KARACHI: Trade Commissioner of Canada Ms. Margaux McDonald has said that Canada, which has been on the path to recovery since 2014 `is open for trade therefore the business community of Karachi should focus on improving trade ties with Canadian business community.
Speaking at a meeting during her visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, she said that the economy of Canada is mainly dependent on Oil & Gas and Agriculture.
President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, Senior Vice President Khurram Shahzad, Vice President Asif Sheikh Javaid and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present at the meeting.
Margaux McDonald said, “The global scenario is changing as Brexit is happening while the agreement of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was renegotiated by US Administration to a new agreement called United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Under the unpredictable circumstances, Canada is looking forward to enhance trade relations with emerging Asian Economies like Pakistan, she added.
She further informed that Canada was pursuing a strategy of trade diversification. In the agriculture side, around 70 percent of Canadian exports to Pakistan comprise of Canola, even though there was a lot of potential to enhance trade in other items.
She said that Canada was also working on developing renewables Technologies and we can cooperate with Pakistan to evolve renewables technologies.
Speaking on the occasion, President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda said that the mutual relations between two countries have gradually shifted from Canada providing development aid to engaging in bilateral trade with Pakistan. “During 2016-17, trade volume of $892 million was recorded between the two countries, of which Pakistan’s exports to Canada were $316.60 million whereas imports from Canada totaled $575.41 million. In 2017, Pakistan was Canada’s 29th largest export destination for merchandise”, he added.
Underscoring the need to undertake joint ventures in Oil & Gas and power sectors, he opined that Oil & Gas was the top industry of Canada so Canadian companies can explore oil & gas exploration opportunities in Pakistan.
“Chickpeas and other agricultural products can also be imported from Canada”, he said adding that Canadian companies can invest in various sectors of Pakistan which includes mining, energy, agri-food, information and communication technologies, wood, and infrastructure sectors etc.
He further said that KCCI can enhance its linkages with Toronto and Montreal Chambers of Commerce in Canada by signing Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) which would certainly yield positive results by bringing the business communities more close to each other.
“Textile sector of Pakistan should look for opportunities in Canadian market of baby clothing as Canada has low import tariffs on baby clothes made from wool, cotton and synthetic fibers”, he advised.