ISLAMABAD-“Canada is an import-oriented country and the business community of Pakistan has a good opportunity to tap this potential market for trade and exports. The Pakistani private sector can set up a base in Canada and capture the North American market.” This was said by Faisal Kakar, Deputy Head of Mission-designate to Canada while exchanging views with the business community during his visit to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI).

Faisal Kakar said that he could facilitate online B2B meetings between Pakistani and Canadian entrepreneurs to explore areas of mutual cooperation. 

He said that Pakistan can export many products to Canada including rice, textiles, IT and software, and others. 

He said that around 0.6 to 0.7 million people from the Pakistani community were living in Canada and some of them had been elected in the Canadian parliament. He said those parliamentarians could play an effective role in improving trade and economic ties between Pakistan and Canada. 

He assured that he would try to share information with ICCI about business opportunities for Pakistan in Canada so that the private sector could make efforts to take advantage of them.

Speaking at the occasion, Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Canada in 2020 was just around $1.11 billion, which was not according to the actual potential of both countries. 

He said that with better efforts, bilateral trade can be increased to 3-5 billion US dollars. 

He stressed that both countries should focus on developing strong business linkages between their private sectors to explore new areas of cooperation. 

He said that the Pakistani High Commission in Canada should explore the products that were in good demand in Canada and share such information with chambers of commerce & industry so that Pakistan’s private sector can capture better market share in Canada. 

He said that many sectors of Pakistan’s economy offer great opportunities for JVs and investment and stressed that the Pakistani diaspora in Canada should be motivated to invest in Pakistan.

Faad Waheed, Senior Vice President ICCI said that Pakistan and Canada were agro-based economies and had good potential to enhance cooperation in this sector.

Khalid Iqbal Malik Group Leader, Zubair Ahmed Malik, Zafar Bakhtawari, Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi, Raja Imtiaz, Khalid Chaudhry, Mehmood Ahmed Warraich and others were also spoke at the occasion and offered useful proposals to further improve bilateral trade ties between Pakistan and Canada.