Pak­istan safe coun­try

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Canada is keen to fur­ther strengthen eco­nomic ties with Pak­istan as it is a safe coun­try and a good busi­ness desti­na­tion for for­eign­ers, said Leader of Op­po­si­tion and head of del­e­ga­tion of the leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly of On­tario, Canada, Pa­trick Brown.

Speak­ing at the La­hore Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (LCCI), Brown said Pak­istan had a huge po­ten­tial par­tic­u­larly for Cana­dian busi­ness­men and un­der­lined the need for close con­tacts be­tween the busi­ness­men through use of mod­ern tech­nol­ogy in or­der to de­velop net­works for shar­ing each other’s ex­pe­ri­ences.

He asked Pak­istani busi­ness­men to ini­ti­ate joint ven­tures with their Cana­dian coun­ter­parts.

The ex­ist­ing vol­ume of bi­lat­eral trade had no match with the po­ten­tial in the two coun­tries, he said, cit­ing the ex­per­tise of Canada in green tech­nol­ogy that could be of great ben­e­fit to Pak­istan.

The del­e­ga­tion leader an­nounced that he would share what he ex­pe­ri­enced in Pak­istan with fel­low par­lia­men­tar­i­ans and high­light the soft im­age of the coun­try.

Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, LCCI Pres­i­dent Sheikh Muham­mad Ar­shad voiced the hope that the Cana­dian del­e­ga­tion’s visit would help ex­plore such op­por­tu­ni­ties where peo­ple from both sides could jointly start busi­ness ven­tures.

He was of the view that Pak­istan was not only self-suf­fi­cient in the food sec­tor but also had the ca­pac­ity to sup­ply pro­cessed food. “Through big food chains we can sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease its de­mand,” he said. Ar­shad pointed out that de­vel­op­ment work on the $46bil­lion China-Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor was be­ing car­ried out at a good pace. “It is a big op­por­tu­nity with re­gard to the eco­nomic fu­ture of Pak­istan; we urge that Cana­dian in­vestors should also par­tic­i­pate in it.”

He also sug­gested that the in­vestors could play a role in en­cour­ag­ing rel­e­vant Cana­dian com­pa­nies to ini­ti­ate power projects in Pak­istan through hy­del, ther­mal, so­lar, bio and al­ter­na­tive re­sources.

In 2013, bi­lat­eral trade stood at $356 mil­lion, which rose to $582 mil­lion in 2014. The main rea­son, Ar­shad said, was a sub­stan­tial rise in im­ports from Canada, which went up from $122 mil­lion to $358 mil­lion. In con­trast, Pak­istan’s ex­ports to Canada fell from $234 mil­lion to $224 mil­lion.

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