The current economic relations between the Government of Ontario Province of Canada and Pakistan have room for improvement and there is a need to explore avenues for enhancing business-to-business ties between the two sides.
These views were expressed during a virtual meeting of Abdul Hameed, Consul General of Pakistan, Toronto, with Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister for Finance, and Kaleed Rasheed, Associate Minister of Digital Government, in the Provincial Government of Ontario.
Consul General Abdul Hameed pointed out that the Province of Ontario was the major contributor to Canada’s GDP and international trade but its share in Canada’s total exports to Pakistan was not reflective of it.
The Consul General briefed the ministers about the business-friendly policies and the incentives offered for foreign investors in Pakistan which had made tremendous progress in streamlining its business processes as reflected in the improvement of 46 places in its rating on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Index in 2020.
The Ministers appreciated the positive contribution of Pakistani Canadians to the Canadian social fabric and economy. They showed a willingness to work for mutually agreed areas of cooperation that are beneficial for both sides.
Appreciating the leading position of Ontario in Information Technology, the Consul General highlighted the recent advancement in the IT sector of Pakistan and informed the Ministers that huge investments are being made in Pakistani start-ups by international Venture Funds, and the investments made in 2021 were more than the investments in last 6 years combined.
The Associate Minister also appreciated the progress made by the Pakistani IT sector in recent years and agreed that enhanced linkages between the IT sectors of the two countries were needed.