LAHORE - Member Canadian Parliament Brad Butt has urged the Pakistani businessmen to take advantage Canadian expertise in various fields of economy and join hands with their counterparts to increase the volume of two-way trade.

The Canadian parliamentarian was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday. LCCI President presented the Address of Welcome while former LCCI Vice President Saeeda Nazar, Executive Committee Member Mian Zahid Javaid Ahmad and Babar Mehmood Chaudhry and Rematullah Javaid also spoke on the occasion.

The Canadian Parliamentarian said that Canada was desirous of increasing its bilateral trade and investment in Pakistan to boost the economy. He said that there are a number of sectors where huge potential for cooperation exists.

Canada, he said, pursued a broad range of interests in the context of bilateral relations with Pakistan including trade and investment, development cooperation and people-to-people links. He said that Pakistani community living in Canada was playing a very positive and vibrant role for the economic well being therefore the Canadian people always willing to work with Pakistani people.

He said that he was on a fact-finding mission and would be reporting back to convince the Canadian businessmen about the available opportunities here in Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said that Canada has always supported Pakistan on various policy issues and has been among the leading countries to assist Pakistan in its efforts to acquire sustainable economic growth.

He said that two-way trade statistics show concern and hope both as the volume of trade done with Canada is minimal in terms of total trade of Canada and the ray of hope is the room for enhancing the current level of bilateral trade to a new level. He said that a little sector-specific effort can jack-up trade volume to around US$ 2 billion in next few years.

He said that the target can only be achieved by undertaking frequent activities like exchange of businessman delegations, organizing single country exhibitions, participation in fairs & exhibitions, seminars and workshops etc. to ensure a continuous liaison and the role of Diplomatic Missions in either country cannot be over emphasized.

He said that the dynamic entrepreneurial class of Pakistan is the best bet to enter into joint ventures to reap the benefits of the economies of scale by catering to a large regional market. He said that main sectors of opportunity for Canadian businesses and joint ventures include Power & energy, Agri-food-breeding stock, food processing equipment and technology, Telecommunications/Information Technology, Metals and minerals-equipment, services and technology.

The LCCI President said that the government was  trying hard to deal with energy crisis and simultaneously, all possible efforts are on to improve security or law & order situation. These ills have played key role in drying up Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan which has almost hit the bottom.

 “We direly need foreign investors to consider Pakistan for initiating mega projects particularly in energy infrastructure. Pakistan is pondering on importing electricity from its neighbouring countries. In this scenario, the return on investment can be the best as compared to other sectors of the economy.”