Building the momentum further on promoting bilateral trade between Canada and Pakistan, CPBC hosted a high level luncheon meeting today to honor Mr. Muneer Kamal who is visiting Canada for a few days. This meeting was held at the Richmond Hill Country Club and a select number of guests and officials were invited. Notables included MPP Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Government Services, Honorable Consul General of Pakistan Mr. Nafees Zakaria, Deputy Consul General Mr. Asghar Golo, CEO Brampton Boart of Trade Mr. Steve Sheils and Director Economic Development, City of Brampton Mr. Sohail Saeed and Mr. Imtiaz Seyid, Vice President, South Asian Markets at RBC. Other guests included CPBC Directors, Sponsors, members and representatives from TD, Scotia, Habib Canadian and National Bank

IMG_21082014_174144.{CPBC hosted lunch in honor of Mr Muneer Kamal, Chairman National Bank of Pakistan}

In his opening remarks, CPBC President Samir Dossal thanked all the participants for taking the time out and highlighted CPBC’s ongoing contribution in developing trade opportunities between Pakistan and Canada over the past 30 years. He briefed the audience about Premier Kathleen Wynn’s support at the Gala touched upon the plans to organise a high level Trade Mission to Pakistan in collaboration with the Premier’s Office. Samir will be traveling shortly to Pakistan and will be presenting at a high level strategic

conference in Islamabad. Following which he is expected to meet the Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and discuss his visit to CPBC’s 2014 Annual Gala as well as the timelines of trade delegations from Canada to Pakistan and vice versa. The tentative time frame for Canadian delegation is somewhere within the first half of 2014. On a separate note, CPBC has been working closely with OMAF (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food) and may collaborate on some interesting events related to business opportunities in Agriculture sector.

Followed by Samir, Steve Sheils spoke about the tremendous business opportunity for SMEs in both Brampton and Pakistan as a result of the MoU with CPBC. He stated that BBOT has a strong commitment for match-making between businesses from both sides, and innovation is a key focus in attaining sustainable growth in the long term. He thanked CPBC Vice President Jayne Pilot who is working closely with BBOT to help businesses understand the compliance and quality management systems. She is conducting training sessions which will be of great value to the SMEs who are getting ready for international trade.

The honorable MPP Shafiq Qaadri greeted Muneer Kamal on behalf of the Government of Ontario and Premier Kathleen Wynne and announced that the Premier has committed to take a trade delegation to South Asia which will include Pakistan.

Special guest Muneer Kamal thanked Samir Dossal for arranging such a wonderful gathering on a short notice, and highly applauded the great work which CPBC is doing to build business opportunities between Canada and Pakistan. Touching upon the positives, he praised the highest ever voter turnout in 2013 general elections and a smooth transition from one civilian government to another. He reiterated that the Karachi Stock Exchange was amongst the top performers this year with an increase of 40 %. He also appreciated the positive and pro-business mind-set of the new Govt. and their sincere efforts to improve relationships with India and other countries in the region.  The key areas for improvements are GDP growth rate, Foreign Exchange reserves and Power generation capability.  Solar energy is one major area of interest for Pakistan and Canadian companies must look into investing in Pakistan.

Last but not the least; Honorable Consul General Mr. Muhammad Nafees Zakaria appreciated CPBCs efforts in organising the trade delegation and organising this very useful meeting with Muneer Kamal. He also elaborated on the upcoming seminar that he is planning with the active support of CPBC. The unique feature of this seminar will be to provide participants with firsthand information by Canadian companies who are actively and successfully doing business in Pakistan. There was a general understanding that this was a good time to explore and establish business ventures in Pakistan. Mr. Zakaria emphasised that these efforts should continue in full force and the Consulate will offer its support at all times. He said Seminar is one of other steps that would prepare ground for high level exchanges and strengthening of bilateral relations.

CG also responded to the questions that followed.
The meeting concluded on a closing note by VP Jayne Pilot.

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Group photographs with invited guests

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