British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Thursday that he hopes to see stronger relations between Pakistan and the UK in trade and investments.
He was responding to media questions during his visit to the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) where he also rang the bell at a ceremony in the trading hall.
He said that Pakistan was still a better destination for investments. Responding to a question about his meeting with the KSE board, Hague said that he and his colleagues were impressed by the positive developments in the Pakistani stock market.
Earlier, the British foreign secretary was given a comprehensive presentation on the KSE working, trend of the capital market and demutualisation of stock exchanges.
Hague appreciated the significant development of the capital market, particularly the good rate of return and automation of trading, clearance and settlement.
KSE Managing Director Adnan Afridi said that the British delegation discussed general issues of bilateral interest relating to financial services, employment, education, health, investment and energy shortages.
He said that the foreign secretary also referred to inflow of British investments worth 650 million pounds into Pakistan in various fields.
Hague visits Pakistan Business Council
Hague accompanied by Adam Thompson, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan and other members of his delegation, also had a meeting with members of the Pakistan Business Council (PBC) in Karachi.
Speaking on the occasion, Hague emphasised on the need for developing economic links between the two countries and stressed the vital role that business forums like the Pakistan Business Council could play in fostering the relationship.
The PBC members advocated the need for greater regional trade and at the same time expressed concern over misuse and abuse of the Afghan Transit Trade Agreement.
Furthermore, they urged the British government to help support Pakistan’s demand for access to EU markets which would contribute to employment and contain the spread of terrorism in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2010.