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Gas Scenario In Pakistan - II

During 2007-08, total energy demand in Pakistan was 62.9 Million TOE. Based on an expected GDP growth rate of 3.5 to 5 percent, the total energy import bill for 17 MMTOE was about
$12 billion that was estimated to increase 79 MMTOE at constant value of $70 BBL could lead to import of $41 billion in 2022. However, the government was trying to reduce the import bill to  $16 billion by the year 2022. While at the current prices of $120 a barrels the bill of import of oil may be $9,600 billion in 2022.


The oil import bill, during the seven months of 2011-12, reached $5.857 billion in July-January12 higher by 47.38 percent rose from $3.974 billion as against the last year. Import of crude oil was up by 18.21 percent to $2.902 billion as against $2.455 billion in the same period last year. 

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Gas Scenario In Pakistan - I

It appears that the gas crisis in the country will continue to haunt the people and the industry in 2012 and may beyond that year. The projected gas deficit on SNGPL would increase from 1,216 MMcfd to 1312 MMcfd in 2011-12 and to soar to 1512 MMcfd in 2012-13. There would be a continuous rise in gas shortages and by 2014-15 it would touch 2,000 MMcfd and on SSGC to over 500 MMcfd by 2014-15.

The shortage of gas is estimated to reach at its
peak in 2022 that would make gas a rare commodity
in Pakistan.


Natural gas availability to the power sector also remained below requirement, especially to KESC averaged around 55 percent of its demand.t year.

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Most Favoured Nation Status to India II - 1st December  2011

Non-tariff barriers to trade (NTBs) are trade barriers that restrict imports but are not in the usual form of a tariff. Some common examples of NTB’s are anti-dumping measures and countervailing duties, which, although they are called “non-tariff” barriers, have the effect of tariffs once they are enacted. Their use has risen sharply after the WTO rules led to a very significant reduction in tariff use.

Some non-tariff trade barriers are expressly permitted in  very limited circumstances, when they are deemed  necessary to protect health, safety, or sanitation, or to protect depletable natural resources. In other forms, they are criticized as a means to evade free trade rules such as those of the World Trade  rganization (WTO), the European Union (EU), or North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
that restrict the use of tariffs.

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Most Favoured Nation Status to India I - November 16th 2011

The two countries would take the process of normalisation of trade to its “logical conclusion” and India would also work towards a preferential trade agreement with Pakistan and easing of visa restrictions for businessmen.

After giving MFN status to Pakistan, 16 years ago, India is now forcefully demanding that Pakistan should give it the status of MFN which would result in a five fold increase in bilateral trade, from $2 billion to $10 billion between the two countries. India granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996 but Pakistan has not yet reciprocated in the same manner said Indian officials. This was observed in the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI) conference on India-Pakistan Economic Relations Prospects and Challenges, held in India.

Source: Industrial Advisory Reports

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     Market Visit to Pakistan - 20th - 25th February 2011

The India Pakistan Trade Unit www.iptu.co.uk in conjunction with UK Trade and Investment is delighted to announce, our ninth official visit to Karachi, Pakistan. This visit, as with all our previous visits, is conducted in conjunction with the British Deputy High Commission in Karachi, whose contacts and standing confer very considerable benefits on participants via UK Trade & Investment - www.ukti.gov.uk.

Source: IPTU

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Doing business in Pakistan – opportunities for UK companies with Lord Green, Minister for Trade & Investment - 10th February 2011

This event will highlight business opportunities in Pakistan for UK companies with
informative talks by Lord Green the Minister for Trade and Investment, leading
business people with knowledge of the market and by the British High Commissioner to Pakistan. Representatives from the Government of Pakistan will also be present.

Source: UKTI

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Tourism could help Pakistan overcome economic crises: LCCI - 28th September 2010

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry has said that Pakistan can cope with the ongoing economic crisis by focusing on tourism as it has huge potential and is one of the fastest growing sectors of the world. He was speaking at one-day seminar on "Challenges faced by the Tourism Industry of Pakistan", organised by LCCI Standing Committee on Hospitality, Travel and Tourism, here at LCCI on Monday.

Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry said that bad law and order situation, coupled with travel advisories issued by different developed countries, had tarnished the image of country and needs to be revived. He termed image-building of the country a pre-requisite to tap true potential of tourism.

The LCCI president, while paying rich tributes to those who are working for the promotion of tourism sector, said that a little help from different government department could do miracle for the revival of tourism sector in Pakistan. He said that Lahore chamber had already forwarded its proposals for the promotion of tourism sector to the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Source: Business Recorder

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German investors keen to partake in different sectors of Pakistan - 23rd September 2010

German investors who visited Pakistan recently returned home with satisfaction and ready to invest here in different sectors taking the advantage from the investment friendly opportunities.

