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February 15, 2018

Canada keen to cooperate in agro-based industry


February 15, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Canadian government expressed interest in extending technical cooperation to Pakistan in all areas of agro-based industry.

Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay, in a meeting with Commerce Minister Pervaiz Malik, said Canada would like to have robust interaction for exchange of high level delegations in order to remove the constraints and irritants related to fumigation issue.

“The Canadian Minister for agriculture appreciated the economic progress Pakistan has made during the last five years and agreed to provide fresh impetus to the cooperation in agriculture field,” a statement from Ottawa said.

Instead of relying on ad hoc arrangements, both the sides agreed to have a permanent science-based solution to the longstanding fumigation issue of agro-based Canadian exports to Pakistan, which are worth Canadian $600 million annually.

The two sides discussed measures for agriculture sector cooperation between the two countries.

While appreciating Canada’s cooperation for construction of dams and irrigation system since 1960s, “the Commerce Minister said that it is time for Canada to extend support in forestry, fishing, heavy agricultural machinery and other areas of agricultural cooperation”.

“He (Malik) said that Pakistan is an emerging economy and with over 5 percent GDP growth rate Pakistan is a promising market for Canadian FDI (foreign direct investment) in agriculture sector,” the statement added. “… the bulk of Canada’s imports to Pakistan are agro-based products and both the sides should exchange expertise in research, development and innovation in the agriculture field.”

Canada’s exports to Pakistan fell 31 percent to C$764.4 million in 2017 over the preceding year, according to Canada’s official statistics. The key exports included oil seeds, oleaginous fruits, industrial or medicinal plants, straw and fodder and edible vegetables, certain roots and tubers, nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances, wood and articles of wood, and iron and steel.

Pakistan’s exports to the North American country rose 13 percent year-on-year to C$409.8 million 2017. Made-up textile articles and worn clothing, knitted or crocheted clothing and articles of apparel, woven clothing and articles of apparel, articles of leather and saddler, harness, travel goods and handbags were the major exports.

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