including power, fertilizer, education and the agriculture sector for cooperation. With consistent efforts these areas could attract investment and technical know-how from Canada to Pakistan while Canadian business could benefit significantly from a large and growing middle class of consumers in Pakistan.
Among others, the delegation was including Ms. Salma Ataullah Jan (Canadian Senator of Pakistani origin), President of Canada Pakistan Business Council (CPBC) Mr. Samir Dossal and Acting High Commissioner Mr. Andrew Turner.
On this occasion, All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) and Canada-Pakistan Business Council agreed to enhance trade and investment in Pakistan through joint ventures.
Highlighting the importance of cooperation, APBF President Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi observed that there were a number of sectors that had a huge potential for cooperation, adding livestock and agriculture were the two areas in which cooperation could benefit both countries.
Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi said that the visit of Canadian delegation would help explore such business opportunities where people from both the countries could jointly start business ventures.
He said that Pakistan is not only self sufficient in food sector but also has the capacity to supply processed food.
He said that APBF and Canada-Pakistan Business Council (CPBC) cooperation will be a landmark in developing trade and economic ties between Pakistan and Canada. It will have an effect of direct investment on project-to-project basis and to enhance market access for Pakistani goods to the Canadian market.
Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi said the target could only be achieved by undertaking frequent activities like exchange of business delegations, organizing single-country exhibitions, seminars and workshops.
He said the main sectors of opportunity for Canadian businessmen and joint ventures included in sector of power and energy, agriculture food-breeding stock, food processing equipment and technology, telecommunication/information technology, metals and minerals equipment, services and technology.
President of Canada Pakistan Business Council (CPBC) Mr. Samir Dossal said that Canada pursued a wide range of interests in bilateral relations with Pakistan, including trade and investment, development cooperation, people-to-people links and governance.
He said bilateral trade statistics of Pakistan and Canada showed both concern and hope as the volume of trade with Canada was minimal in terms of its total trade but there was room for enhancing the current level of trade and relation.
He said that Pakistan is a safe country and good business destination for the foreigners. Canada highly values its relations with Pakistan and keen to further strengthening its economic ties with this country that is an important destination of the region.