Seminar: Sharing Experiences, Exploring avenues of cooperation in the Infrastructure development and power generation sectors in Pakistan
Organized by: Canada Pakistan Business Council (CPBC)
Event date: September 7, 2017
Venue: Ontario Investment & Trade Centre, Toronto
Key Participants: Mr. Khalid Mansoor – CEO Hubco / President OICCI Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry Pakistan, Mr. Akhil Tyagi – Area Director of the Trade Branch of Ministry of International Trade, Government of Ontario, Mr. Perry John Calderwood – High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan, Mr. Imran Siddiqui – Consul General of Pakistan in Toronto, Dr. Shafiq Qaadri – MPP Etobicoke North, Ms. Wendy Cukier – Director Diversity Institute Ryerson University, Mr. Roy Fergussan of Chantler Packages, Mr. Brad BUTT, of Mississauga Board of Trade, Mr. Badar Shamim representing Brampton Board of Trade, Representatives of FPCCI, Business People etc.
Mr. Akhil Tyagi:
Mr. Akhil Tyagi opened the seminar by introducing himself and welcoming all the distinguished guests. He gave a brief of his Ministry’s role in capacity development, providing help in information dissemination, and establishing connections among relevant partners. Mr. Tyagi also mentioned that the Ministry leads business delegations to certain countries and help bridge trade and business gaps between Canadian and those countries. He welcomed the Mr. Khalid Mansoor, CEO Hubco & President OICCI and Excellency Perry Calderwood to the session visiting from Pakistan.
Mr. Tyagi thanked the participants for their presence at the event and invited Mr. Samir Dossal – President CPBC to the podium.
Mr. Samir Dossal:
Mr. Dossal thanked the guests for their presence at the seminar and appreciated the continuous support extended by Mr. Akhil Tyagi. He also mentioned that it is due to Mr. Tyagi’s support that CPBC has been able to connect with the Government of Ontario at various levels.
Mr. Dossal spoke about the support extended by H.E. Mr. Perry John Calderwood – High Commissioner of Canada in Pakistan for business developments and initiatives between Canada and Pakistan. He highlighted that due to the efforts of H.E. Mr. Calderwood and the Consulate General of Pakistan in Toronto, the trade between the two countries has exceeded $1.4 billion.
Mr. Dossal thanked Mr. Imran Siddiqui – Consul General of Pakistan in Toronto, Mr. Roy Ferguson of Chantler Packages, Mr. Brad Butt of MBOT, and representatives of FPCCI for their presence and their contributions towards the enhancement of bilateral relations. He further mentioned that he is scheduled to meet with the business communities during his two weeks visit to Pakistan, where he will encourage them for taking Canadian market as a lucrative business avenue. Mr. Dossal also acknowledged the role of HE Tariq Azim Khan, Pakistan High Commissioner in introducing Canadian Solar Companies to Pakistan.
Mr. Dossal then invited Mr. Imran Siddiqui – Consul General of Pakistan in Toronto to speak at the seminar.
Mr. Imran Siddiqui – Consul General of Pakistan in Toronto:
Mr. Siddiqui welcomed Mr. Khalid Mansoor and the distinguished guests and spoke about the benefit s of economic development. He mentioned that though $1.4 billion trade between Canada – Pakistan is not satisfactory and that there is an urgent need of working on building connections and establishing communication platforms. He further mentioned that the Consulate General of Pakistan has taken initiatives on innovation, science, and technology and is working towards useful collaborations between Pakistan and Canada in research and development; an initiative supported by CPBC.
Emphasising on the growth prospects, he highlighted that Pakistan is an emerging market and has great potentials, which is the reason that China has made over $50 billion investments recently under CPEC. He further stated that CPBC can play its productive role in selling Pakistan’s case to the Canadian partners for improving trade relations in science, technology, and innovation.
Mr. Siddiqui re-iterated his full support and assured that the consulate general will give briefings to all those who are interested in trade with Pakistan.
He then thanked the participants of the seminar.
Mr. Samir Dossal thanked the Consul General and mentioned that such sessions and interactions will lead to positive developments towards improved trade and development between the two countries. He then invited Mr. Khalid Mansoor to the podium.
Mr. Khalid Mansoor – CEO Hubco / President OICCI Pakistan:
Mr. Mansoor thanked Mr. Samir Dossal and Mr. Akhil Tyagi for taking the initiative and giving him the opportunity to speak at the occasion. He gave an overview of the growing economic conditions of Pakistan for 2017-18, spoke on the country’s demography, and highlighted the three main contributors to the economy i.e. services (60%), agriculture (20%) and industry (20%) in Pakistan. Following are the key highlights of his detailed talk.
