Strengthening Ties Between Ontario And Pakistan
Premier Dalton McGuinty led Ontario's business mission to Pakistan to attract investment and jobs to the province and to help link Ontarians with business opportunities in Pakistan.
Ontario's 33-member delegation included a large contingent from the information and communications technology sector -- the fastest growing area of Pakistan's economy.
The five-day mission featured 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.
Ontario and Punjab signed a joint declaration of their intention to "enhance, exchange and expand cooperation" between the two provinces. The agreement commits them to promote economic ties by exchanging information and delegations in the years ahead.
Delegates also had the opportunity to network with leaders from Pakistan's ICT sector at a seminar hosted by Research in Motion, and at the Canada-Pakistan Business Council ICT Show in Islamabad.
During the mission, six Canadian companies signed agreements with Pakistani businesses.
PharmEng International of Canada: The company has entered into a joint venture with Maplepharma to provide international regulatory compliance services in the pharmaceutical, biotech, natural health and medical device sectors.
Organix IT of Canada: The company has announced the signing of a $30 million US contract with Si3 to deploy and integrate world-class security applications. The company also entered into an MOU with Zindagi Trust to provide 10 per cent of the profits from the $30 million US contract to support education in Pakistan.
CM Inc. of Markham: The company has announced an agreement with Descon Information Systems Pvt. to develop business solutions based on the Microsoft.net platform for the global market.
TenXc Wireless of Ottawa: The company will establish a Development Center in Pakistan with Coherent Designs to accelerate the availability of next-generation broadband wireless systems.
Research in Motion (RIM) of Waterloo: The company will work with Inov8 Ltd. to produce third party applications for RIM's BlackBerry devices.
Pathway Group of Toronto: The company will work with Si3 to promote ICT sales and marketing for Si3 in Canada.
Ooober Inc. of Richmond Hill also announced that it is opening a software development centre in Islamabad that will focus on mobile applications and services. Working with mobile operators, local software houses and universities, Ooober plans to bring its expertise to help its businesses on both continents.
Ontario's mission to Pakistan also included visits to important historical and cultural sites such as the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort, Muhammad Iqbal's Tomb and the Faisal Mosque.