LAHORE -  Canadian High Commissioner Perry Calderwood has said that Pakistan and Canada have huge scope to work together to further strengthen economic relations between the two countries as Pakistan is a great country having rich and unmatched resources and has a bright future.

He was speaking at Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Wednesday. First Secretary Political Ms Jane Alkhouri, LCCI Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan and former LCCI president Mian Misbah-ur-Rehman also spoke on the occasion and threw light on the economic scenario of Pakistan.

Perry Calderwood said that private sectors of the two countries should promote trade, investment and economic partnership in the areas of mutual interests. He said that more areas for trade and investment should be identified as existing trade does not reflect the existing potential. He said that Canadian Embassy in Islamabad is ready to provide maximum cooperation to the Pakistani businessmen who want to do business with Canada.

Canadian High Commissioner said that Pakistan could take benefits from the expertise of Canada in the sectors of oil & gas, hydropower, alternative energy and transport sectors. He further said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has added to the importance of Pakistan.

LCCI Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan said that Canada and Pakistan enjoy cordial diplomatic and economic relations. Canada is one of the few countries which has been supporting and assisting Pakistan in its efforts to acquire sustainable economic growth.

He said that Pakistan is eager to maintain good working relations with Canadian High Commission to optimize the available options for greater trade and investment. We are looking up towards friends of Pakistan including Canada to help us in maintaining desirable level of Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan.

“It is encouraging to see that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Canada is following an increasing trend.

From 2013 to 2015, the volume of trade has gone up from dollar 356 million to dollar 657 million but the exports of Pakistan to Canada is continuously declining. In this period of time our exports dipped from dollar 234 million to dollar 216 million and in contrast to that imports jumped up from dollar 122 million to dollar 441 million”, the LCCI Vice President added.

He said that this scenario has shifted the positive balance of trade in favour of Canada which should be reverted back. For that matter, Pakistan need to have greater penetration in Canadian market. Pakistan’s main exports to Canada are bed linens, articles of apparels, hosiery items, articles of leather, plastics, rice, and cotton etc. Pakistan imports oil seeds, dried vegetables, articles of wood, iron & steel and mineral fuels etc.

He urged the High Commissioner of Canada to propose some steps that may contribute in increasing the trade volume and projecting Pakistan as a safe destination for foreign investment.

Former LCCI vice president Aftab Ahmed Vohra, Executive Committee members Zeeshan Khalil, Mian Zahid Javed, Zahid Maqsood Butt, Shahrukh Jamal, Tariq Mahmood, Shahid Nazeer and Tahir Manzoor Chaudhry, Muhammad Nawaz, Ali Husam Asghar and Tahmina Saeed Chaudhry were present on the occasion.