Canadians worried over protection of investment: HC

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KARACHI - High Commissioner of Canada Greg Giokas has said that Canada is supportive to Pakistan and sees it as a land of immense natural resources, potential and strength.


He was of the view that the world is also well aware about the potentials of Pakistan. Both countries maintain friendly political relations. He articulated that foreign investment was dropping in Pakistan. The concerns of Canadian investors are primarily transparency, legal protection of investment, predictability and security.

During his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he stated that the prime concern for Canadian investment is the legal protection of investment. He voiced that Canadian company previously involved in Reko-Diq project in exploring gold and copper deposits under contract with the government worked for years to prepare feasibility and invested $400 million is now going to International Arbitration which will likely be held in February next year.

He opined that in the International Arbitration there is a high likelihood that arbitration will go against Pakistan. He said that after court’s decision in Pakistan the company was stopped to operate. High Commissioner was of the view that the said company invested enormous time, efforts and investment in Reko-Diq. The federal and provincial governments conduct was not appropriate with the company, therefore, Canadian investors have concern on protection of investment.  High Commissioner stated that Canada can offer its expertise in agriculture and railways. The Canada Pacific Railway can tender for locomotives required by Pakistan Railway. He informed that the Canadian High Commission hosted a roundtable with the faculty of Faisalabad Agriculture University to explore possibilities of cooperation in agriculture, dairy and livestock.

He opined that regional trade is crucial to uplift economy and to explore market access in the countries worldwide, Pakistan has to achieve a quantum leap in regional trade. He appreciated smooth and peaceful transition of government through elections and was of the view that the new Government should accord priority to economic development and revise its policies as per their commitments. He apprised that Canada gave financial assistance of $20m for polio campaign, $170 million for educational reforms and $8 million to support electoral process in the recent elections.

Commenting on possibilities of Preferential or Free Trade Agreement between two countries, he stated that such arrangements cannot be possible in the absence of vibrant reciprocal trade. The recent negotiations on Pakistan-Canada Bilateral Foreign Investment Promotion & Protection Agreement (FIPA) were not much meaningful. Energy, infrastructure and transportation need deserving attention by the new govt.

To enhance two-way trade the business communities on both sides have to play their productive role, he concluded.

KCCI’s President Muhammad Haroon Agar urged the High Commissioner of Canada Greg Giokas to invite fresh Canadian investment in Pakistan as the country is the most promising land in the region for investment and many multi-national corporations are operating successfully and expanding their businesses across Pakistan and beyond.

Exchanging views with the Canadian High Commissioner who was accompanied by Behram D Avari, Honorary Consul General of Canada in Karachi he apprised that bilateral relations of Pakistan with Canada is based on development cooperation; people-to-people links; regional security and defence; governance and human rights; trade and investment.

Courtesy:   Nation

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