Spider-Man issues a challenge

French climber Alain Robert responds to the UAE's Saeed Al Memari, who aims to climb the Burj Khalifa. Other topics: Canada's investment potential and the year in review.

Alain Robert, who scaled the Burj Khalifa in 2011, has a challenge for the UAE's Saaed Al Memari. Kamran Jebrell / AP
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Investment in Canada worth consideration

Upon reading A Worldly View of Stocks (December 29), we were surprised Canadian prospects were not included, considering Canada provides one of the best and safest returns on investment globally.

Canada has a strong and long-standing equity culture. Canada's equity market is the world's fourth largest, while its bond market is the world's eighth largest.

Canadian equities are among the world's leading performers.

A recent report published in MoneySense, a Canadian industry magazine, showed that annual equity index returns for Canada, the US and other developed markets since 1970 were 9.1 per cent, 10.6 per cent and 8.9 per cent, respectively.

Canada's stock market is poised for growth in 2013. Assuming an improved global economic outlook, equity index returns in Canada are predicted to be over 7 per cent this year.

Canada has strong economic fundamentals. Forbes, The Economist and the World Bank consistently cite our fiscal strength, financial stability, openness to trade and investment, ease of doing business, diverse and skilled workforce, abundance of commodities and vibrant commercial real estate market.

These are some of the reasons why Canada was the second largest recipient of global FDI inflows per capita in the G20 from 2007-2011. Canada's dollar is also strong; it is now an International Monetary Fund official reserve currency.

In short: consider Canada.

Arif Z Lalani, Ambassador of Canada, Karl Tabbakh and David Macadam, Canadian Business Council

French Spider-Man sets a challenge

In Climber awaits all-clear for Burj challenge (January 1) Saeed Al Memari compares himself to me, saying: "I'm as good as Alain."

If we are talking about free climbing, I wouldn't agree with that assessment.

If he is as good as I am, I invite him to tackle some of the climbs I have completed with no safety harness, such as La nuit du Lezard in Buoux, Pol Pot in Verdon Gorge, and Sears Tower in Chicago.

There are 20 guys climbing the Burj Khalifa every day to clean the windows. If he wants to impress me, Mr Al Memari should do the ascent free climbing.

Alain Robert, France

Individuals must be protected

I am writing in response to India burns with grief and anger (December 31), about the aftermath of the death of a young woman who was gang-raped in Delhi.

Individual rights need to be protected, and the responsibility for this lies with the whole society.

The motives behind such callous acts as gang rape should be analysed to find the real cause.

Perhaps it is due to the absence of a strong legal system in India, where thousands of court cases are yet to be settled for various reasons.

The most worrying fact is that the government and other authorities have failed to give due importance to this issue.

There should be a mechanism in place that allows women to walk the streets without being harassed.

They are our sisters, wives and mothers, and it is the government's responsibility to ensure their safety.

The Indian government should work together with the legal authorities to support the common people.

There must also be moves to educate people and improve their awareness of women's safety issues and the need to preserve personal dignity.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

I was so sad to read that the gang-rape victim had planned to marry within weeks.

This incident was unfortunate and unacceptable. The authorities in Delhi should provide more security for women.

K Ragavan, India

The year that was wasn't so bad

2012 has been a tough year for many people across the globe. The UK, Egypt, Afghanistan and many other places have experienced devastating natural disasters or political unrest.

Some may describe 2012 as an awful year full of dreadful things. But it was also a year to cherish and remember.

Many new kinds of technology were released, and there have been inventions that will help us in day-to-day life.

Medical cures have been discovered, and there are new toys, new games, new modes of transport, even new cooking utensils.

We shouldn't always focus on the negative things.

Yes, they do happen; yes, the world can sometimes be a bad place. But no matter what happens, something good always comes out of it.

Instead of criticising the bad, we should celebrate the good and rejoice in the intellect of the people who have transformed our way of living forever.

Kathryn Beck, Dubai