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The High Commissioner Tariq Azim Khan met with Mr. Ralph Eichler, Manitoba Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Ian Wishart, Manitoba Minister of Education and Training and Mr. Blaine Pedersen, Manitoba Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade, here today.

In his meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Ralph Eichler the High Commissioner said that Pakistan’s economy is mainly based on agriculture and there is huge potential for trade in lintels, oilseeds, lumber and heavy agricultural machinery. He informed that Pakistan is an emerging economy and with over 5% GDP growth rate, it is a promising market for Canadian FDI in agricultural sector. He invited the agriculture Minister of Manitoba for a visit and exchange of expertise in research, development and innovation in the agriculture field. The Minister informed the High Commissioner that Manitoba has expertise in green storage and food processing technology for agricultural products and exchange of experts can work together for future cooperation. He agreed for working out a mechanism to enhance cooperation in agriculture sector.

In his meeting with Education Minister, Mr. Ian Wishart the High Commissioner said that Pakistan has educational institutions of international ranking and there is an opportunity for increased integration with the educational institutions in Manitoba. He informed that Manitoba is considered as one of the favourable province for international students from Pakistan. However, due to visa denials, increased tuition fees and lack of health insurance there is decrease in Pakistani students recently. He urged the Education Minister for necessary steps to encourage Pakistani students and for exchange of students and academics between Manitoba and Pakistan. The Minister agreed to look into the difficulties being faced by Pakistani students and in this regard necessary coordination with the federal government will be made for visa facilitation. He also agreed that links between Pakistani educational institutions and Manitoba Universities would be established for sharing of knowledge and research work.

In his meeting with Trade Minister, Mr. Blaine Pedersen the High Commissioner said that Pakistan is a huge consumer market with booming middle class and it is a promising market for Canadian goods, services and investments. He informed that Pakistan has a huge potential in providing third party IT and financial services at low cost of labour hence providing a Win/Win preposition. In addition, growing financial services market, especially after the amalgamation of stock exchange as the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) opens window for Canadian financial security companies to invest and partner with local financial services entrepreneurs, he added. The Minister informed the High Commissioner that Manitoba has expertise in mining and mineral exploration sector and exchange of trade delegations will provide an opportunity to explore non-traditional sectors of cooperation.

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