Karachi - Canada is eager to boost trade ties with Pakistan.  This was stated by the Political and Trade Counsellor of Canadian High Commission, Denis Chouinard.

He was talking to the acting president of KCCI, Muffasar A. Malik, here on Saturday.

Denis said that the Canadian High Commission and the KCCI continue to enjoy strong ties which not only help in information sharing but also support in further strengthening trade relations between the two countries.

He was of the view that Canada is eager to boost trade ties with Pakistan and various measures have been adopted for wooing foreign investments.

Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Idrees, Trade Commissioner of Canadian Commercial Office, Consulate of Canada, Ather M. Khan, former president KCCI, Majyd Aziz, and other Managing Committee members including Agha Shahab, Zafar Saeed Baghpatee, Durr-e-Shahwar Nisar, Shahid Jahangir and others were also present on the occasion.  Denis Chouinard further said that Pakistani and Canadian investors could invest and undertake joint ventures in different sectors particularly mining, medical, engineering, information technology and education sectors.

“We want to create linkages between business communities of both countries,” he added. Denis Chouinard mentioned that although some reduction in trade volume between the two countries was seen last year however the situation is improving and the Canadian government is keen to do more in this regard, he added.

He said that around two million people from this region were living in Canada, of which one million are from India and 300,000 from Pakistan whereas the rest of 700,000 are from neighboring countries including Sri Lanka and Bangladesh etc.

Canadians of Pakistani origin are contributing to the economy and enriching the multicultural fabric of Canada.  To a query, he informed that three visa application centers have been established in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore in order to facilitate the visa issuance process and provide hassle-free service to Pakistanis intending to visit Canada.

Speaking on the occasion, acting president KCCI, Muffasar A.  Malik, said that KCCI has always enjoyed a very close and constructive relationship with Canadian High Commission, besides remaining vibrant and step-ahead in strengthening trade ties and exploring new bilateral trade prospects with Canada.

In this regard, KCCI has always advocated a slogan ‘We want Trade not Aid” he said and stressed upon the need of minimising trade barriers between the two countries.

He said that KCCI has also raised voice for technology transfers and increase in investments because the chamber believes that bolstering bilateral ties and economic activities between the two countries could help Pakistan prosper on a sustainable basis. 

Muffasar Malik also stressed the need to exchange more trade delegations, individual visits of businessmen and officials, holding single-country exhibitions in each other’s country coupled with joint ventures and better travelling facilities, which would lead to a rapid expansion in bilateral trade and investments.  He informed that trade volume between the two countries was recorded at $ 379 million in 2012-13 whereas Pakistan’s exports to Canada were $ 228 million against $ 225.80 million in 2011-12 and imports from Canada totaled $ 151 million in 2012-13 against $ 365.10 million in 2011-12.

‘The balance of trade has remained in favour of Canada from 2006 until 2012. However, during 2012-13, a drastic reduction in Pakistan’s import from Canada was observed which made the balance of trade favorable for Pakistan. This steep reduction during 2013 was mainly driven by decline in import of oil seeds, dried vegetables and coal’, he added.