OTTAWA - Commerce Minister Pervaiz Malik met with Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay here Wednesday to take a holistic view of agriculture sector cooperation between the two countries.

While appreciating Canada’s cooperation for construction of dams and irrigation system since 1960s, the commerce minister said that it is time for Canada to extend support in forestry, fishing, heavy agricultural machinery and other areas of agricultural cooperation. He said that Pakistan is an emerging economy and with over 5% GDP growth rate Pakistan is a promising market for Canadian FDI in agriculture sector. He said that the bulk of Canada’s imports to Pakistan are agro-based products and both the sides should exchange expertise in research, development and innovation in the agriculture field.

The Canadian minister for agriculture appreciated the economic progress Pakistan has made during the last five years and agreed to provide fresh impetus to the cooperation in agriculture field. He said that Canada would like to offer technical cooperation to Pakistan in all areas of agro based industry and to have robust interaction for exchange of high level delegations in order to remove the constraints and irritants related to fumigation issue. Instead of relying on ad hoc arrangements, both the sides agreed to have a permanent science based solution to the longstanding fumigation issue of agro-based Canadian exports to Pakistan, which are worth C$ 600 million annually.