ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Canada’s bilateral relations have bright future prospects not only in the context of bilateral trade but also keeping in view the mutual benefits, which would be attained in agro research and development, said Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan.
In a meeting with Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan Wendy Gilmour on Wednesday, he said that the country’s trade of agricultural commodities has been influenced by sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures adopted by the developed countries. The procedural formalities like pest risk analysis and stringent conditions render trade difficult.
In such a situation, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research is making efforts to obtain maximum market access for agro-commodities, he explained.
He shared that Pakistan imports mostly pulses and canola seeds from Canada. “Last year, Pakistan imported 880,525 tons of oil seed and pulses, whereas the volume of Pakistan’s export to Canada remained 14,521.36 tons,” the minister recalled.
He outlined the need for bilateral trade, between the two nations, to be accelerated through harmonisation of SPS measures.
Speaking on the occasion, Gilmour added that Canada was eager to explore new areas of cooperation and the country believes in scientific rigour. “In fact, Canada is always ready to share information,” she said. She disclosed that canola was the major commodity which Pakistan imports from Canada and “Pakistan imports agro products worth $800 million from our country.”
The federal minister expressed desire for Canada to consider and proceed forward to open its market for Pakistani mangoes and rice, which are of exceptional quality. Currently, Canada imports these items from Mexico and Brazil. The Canadian ambassador agreed to consider the issue.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2019.