WINNIPEG, Canada: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Canada Tariq Azim Khan met with Manitoba Minister of Agriculture Ralph Eichler, Manitoba Minister of Education and Training Ian Wishart, and Manitoba Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade Blaine Pedersen in Winnipeg, the Capital of Canadian Manitoba province, on Saturday.
In his meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, the High Commissioner said that Pakistan’s economy is mainly based on agriculture, and there is huge potential for trade in lintels, oilseeds, lumber and heavy agricultural machinery.
Tariq Azim informed that Pakistan is an emerging economy and with over five percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate, it is a promising market for Canadian Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in agricultural sector. He invited the Agriculture Minister of Manitoba for a visit and exchange of expertise in research, development and innovation in the agriculture field.
The Manitoba Minister of Agriculture informed the High Commissioner that Manitoba has expertise in green storage and food processing technology for agricultural products and exchange of experts can work together for future cooperation. He agreed for working out a mechanism to enhance cooperation in agriculture sector.
In his meeting with Education Minister, the High Commissioner said that Pakistan has educational institutions of international ranking and there is an opportunity for increased integration with the educational institutions in Manitoba.
The High Commissioner informed that Manitoba is considered as one of the favourable provinces for international students from Pakistan. However, due to visa denials, increased tuition fees and lack of health insurance there is decrease in Pakistani students recently. He urged the Education Minister for necessary steps to encourage Pakistani students and for exchange of students and academics between Manitoba and Pakistan.
The Manitoba Minister of Education and Training agreed to look into the difficulties being faced by Pakistani students and in this regard necessary coordination with the federal government will be made for visa facilitation. He also agreed that links between Pakistani educational institutions and Manitoba Universities would be established for sharing of knowledge and research work.
In his meeting with Trade Minister, the High Commissioner said that Pakistan is a huge consumer market with booming middle class and it is a promising market for Canadian goods, services and investments. He informed that Pakistan has a huge potential in providing third party IT and financial services at low cost of labour hence providing a Win/Win preposition.
In addition, growing financial services market, especially after the amalgamation of stock exchange as the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) opens window for Canadian financial security companies to invest and partner with local financial services entrepreneurs, he added.
Blaine Pedersen informed the High Commissioner that Manitoba has expertise in mining and mineral exploration sector and exchange of trade delegations will provide an opportunity to explore non-traditional sectors of cooperation.