New High Commissioner To Pakistan Seeks Inputs From Community
Toronto: The Canada-Pakistan Business Council hosted a lunch at the Bayview Golf and Country Club on September 13th in honour of Greg Giokas who will be taking charge as Canadian High Commissioner to Pakistan in Islamabad in October. Thirty prominent CPBC members, sponsors, directors, advisors and guests including Senator Salma Ataullah Jan and Mr. Akbar Adil Shah of Pakistan Consulate graced the occasion with their presence. This was an exclusive luncheon to introduce some of the key businessmen and executives with business interest both in Canada and Pakistan.
President Andy Merchant introduced Mr. Giokas who spoke briefly about his background and his service in various capacities with DFAIT including his role as Director General, South Asia. He said he was looking forward to start his new assignment in Pakistan in October and was looking forward to working with CPBC and extended his full cooperation. Since Mr. Giokas has never worked in Pakistan, he told the attendees that he was open for suggestion. The floor was then opened for discussion. Former Ambassador, Naeem Hasan, an advisor to CPBC mentioned his role as Secretary General of SAARC and suggested that Canada should be looking more towards the Region as both India and Pakistan will be working closely on trade. He further emphasized the need for vocational training where Canada could also play a major role. He said that if business is to grow Pakistan will need skilled workforce. Mr. Mukhtar Sumar suggested that Canada should come up with a more friendly policy for the visas of the businessmen wanting to visit and invest in Canada. Mrs. Faiza Batta also an advisor to CPBC, and thirty years of experience with the World Bank, suggested that Canada should be a signing party to Foreign Investment Protection Agreement with Pakistan and must encourage Canadian businessmen to play significant roles in areas where Canadian expertise lie. Other discussions took place regarding CIDA which is more geared towards women and social developments. However, CPBC is of the opinion that it is the economic stability which will bring political and social stability and not vice versa and hence CIDA should be working closely to support business activities. Finally, chairman Bryon Wilfert gave the vote of thanks and on behalf of CPBC presented Mr. Giokas with a book “Alive and Well in Pakistan” written by the American author Mr. Ethan Casey.
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