South Asian Federation of Exchanges (SAFE) – the lone association of the stock exchanges in the region – has started lobbying to adopt uniform financial regulations among South Asian countries.
As part of the process, a delegation of SAFE, led by its newly elected president Al Maruf Khan called on foreign secretary Md Shahidul Haque and secretary (bank and finance division of Finance Ministry) M Aslam Alam on Thursday.
The delegation urged the Bangladesh government to take the issue into the account for promoting trade and investment among regional countries.
“We have started lobbying among political leaders, policy makers and bureaucrats of Saarc countries for taking necessary steps to adopt financial harmonisation,” said Maruf.
As part of our lobbying plan, we met with some relevant high officials of Bangladesh for making our agenda successful for economic benefit among the regional countries, he said.
SAFE’s plan on developing a harmonised regulatory framework should serve as a first step towards building a financially integrated south Asian region.
“Financial integration is the key to regional growth and to make the most competitive economic area in the world,” Maruf said. “But the political will among our leaders is a crucial for the promotion of integration and competitiveness.”
SAFE has also plan to visit Saarc Secretariat at Kathmandu soon for submitting their plan to create strong intra-regional links and an integrated economic region.
Aftab Ahmad Chaudhry, SAFE Secretary General, said: “The proposed regulations are related to market operations, market integrity, enforcement regulations and all SAFE members in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh and Nepal shall be encouraged to adopt provisions of this Rule Book, if applicable, in order to promote market integrity, efficiency and transparency.”
A few months back, SAFE announced completion of the first version of its Rule Book which details uniform model of regulations for adoption by all Saarc nations to financially integrate the region.
The SAFE, a platform of 34 member countries, has taken up a project to promote inter-regional trade and investment with the grant money of $250,000 by USAID a year back.
The concept for this project titled “Regional Financial Integration – Developing a Harmonised Regulatory Framework for the Capital Markets in Pakistan and South Asia” has been developed under the specific needs identified by the Saarc Secretariat of facilitating regional financial integration