LAHORE - A high level Canadian delegation has agreed to increase cooperation with Punjab government in trade, education, health, skill development and other sectors.

During a meeting with Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif here yesterday, the provincial government and the foreign delegation agreed to continue contacts regularly in future for increasing bilateral cooperation.

Talking to the delegation led by Opposition Leader of Ontario Patrick Walter Brown, Shahbaz Sharif said both countries share friendly relations. However, there is a need of enhancing cooperation in education, health and skill development sectors as well as promoting trade and economic relations between both the countries, he stressed.

The Punjab government wants to further increase cooperation with Ontario in various sectors, he told the delegation, adding that millions of Pakistanis living in Canada are ambassadors of the country.

“Pakistan is facing terrorism, energy crisis and other challenges but the government is taking all possible steps for steering the country out of quagmire of problems. We have made tremendous progress in various sectors during last two and a half years.

“Significant progress has been made for eliminating terrorism, extremism and overcoming energy crisis and now Pakistan is a safe, developed and peaceful country as compared to 2013,” the CM added.

Mr Brown, speaking on the occasion, appreciated the government’s reforms programme in health, education and various sectors was marvelous.

The Canadian delegation included Senator Salma Ataullahjan, Canada-Pakistan Business Council president Samir Dossal and other senior officials.

Provincial Ministers Zakia Shahnawaz, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Ijaz Ahmad Mumtaz and senior officials were also present on the occasion.

Also on Wednesday, American Consul General Zachary Harkenrider met Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif at his office, where they discussed matters of mutual interest, promotion of bilateral relations and enhancing cooperation in various sectors.