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Cablegate: Toronto Diaspora Series: An Influential Pakistani-Canadian

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TORONTO 000239

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL SCUL KISL PK CA

SUBJECT: Toronto Diaspora Series: An Influential Pakistani-Canadian
Community

REF: (A) Toronto 93 (B) Toronto 200

TORONTO 00000239 001.2 OF 002


1. (U) SUMMARY: In a reception held in his honor, the new Pakistani
CG in Toronto praised Toronto's Pakistani community and the
important role it has played in promoting trade with Canada and
development in Pakistan. The Canadian Pakistani Business Council
(CPBC), the organization that hosted the event, has spent more than
20 years engaging Canadian politicians and leaders to deepen ties
with Pakistan. In the past decade, the Council has led a number of
trade missions to Pakistan, and in 2007, facilitated the signing of
a cooperation agreement between the province of Ontario and the
Pakistani province of Punjab. The CPBC has contributed to the
Pakistani diaspora's success and influence in Canada. END SUMMARY.


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Praise for the Pakistani-Canadian Community
-------------------------------------------

2. (U) On September 24, the Canadian Pakistani Business Council
(CPBC) held a welcome reception for the new Pakistani Consul
General, Sahebzada A. Khan, who had arrived in Toronto in August.
The CPBC reception provided an opportunity for Mr. Khan to meet with
local business leaders and politicians, including Liberal Canadian
MP Jim Karygiannis, who was among the evening's special guests. In
his remarks to the audience, Mr. Khan noted the Pakistani-Canadian
community's influence and praised CPBC for the important role it has
played in promoting trade and economic growth in Pakistan through
events such as the one that evening.

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An Influential Pakistani-Canadian Organization
----------------------------------

3. (U) The Canadian Pakistani Business Council (CPBC) serves as a
de-facto chamber of commerce promoting trade between Canada and
Pakistan. The CBPC was founded in Montreal in 1983 by Pakistani
immigrants, and in 1996 it moved its headquarters to Toronto, which
is home to 75 per cent (76,000) of Canada's total Pakistani
immigrant population. Through its many events, the CPBC brings
together Canadian officials and business leaders with visiting
Pakistani officials, to promote investment opportunities in
Pakistan, ranging from oil refineries to five-star hotels. CPBC has
relationships with both government entities and business groups,
including the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Export
Development Canada, and has signed a MoU with the Canadian
Manufacturers and Exporters to promote bilateral trade between
Canada and Pakistan.

4. (U) In the past decade, the CPBC has organized a number of trade
missions to Pakistan. Most recently, in 2007, Ontario Premier
Dalton McGuinty, accompanied by Ontario's first Pakistani-Canadian
Member of Provincial Parliament, Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, traveled to
Pakistan and signed a joint statement with Punjab province. The
statement declared the two provinces' intention to "enhance,
exchange and expand cooperation."

5. (U) Despite these efforts, trade between Pakistan and Canada
remains quite small. In 2008, Pakistani imports and exports as a
percentage of the Canadian total equaled 0.06% and .12%,
respectively. Traditionally, the largest export industries from
Pakistan have been textiles and clothing. However, in his remarks
Pakistani CG Khan spoke of his government's goal of dramatically
increasing trade between Canada and Pakistan. He asked for CPBC's
help to steer investment towards new areas, including technology and
infrastructure.

6. (U) Comment: The CPBC has been actively building partnerships
and relationships with both Canadian and Pakistani politicians over
the years to create opportunities for Pakistani-Canadian businesses,
while also focusing on its stated goal of improving conditions in
Pakistan. The Council is just one of many Canadian-Pakistani
organizations that has facilitated the diaspora's integration and
influence in Canada. A wealth of networks and organizations has
made Pakistani-Canadians one of the more successful immigrant groups
in Canada.

7. (U) Comment Continued: While the older generation of
Pakistani-Canadians has felt an impetus to employ their connections
for the benefit of their home country, the next generation of
Pakistani-Canadians (born in Canada) may not feel as strong a fealty
to their ancestral home. Younger Pakistani-Canadians do feel
cultural ties to Pakistan however; they have an equally strong
cultural connection to Canada, and their day to day concerns and

TORONTO 00000239 002.2 OF 002


attention center on their lives in Canada.

JOHNSON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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