LAHORE – The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and Pakistan-Canada Business Chamber (PCBC) Wednesday inked a Memorandum of Understanding to work jointly for expansion of trade and economic ties between the two countries.

LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Khawar Rasheed signed the MOU on behalf of Lahore Chamber, while PCBC represented by its President Shafqat Bashir. Both the chambers would facilitate each other’s members and provide assistance to make bilateral trade activities a success.

LCCI and PCBC will also allow each other to display their respective logos for the purpose of solidarity in activities which are jointly facilitated by first requesting in writing. Khawaja Khawar Rasheed said that Pakistan desirous of increasing its bilateral trade and investment in Canada to boost the economy, as there were a number of sectors where a huge potential for cooperation existed.

He said that Livestock and Agriculture were the two areas in which cooperation could lead to a win-win situation for the two countries. He said Pakistan pursued a broad range of interests in the context of bilateral relations with Pakistan, including trade and investment, development cooperation, people-to-people links, regional security and defence, governance and human rights.

He said that Canada had always supported Pakistan on various policy issues and had been among the leading countries to assist Pakistan in its efforts to acquire sustainable economic growth.

He said that two-way trade statistics showed concern and hope both as the volume of trade done with Canada was minimal in terms of total trade of Canada and the ray of hope was the room for enhancing the current level of bilateral trade to a new level.

He said that a little sector-specific effort could jack-up trade volume to around US $ 2 billion in next few years. Khawaja Khawar Rasheed said that target could only be achieved by undertaking frequent activities like an exchange of businessman delegations, organizing single country exhibitions, participation in fairs and exhibitions, seminars and workshops etc. to ensure a continuous liaison and the role of Diplomatic Missions in either country could not be overemphasized.

He said that the dynamic entrepreneurial class of Pakistan was the best bet to enter into joint ventures to reap the benefits of the economies of scale by catering to a large regional market. He said that main sectors of opportunity for Canadian businesses and joint ventures include power and energy, agri-food-breeding stock, food processing equipment and technology, telecommunications/Information Technology, metals and minerals-equipment, services and technology.

PCBC President Shafqat Bashir said that Pakistan and Canada had huge scope to work together to further strengthen economic relations between the two countries as Pakistan was a great country having rich and unmatched resources. It was a great country and had a bright future, he said, asserting that private sectors of the two countries should promote trade, investment and economic partnership in the areas of mutual interests.