ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Canada have agreed to hold joint working group meetings in Islamabad during March to remove hurdles in enhancing bilateral trade and to develop partnership in trade, agriculture and investment sectors.
The decision was taken during a meeting between Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Pervaiz Malik and Canada’s International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne as well as Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen in Ottawa, a statement said on Tuesday.
The minister was invited to Canada for holding trade dialogues to enhance cooperation in the areas of mutual interest.
Pervaiz Malik said Pakistan has laid the foundation of sustained economic growth and macroeconomic stability with prudent economic policies.
“It offers attractive trade and investment opportunities to Canadian investors and, on reciprocal basis, seeks greater market access for its products,” the minister said.
Under the World Trade Organisation, Pakistan was seeking a level playing field for exporting goods to the Canadian market, and the travel advisory for Pakistan and visa restrictions on Pakistani businessmen were hampering bilateral trade, the minister added.
He urged for immediate removal of these irritants to enhance bilateral trade volume.
The minister added that Pakistan’s investment policy, characterised by liberalisation, de-regulation and privatisation, was one of the most liberal in the region and provided a conducive environment for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
The minister said there have been investments in automobile, telecom, manufacturing and tourism industry in Pakistan as well.
He said with over 200 million consumers and an increasing middle class, Pakistan was a promising market for Canadian goods, services and investment.