KARACHI: Hundreds of financial sector experts, Government officials and Business representatives gathered in Karachi for a three-day conference on non-banking finance and capital markets.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) hosted the event.

“USAID is proud to work with the Pakistani government to strengthen the financial sector and increase private-sector access to finance,” said USAID Mission Director John Groarke.

“The more efficiently and effectively capital is allocated, the more progress Pakistan will make in meeting international financial milestones and emerging as a formidable economic force in global markets.”

According to Mr. Groarke, USAID is working with Pakistan on Debt Security ssuances, strengthening the Debt Market and helping four signatory Financial Institutions increase access to loans for Micro, Small, and Medium enterprises (SMEs). Key to that is developing private-equity finance to improve access to all forms of financing for SMEs, such as equity, leasing, venture capital and credit financing.

The Conference focused on topics such as the Leasing Sector, Islamic Financing and Capital-market development. Discussions aimed at reducing regulatory constraints and fostering common interests to support economic growth.

Attendees at the opening session included the State Bank of Pakistan governor, and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan chairman.