High Commissioner of Canada Perry John Calderwood believes Pakistan and Canada have good potential to enhance cooperation in ICT, agriculture, energy and mining. Private sectors of both countries, views have to play the leading role in exploiting these opportunities.
Canada, he claimed was developed in oil and gas exploration and hydro and solar power and Pakistan could benefit from its expertise to improve its energy generation.
Addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICC&I) he said Pakistan was a potential country for business and investment but Canadian investors were avoiding to visit Pakistan due to security concerns. However, he said the security situation had improved and he was hopeful the Canadian investors would explore Pakistan.
Khalid Iqbal Malik, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Pakistan and Canada enjoyed old friendly relations as they established diplomatic relations in 1947. However, bilateral trade of just over $1 billion in 2015 did not reflect the real potential of both countries. He said that trade in limited items was the main reason of low trade volume and stressed that both countries should focus on trade diversification to improve bilateral trade figure. He said that trade balance was in favor of Canada and it should enhance its imports from Pakistan as many Pakistan products could meet the needs of Canadian customers at affordable cost. He emphasized that Canadian businessmen should benefit from Pakistan’s IT-enabled services in animation and gaming, retail banking and finance, mobile content, document management and call centers.
ICCI President said that many sectors of Pakistan’s economy including oil and gas, infrastructure, power generation, information and communication technologies, mining, agro business, wood sector and science and technology offered great investment potential to Canadian companies and they should explore those sectors.
He said Pakistan needed more oil rigs and mining equipment to exploit its vast natural resources and Canada should take benefit of these opportunities. He said Canadian investors should also explore joint ventures and investment in CPEC projects in Pakistan. He said that Pakistani exporters have to face cumbersome visa formalities for attending trade fairs in Canada while its travel advisories discouraged Canadian business people from visiting Pakistan.