This was stated by Stephen Roken, Charge d’Affairs of German embassy here at German embassy while giving details about recently concluded visit of 21-member business delegation to Pakistan.

Talking to journalists along with Dr. Gregor Schotten, Counsellor Political and Economic Affairs and head of Economic Section, Stephen Roken said, the 21-member delegation went home with satisfaction and having positive picture of Pakistan as compared to situation projected through media.

Stehpen said, “It was the one the most important visit of German investors to Pakistan as the previous one was in April this year which was after four years.” The visit, he said, was the initiative of German Ministry of Economics and Technology and organised by the German Near and Middle East Association (NUMOV) in cooperation with the German Embassy.

Source: Pakistan Times

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New budget submitted to IMF: defence up, development down, direct taxes up, indirect taxes down - 23rd September 2010

 Pakistan has submitted a new budget 2010-11 to the IMF staff maintaining its fiscal deficit of 4 percent of GDP of Rs 685 billion, says an IMF Staff Paper released on Wednesday. IMF staff report indicates a revised budget 2010-11 submitted by the Finance Ministry with defence budget increased by Rs 110 billion to Rs 552 billion.

Development spending has been slashed from Rs 663 billion to Rs 590 billion. "...the government will shift resources from non-priority current and development spending to relief and reconstruction spending," says the report. The FBR tax revenue has been enhanced to Rs 1689 billion against Rs 1667 billion with visible increase in direct taxes from Rs 657 billion to Rs 736 billion and a reduction in indirect taxes from Rs 1007 billion to Rs 953 billion. "To boost budgetary resources, the government has decided to introduce a temporary 10 percent income tax surcharge, which could generate up to 0.4 percent of GDP," says the Fund report.

Pakistan’s post flood crisis will lead to reduction in its GDP growth rate not more than 2.8 percent, inflation to surge to 13.5 percent and likely adjustment in discount rate on September 29 announcement, says the IMF recent detailed document released Wednesday.

Source: Business Recorder

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Russia invited to invest in PSM, railways, oil & gas sector - 23rd September 2010

Pakistan has invited Russia to invest in Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan Railways (PR), and the oil and gas exploration activities in a joint venture with Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDC) under proposed Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), Business Recorder has learnt.

The two countries are expected to make some progress during the upcoming visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to Russia in the second week of next month. The two sides may enter into agreements on co-operation in bilateral investments, banking sector, rail and communication networks.

Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Hina Rabbani Khar along with Commerce Secretary tabled proposals for BIT, Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), avoidance of double taxation agreement and Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in a meeting of Pak-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) held on Tuesday in Russia.

Source: Business Recorder

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President seeks UK’s support for Pakistan’s access to EU markets - 21st September 2010

President Asif Ali Zardari Monday called upon the British Government and EU countries to further pursue the progress that has recently been made in EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels last Friday for granting access to Pakistani goods to the European trade markets.

The grant of trade concessions to Pakistan would enable the government to generate employment opportunities in the country and look after the flood victims in various parts of the country, he added.

The President said this during his meeting with Adam Thomson, British High Commissioner to Pakistan who called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Monday.
President Asif Ali Zardari Monday called upon the British Government and EU countries to further pursue the progress that has recently been made in EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels last Friday for granting access to Pakistani goods to the European trade markets.

The grant of trade concessions to Pakistan would enable the government to generate employment opportunities in the country and look after the flood victims in various parts of the country, he added.

The President said this during his meeting with Adam Thomson, British High Commissioner to Pakistan who called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr on Monday.

Source: Pakistan Times

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Government unlikely to allow used cars import - 21st September 2010

The government is unlikely to allow commercial import of used cars, fearing that any such measure would have a negative impact on revenue collected from the local automobile sector.

Additionally, the Engineering Development Board (EDB), after analysing the data provided by local auto manufacturers, has observed that price increase is mainly due to rupee-dollar/yen parity and the overall inflation that has increased the fixed cost element of the industry. Besides, underutilisation of capacity is another reason for price hike.

Under the current import policy, three-year old cars can be imported which are in fact four-year old, given the one year registration period. The impact of import relaxation on Pakistan's economy is about Rs 14. 4 billion and, if the government extends the age limit of imported used vehicles, it would suffer an additional revenue loss estimated at Rs 1.5 billion, or a total of Rs 15.8 billion. Further, there would be an additional foreign currency outflow on purchase of used cars, especially when the country needs to conserve foreign exchange reserves.

