Pak-Canada ties: A Growing Economic Relationship

Canada has worked with Pakistan to facilitate enhanced business for small and medium sized Pakistan enterprises

Canada Day, formerly Dominion Day, is the National Day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act (Now called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three British colonies into a single country, called Canada, within the British Empire.

Under the Federal Holidays Act, Canada Day is observed on July 1 unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case July 2 is the statutory holiday, although celebratory events generally take place on July 1 even though it is not the legal holiday. If it falls on Saturday, the following Monday is generally also a day off for those businesses ordinarily closed on Saturdays.

Canada and Pakistan have enjoyed a long and fruitful economic partnership which has been assisted by a robust Pakistan-Canadian community of now approximately 300,000 living and working in Canada.

In keeping with past efforts when Canada’s world-class engineering companies developed the Warsak and Tarbella hydro-power dams and established a reliable national high-voltage transmission line network, recent Canadian engineering projects included a comprehensive study conducted for WAPDA which set a record for delivery of the study in six months from start to delivery. In addition to these infrastructure projects, Canada has assisted with the modernisation of Pakistan’s railways with signaling projects, the development of agriculture storage facilities and livestock breeding programmes and is deeply involved in the mining, oil and gas, health, education, information technology and telecommunications sectors.

Canada-Pakistan commercial relations have steadily evolved to focus on the application of Canadian technology in a variety of projects. Some recent examples include: a) the Canadian Chilean mining joint venture where, after more than three years of intensive work at the site (Reko Diq, EL-5), the first comprehensive mining feasibility study in Pakistan was completed and delivered in August 2010; b) The recent opening of a 130-bed medical facility in Karachi to study bio-equivalence and; c) several successful Canadian-Pakistan joint ventures covering advances in the information technology and service centre areas.

For the last several years, Canada has worked with Pakistan to facilitate enhanced business for small and medium sized Pakistan enterprises using events such as ‘single country’ exhibitions in Canada which have assisted enterprises using events such as ‘single country’ exhibitions in Canada which have assisted the export of Pakistan goods including leather, textile, rugs, gifts, etc to Canada. In keeping with these efforts to facilitate trade, Canada has recently expanded, on a permanent basis, the list of duty free items Pakistan can export to Canada; this list now covers 81 per cent of Pakistan’s export lines.

Pakistan is one of Canada’s 20 countries of focus for development assistance. Canada’s development partnership with Pakistan stretches back more than 60 years. Canada has contributed to tangible improvements in education, health and equality between women and men through long-standing development cooperation programme with Pakistan, while responding decisively to humanitarian crises that have affected the country.

The Government of Canada, including the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), provided more than $80 million in support of the response to the 2010 floods and over $40 million to IDPs in Khyber Pahktunkhwa and Fata.

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