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Canada values promotion of democracy, good governance: HC

The Canadian High Commissioner, Heather Cruden visited the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) on Wednesday where she opened the market with the bell ceremony. Speaking with the press afterwards Cruden expressed her delight at the stellar performance of the Pakistan stock market during the last few years. She said that Canada and Pakistan had over 60 years of friendly relations and Canada had consistently supported Pakistan in its development efforts by providing expertise and financing of over $1.0 billion.

She said Canadian values of promoting democracy, good governance and human rights were cornerstones of further strengthening the relationship between the two countries. The Commissioner said Pakistan had tremendous potential for socio-economic growth with multifarious business opportunities in a wide spectrum of industries and economic sectors. She would be working studiously to explore areas of co-operation between both public and private sectors of Pakistan and Canada.

Having arrived in Pakistan in January of this year Cruden said she was visiting all parts of the country from Gilgit-Baltistan to Quetta, Lahore, Hyderabad and now Karachi. She was heartened by the friendly welcome accorded to her and felt that despite challenges, the people of Pakistan were resilient, full of energy and hope for a better future.

Nadeem Naqvi, Managing Director KSE, while giving a presentation to the Canadian High Commissioner regarding the dynamics of Pakistan Capital Market highlighted the performance of stock market and the increasing role of foreign institutional portfolio investors whose holdings have now crossed 30 percent of the free float of listed companies' shares.

He outlined the eco-system of the capital market and the central role of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in regulation of the capital market and the securities industry. Naqvi also pointed out the success of the Government's economic management which has stabilised exchange rate, increased foreign exchange reserves to over $17.4 billion, reinvigorated the privatisation programme and taken Pakistan back to international capital markets. Along with the benefit of low oil prices which has helped inflation to come down, the government has made progress in reducing fiscal deficit and accelerating GDP growth to over 4.5 percent. These positive developments have led to upgrading of Pakistan's rating by global rating agencies and, as such, the outlook for the economy is fairly bullish going forward with concurrent positive impact expected for capital market performance.

Concluding the discussion, Cruden encouraged KSE to organise an investment road show in Canada both for financial sector and non-financial sector businesses and investors. Abid Ali Habib, member of the Board of Directors of KSE, thanked the Canadian High Commissioner for visiting KSE and showing interest in KSE's business and future plans. He said the KSE would like to act as a bridge between Canadian and Pakistani investors and companies to explore mutually beneficial business opportunities.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015