KARACHI: High Commissioner of Canada Wendy Gilmour has stressed the need to capitalize on opportunities for Pakistan-Canada trading relationship for direct merchandise trade, for services, and investment in both directions.

High Commissioner of Canada, Wendy Gilmour and her team visited the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) to open the trading session with the gong ceremony.

“We are ready and interested to work with Pakistan business community and take advantage of the abundant opportunities that Pakistan offers for socio-economic growth with multifarious business opportunities in a wide spectrum of industries and economic sectors,” the diplomat said.

The meeting between the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) Board members and Canadian diplomat discussed matters relating to Pakistan economics, investment environment, capital market and the new government. The possibility of investment by Canadians, including the Pakistani diaspora in Canada, was also discussed.

From the Canadian investors’ perspective, the main concerns brought to the table include access to the stock market as well as profit repayments procedures. Furthermore, the potential attractiveness of the market was also emphasized.

Richard Morin, MD of PSX, explained and identified options of portfolio fund managers in Canada who can assist and provide access to the Canadian investors to Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). He also highlighted that there was a US based ETF on Pakistan in USA, so Canadian investment managers can work with PSX to develop offerings for the investors in Canada.

Sulaiman Mehdi, Chairman of the Board of PSX, talked about the general economic environment of Pakistan, its political and security situation. He emphasized that the situation is bound to get better in the country with the necessary steps being taken by the current government in the right direction. He mentioned that Pakistan was making efforts to transition from a trade-oriented economy to an industrialized one.

On the subject of business facilitation via subsidies, Ahmed Chinoy, Member of PSX Board commented that government has offered subsidies across all major sectors to enhance business activity and improve investment climate.

Shehzad Chamdia, Member of the Board of PSX, added that the current economic situation will hopefully straighten out and foreign currency reserves will stabilize in the near future as the efforts start taking effect. This is turn will allow a smooth and speedier remittance mechanism in the near future, he added.

The High Commissioner of Canada, Wendy Gilmour, said Pakistan and Canada enjoy historical ties based on trust and friendship. She added that Canada has endeavored to help Pakistan in its strides to develop economically and in other spheres of national importance, as well, like development assistance, safety & security, governance, democracy, human rights and climate change. She hoped that good relations between the two friendly countries will prevail and would allow for continuation of Canadian assistance to Pakistan in the future in other spheres as well such as information technology and renewable energy.