McGuinty Government To Build On Pakistan Business Mission
Successful Mission Opens New Trade, Investment Links
Premier Dalton McGuinty said Ontario's successful business mission to Pakistan has strengthened ties and will lead to increased trade and investment with one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
"I was proud to lead the talented members of our delegation on a business mission to a country boasting exciting economic growth," said Premier McGuinty. "We've forged many friendships and partnerships -- and we're going to build on our success by turning the goodwill we generated into jobs and opportunities for Ontarians."
Ontario's 33-member delegation included a large contingent from Ontario's information and communications technology sector -- the fastest-growing sector of Pakistan's economy. Sandra Pupatello, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Harinder Takhar, Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, MPP for Etobicoke North were also part of the delegation.
The five-day mission to Pakistan was the first ever led by an Ontario Premier. Highlights of the mission included:
- Meetings with top government officials including the Chair of Pakistan's Senate, Mohammedmian Soomro; the Chief Minister of Punjab, Chaudhary Pervez Elahi; Minister of Foreign Affairs Mian Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri; and Minister of Interior Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao
- Networking with entrepreneurs at the Canada-Pakistan Business Council ICT Show
- Speaking to students at the prestigious Lahore University of Management Sciences.
During the mission, six Canadian companies signed agreements with Pakistan businesses, including:
- PharmEng International's joint venture with Maplepharma to provide international regulatory compliance services in the pharmaceutical, biotech, natural health and medical device sectors.
- Organix IT announced the signing of a $30 million US contract with Si3 to deploy and integrate world-class security applications.
- CM Inc. and Descon Information Systems Pvt. announced an agreement to develop business solutions based on the Microsoft.net platform for the global market.
- TenXc Wireless and Coherent Designs will establish a Development Centre in Pakistan to accelerate the availability of next-generation broadband wireless systems.
- Research in Motion (RIM) announced an alliance with Inov8 Ltd. to produce third-party applications for RIM's BlackBerry devices.
- Pathway Group and Si3 agreed to work together to promote ICT sales and marketing for Si3 in Canada.
"Ontario has the products, services and expertise Pakistan's growing economy needs -- in ICT, research and innovation, infrastructure, energy, agri-business and education," said Pupatello. "We've made great progress in forging partnerships in Pakistan and we're eager to get to work strengthening those relationships and expanding our economic ties."
"The talented delegates who took part in this mission showed why Ontario is one of the best places in the world to do business," said Takhar. "We're going to continue to connect Ontario's innovative companies and talented workers with all of the exciting opportunities in Pakistan."
"Ontario's Pakistani-Canadian population, which is more than 100,000 strong, gives us a special connection to Pakistan," said Qaadri, the first Pakistani-Canadian MPP in Ontario's history. "We were warmly received everywhere we went -- and I know we'll strengthen and expand on the friendships and partnerships we made."
"Ontario has what it takes to compete and win in today's hyper-competitive global economy -- a highly-skilled workforce, a culture of innovation and a diverse people who can speak every language and embrace every market," said Premier McGuinty. "We're going to keep telling Ontario's story to potential investors in Pakistan -- and around the world -- to ensure Ontario remains the place to be for years to come."