Source: Business Recorder

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Pakistan-Kazakhstan: TDAP asked to examine bilateral trade opportunities - 21st September 2010

The Ministry of Commerce on Monday asked the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to examine trade opportunities in Kazakhstan. Through a letter dated September 16, 2010, the MoC has sought proposals from the authority for enhancing bilateral trade to be discussed in the forthcoming 7th session of the Pakistan-Kazakhstan Join Ministerial Commission (JMC).

Both the countries, besides discussing the implementation status of the trade agreements signed between the two countries in previous sessions, would also examine new ways of trade relations in the session to be held in Islamabad soon.

This session was being held after a break of two years. The 6th session was held in Astana on 18-20 April 2007. Both the governments in Islamabad and Astana had agreed to develop economic and trade co-operation and early meeting of the Pak-Kazakh JMC last year after a brief meeting between Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Pakistan, Bakhytbek Shabarbayev and Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervez Ashraf, sources said.

Source: Business Recorder

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Germany to provide investment guarantees - 12th November 2009

The German government has decided to provide guarantee to its investors, willing to invest in Pakistan, said Joachim Steffens head of German International Investment and Finance Division and Debt Rescheduling. Addressing a press conference along with State Minister for the Board of Investment, Saleem Mandviwalla here on Tuesday, Steffens said German investors are eager to invest in Pakistan's agriculture, energy and textile sectors.
Replying a question, he said the facility is only Pakistan-specific and shows that Germany attaches great importance to its relations with Pakistan. Pakistan and Germany are enjoying strong business ties, which could be further strengthened, he added.
Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) between Pakistan and Federal Republic of Germany would be concluded during December 2009. He said that BIT with Germany would replace the outdated agreement of 1959 and would help promoting bilateral investment especially in Pakistan.
Under the proposed Pak-German BIT, clauses relating to the transparency would be further improved and a speedy and simple dispute settlement mechanism would be in place, which is expected to improve the confidence of German investors in Pakistan.

Source: Business Recorder

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US assures of maximum cooperation for revival of Pakistan's economy - 12th November 2009

The United States is committed to extend maximum cooperation to Pakistan for the revival of its economy and would ensure more investment in potential sectors. This assurance was given by the US Deputy Under Secretary Defence (Business Transformation) and Head of the Task on Business Stability Paul Brinkley during a meting with LCCI President Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry here on Wednesday.
Provincial Finance Minister Tanvir Ashraf Kaira, Chairman Board of Investment Saleem Mandviwala and former LCCI President Mian Shafqat Ali were also present in the meeting. Paul Brinkley said that the very objective of visiting Pakistan was to find out investment opportunities in different sectors of Pakistan's economy with special focus on the most neglected sectors.
He said that there were a number of sectors in Pakistan's economy like energy, oil and gas, infrastructure development, minerals, agriculture offering plenty of investment opportunities to the US investors. It's basically an assessment mission that would be finalising its findings to be forwarded to the concerned US department for future investment in Pakistan, he said.

Source: Business Recorder

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Pakistan offers lot of business opportunities: SBC - 9th November 2009

Pakistan offers a lot of business opportunities. This was pointed out at a conference organized here on Saturday under the auspices of the Swiss Business Council.
A statement on Sunday said that leading business leaders from multinational and national companies, business analysts, think tanks and representatives from funding agencies deliberated on ways and means to foster economic activities.  
Diplomats from Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France, Turkey, and Malaysia also participated in the discussions and offered their support. Martin Bienz, Consulate General of Switzerland in his remarks stated that the Swiss Business Council has made an effort to provide an open platform for all stakeholders to explore the potential and opportunities of Pakistan.
He said Pakistan offered many opportunities as it was a fast growing consumer market which was larger than the population of several European countries combined. Martin hoped that the platform provided by SBC to explore avenues in Pakistan would convince the stakeholders to its geo-strategic location and its hardworking people besides the tremendous opportunities.

Source: Pakistan Times

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Challenge to Pakistan's economic stability has been overcome: ADB - 23rd October 2009

The immediate challenge to Pakistan's economic stability has been overcome with the help of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) - backed stabilization programme, said a Fact Sheet of Asian Development Bank (ADB) issued here on Thursday.
"Stabilizing macroeconomic fundamentals in view of the recent weakening of some indicators, implementing a second generation of reforms, addressing the infrastructure deficit, and improving implementation of development projects are the key challenges to the Government going forward", the ADB added.
It said that Pakistan is an important partner of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its pursuit of fighting poverty in Asia.
The ADB Facts sheet said that over the years, Pakistan has undertaken important economic and governance reforms that resulted in steady economic growth, allowing it to boost spending on poverty reduction programs.
Recently, however, it said that the global economic recession that followed a rapid increase in prices of food and other commodities worldwide, coupled with an array of domestic challenges, have impacted Pakistan's economic outlook negatively.

