CPBC hosted a luncheon to welcome Consul General Imran Ahmed Siddiqui. The event was attended by prominent members from the business community including MPP Dr. Shafiq Qadri, Senator Salma Ataullahjan, CEO TDAP Mr. S.M. Muneer, the founding member of CPBC Mr. Farooque Dawood, Vice President CPBC Jane Pilot, and Mr. Akhil Tyagi representing the Ministry of International Trade.
Samir Dossal, President of CPBC, began the event with his opening remarks, highlighting the achievements of CPBC and the recent milestone of the two countries’ merchandise trade exceeding $1 billion. Samir informed the Consul General of the planned trade mission to Pakistan by Dr. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, as a result of CPBC’s dialogue with the government of Ontario. Samir also highlighted the contributions of several individuals who have contributed to the success of CPBC including Mr. Akhil Tyagi, Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade, Mr. Badar Shamim, Chairman of Brampton Board of Trade, Mr. S.M. Muneer Chairman TDAP, and Mr. Imtiaz Seyid of RBC.
He acknowledged and appreciated the role of His Excellency Tariq Azim Khan in inviting and facilitating the visit of Hon. Patrick Brown, leader of the Ontario opposition, to Pakistan. The CPBC co-led delegation was hosted by Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, and was accorded excellent hospitality and protocol . Samir emphasised the ongoing support of Mr. S.M. Muneer in facilitating linkages with Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, in promoting trade between Canada and Pakistan.
CPBC and the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) signed an MOU during the visit to Pakistan delegation.
Samir also apprised the Consul General of the recent success of CPBC’s Annual Gala, which was attended by many senior government officials and businessmen, and helped highlight the Pakistani diaspora as a prominent and successful community in the region. At the Gala, Mr. John McCallum, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Refugees, also announced a visit to Pakistan in 2016. The highlight of the gala was the keynote speaker Mr. Michael Foley, CEO Telenor Pakistan, who mesmerised the audience by sharing his firsthand experience and highlighting the great opportunities in Pakistan.
Samir informed attendees of CPBC’s plans for a roundtable for the ICT sector in partnership with the Consulate and the government of Ontario. Samir was vocal in commending the efforts of previous Consul General Asghar Ali Golo in establishing and strengthening relationships here in Toronto.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s message for CPBC was also shared with all the attendees.
Mr. Ali Mirza, representing Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), assured the Consul General and CPBC of its continued support and offered to link and engage with other Chambers and Trade Organisations in Pakistan. CPBC has an ongoing working relationship with OCC.
At the event Dr. Shafiq Qadri commended the contributions of Samir and the others, and welcomed the incoming Consul General. Dr. Qadri acknowledged the role of S.M. Muneer for his support for the entire community in Toronto, helping them grow in their own right. He also reiterated his support to CPBC and its upcoming trade delegation to Pakistan. Senator Salma Ataullahjan also took the opportunity to highlight CPBC’s successes and commended the efforts of all those involved.
The new Consul General Mr. Imran Siddiqui spoke to the gathering and highlighted his role and priorities. He stated that the work of the Consulate would focus on improving the quality of consular services and assisting the High Commissioner in strengthening political and economic ties between Canada and Pakistan, inter alia, by facilitating relevant investment and commercial organizations in the two countries. He also spoke of the need to strengthen and promote educational and cultural links between the two countries and to project the real image of Pakistan in Canada. Mr. Siddiqui lauded the contribution of Pakistan community in Canada in this regard whom he called one of the most important links between Pakistan and Canada. He further highlighted Pakistan Government’s strong interest in promoting durable peace and security in the region and beyond so that the target of inclusive development could be achieved and poverty eradicated. He stressed the need to support Pakistan’s efforts to achieve all Social Development Goals in a time-bound fashion.
Mr. S M Muneer CEO, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan addressing the gathering acknowledged the exceptional role of CPBC and the Consulate in crossing the One Billion Dollar bilateral Trade.
Following the addresses, the floor was opened to the attendees for discussion where they welcomed Mr. Imran Siddiqui and shared their commitment to support the efforts of the Consulate as well as CPBC in strengthening ties between Canada and Pakistan on various fronts including trade, education and research. The event concluded with a networking event that brought together everyone to share their thoughts and plans going forward.