ISLAMABAD -  The government on Thursday denied that a Canadian national has been appointed as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX) under pressure of any foreign country.

Minister of State for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan in his reply to National Assembly said Richard Morin, a Canadian national has been appointed as the CEO of the PSX) by its board after going through requisite appointment process.

He said the appointment of Morin has been finalized after a very thorough and rigorous process for selection of the most suitable candidate for this key position in an institution of national significance.

The process included advertisement for the position, review and short-listing of applications received from both local and foreign candidates. Then interviews of the short listed candidates were conducted by PSX and representatives of the Chinese exchanges as the anchor investors forming part of the consortium, the minister explained.

Responding to another query Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Development Dr Ibadullah said Pakistani investors will specially be encouraged to invest in the economic zones through joint ventures.  He said one zone will be established in each province including FATA, AJK and Gilgit Baltistan.

In KP, Rashakai Economic Zone, in Nowshera, In Balouchsitan Bosatn Industrial Zone, Pishin, in Sindh, China Special Economic Zone in Dhabeji, District Thatta, in Punjab, Allama Iqbal Industrial City Faisalabad, in GB, Moqpondass Special Economic Zone in Gilgit, in AJK, Special Economic Zone at Mirpur, and Mohmand Marble factory in FATA have been identified by the provinces and regions for establishments of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under CPEC.

He said work on FATA special economic zone which envisages development of marble city in Mohmand has been started. Dr Ibadullah said that the federal government will develop an industrial park on Pakistan Steel Mills Land at Port Qasim near Karachi.

He said in the early harvest phase of CPEC, the government had focused on development of energy and modern transport infrastructure sectors. With energy and infrastructure projects nearing completion, the CPEC has now entered into the phase of industrial development and by setting up Special Economic Zones, a new era of trade and industrialization would open in Pakistan.