Established in 1860, OICCI Karachi is the oldest chamber of commerce in South Asia, which also has the honor of being the only chamber visited by Mr. Jinnah, the Founder of Pakistan. OICCI is the representative body of 193 foreign investors from 35 countries, employing over a million human resources and is the largest chamber in terms of the contribution to the economy. The chamber members account for to one-third of the total tax collected in the country.
OICCI and CPBC in principal have agreed to collaborate to explore and research on joint business opportunities in Canada and Pakistan and will work towards a structured Understanding subject to approvals between respective Management Committees.
During the talk he highlighted the great energy potentials in Pakistan especially through coal, wind, and solar-based energy sources. Furthermore, Pakistan’s coal reserves are the cleanest in comparison with other coal-producing countries, whereas the current energy production through coal is ZERO. Keeping in view the huge coal reserves in the country and its low cost of energy production, the energy sector in the next couple of years, will not only move to this important source of energy but will also reach the potential of producing surplus energy.
Speaking of China Pakistan Economic Cooperation (CPEC), Mr. Mansoor mentioned that the CPEC is the game changer; gave details about the investments potentials in energy, infrastructure, and technology. Links being established from Gawadar seaport to Kashghar, covering all the major cities and establishment of 9 industrial and economic zones with fiscal incentives offered. Furthermore, the lucrative incentives offered by the government to industrialist were of great importance.
Thar coal is considered as the 7th largest in the world, which is currently 10% ahead of the project schedule. Phase I of the project is expected to be adding 2 x 330-megawatt plants by 2019, which will be further expanded to 4 more projects of 330 megawatts each in Phase II by 2020; the project is expected to be adding 4000 megawatts by the year 2025 to the national grid.
On the political arena, Pakistan has stabilized with stronger political set up; the present government will be the third consecutive 5 years term of political set up in the country. The security situation has improved to a great extent. Paramilitary forces have taken a front role in controlling the security situation and due to their concrete steps taken, more than 80% of foreigners are now comfortable coming over to Pakistan. Due to the strict measures taken by the Army and other law enforcement agencies, most of the board meetings of OICCI members are now held in the country especially in Karachi. It is also estimated that with the ongoing measures the GDP will soon grow up to 7%. The energy crises will be over soon and it is expected that by the year 2018, Pakistan will be adding 8000 – 9000 megawatts into the national grid.
SECP has remained very active due to which corporate governance has improved a lot. The tax system is being streamlined for which OICCI is also playing an important role. OICCI has formed a committee within itself which is closely monitoring the tax systems improvements. Based on the investment incentives offered by the government, Pakistan is considered as the most lucrative investment market in comparison with other regional countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Iran.
He reiterated that the current CO2 emission level of Pakistan is 163 million tons which is projected to reach to 236 million tons after the transformation of energy production from oil to coal. However, some of the high CO2 emission producing countries are, UK 448 million tons, India 2074 million tons, USA 5306 million tons, and China 9020 million tons.
The session ended with the Q&A session.
Mr. Samir Dossal thanked Mr. Khalid Mansoor for the detailed talk and invited the High Commissioner of Canada in Pakistan to speak on the occasion.
H.E. Mr. Perry John Calderwood spoke of his wonderful experiences in Pakistan and gave assurance that his office will do its best to improve the current business and trade situation with Pakistan. He acknowledged the growth of Trade exceeding $1.4 billion as a positive indicator in the right direction. He further mentioned that he has met with the business community in Pakistan and is overwhelmed to know of their interest in improving the trade and investment with Canada.
Speaking of the visa related issues, he assured that his office is doing its best to solve the problem and streamline it further. H.E. Mr. Perry assured that very soon visa related positive results will become visible and emphasised that his office is available for providing all-out support for improvement of trade and development between the two friendly countries. He thanked President Dossal and CPBC for their proactive role.
Mr. Samir Dossal thanked H.E. Mr, Perry for his support and cooperation and invited Mr. Shafiq Qadri, MPP Etobicoke – North to speak on the occasion.
Mr. Qadri thanked the H.C. of Canada in Pakistan and Mr. Khalid Mansoor for their contributions. Highlighted that the Canadian companies are setting up businesses in Pakistan, especially in Karachi. Furthermore, direct flights have increased between Canada and Pakistan which has further supplemented the trade efforts between the two countries. He Thanked Mr. Samir Dossal and assured his support and cooperation for CPBC.
Mr. Samir Dossal ended the seminar thanking the participants and acknowledged Mr. Akhil Tyagi for his support.