Source: Pakistan Times

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Pakistan plans to import LNG to meet energy shortfall - 21st October 2009

Pakistan has began negotiations with the UK based companies for the import of LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) on fast track basis in order to overcome the severe energy crisis facing the South Asian country.
In this regard, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Syed Naveed Qamar held talks here Monday at the Pakistan High Commission with a number of companies for the import of LNG to meet the existing shortfalls in energy sector.
The Minister held meetings with officials of Vital, British Petroleum, Shell and GDF Suez to discuss modalities of supply of LNG as well placing terminals.
Under fast track approach, Pakistan would be importing between 3 to 5 million cubic feet LNG by 2011. Currently Pakistan is facing shortfall of 1 billion cubic feet which may rise to 2 BCF by 2013.

Source: Pakistan Times

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Russia keen to market its armoured vehicles in Pakistan: delegation from Belarus due today - 21st October 2009

The prevailing law and order situation in the country has engrossed the world's leading arms trading countries as Russia, the second largest arms exporter, is keen to market its armoured vehicles in Pakistan. A two-member delegation is scheduled to arrive on October 21 (today) in this regard.
In an exclusive interview to Business Recorder here on Tuesday, Syed Asghar Abbas Rizvi, Director General of the Board of Investment (BoI) said the representatives of Belarus company namely Mikhail and Rubzko were going to begin their five-day official tour from October 21.
For the purpose, they had approached BoI to convene meetings with the high-ups of the ministry of defence, ministry of industries and production and defence procurement division. He said BoI had prioritised several sectors, including oil and gas, power, health, agriculture, infrastructure and pharmaceutical for foreign investors and the board was striving to get investments in these sectors.
He said some major projects comprising wind energy, Thar coal energy, Karachi education city, Dazzle Park, Pakistan Mashal LMG, dairy and livestock, pharmaceutical, etc had been initiated with the assistance of BoI. Rizvi said the government had offered some 1,800 acres land for the Japan Special Economic Zone (JSEZ) in the vicinity of Port Qasim, 17km from Pakistan Steel Mills and had granted 10 years tax holidays to attract Japanese investors.

Source: Business Recorder

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Obama signs aid bill into law - 16th October 2009

President Barack Obama Thursday signed $7.5 billion Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill into a law, with the White House reaffirming strategic partnership with Pakistan, a day after Congress attached an explanatory statement to address the South Asian anti-terrorism ally's concerns over parts of the legislation.
"This law is the tangible manifestation of broad support for Pakistan in the US, as evidenced by its bipartisan, bicameral, unanimous passage in Congress," Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement. Under the legislation, Pakistan will receive $1.5 billion annually in economic assistance for five years from 2010 to 2014, which will be geared towards economic uplift of the Pakistani people, strengthening institutions of democratic governance and bolstering health, education and infrastructure facilities for the people.
Obama signed the bill as the explanatory statement and individual statements by the co-architects of the bill - Senator John Kerry and Congressman Howard Berman - as well as statements by top Obama Administration officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary Defence Robert Gates became part of the Congressional Record on Thursday.

Source: Business Recorder

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Auto sales start to recover with 13% growth - 13th October 2009

Reduction in car prices by assemblers and recovering economic indicators have geared up the local auto sales, which registered an increase of 13 percent during July to September of the current fiscal, data released by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) said.
According to the association data, QoQ (quarter-on-quarter) auto sales rose by 20 percent in first quarter of current financial year led by 56 percent growth in PSMC sales.
A significant increase came from the car sales segment with its sales improved by 22 percent YoY to 26,812 units in 1QFY10. INDU's Corolla, Honda's Civic and Suzuki's Liana in higher segment recorded growth of 366 percent, 14 percent and 37 percent YoY respectively, while major performers in lower segment were DFML's Santro and Suzuki's Alto with their sales up by 34 percent and 4 percent YoY, respectively.
Atif Zafar, sector analyst at JS Research attributed reason for this encouraging situation Indus Motor's abnormal growth of 108 percent amid production phase out of the previous model of Corolla. HCAR sales depicted a rise of 1 percent YoY (year-on-year); however PSMC and DFML sales fell by 8 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

Source: Daily Times 

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Pakistan wants greater access to EU and US markets: Qureshi - 9th October 2009

As President Barack Obama discusses the US strategy toward Pakistan with his top advisers on Wednesday, foreign minister appealed for market access, military technology - and above all, trust. Shah Mehmood Qureshi dismissed concerns that expanded US aid to Pakistan had too many strings attached, but said the country's wobbling economy needed more, in particular access for its goods to Western markets.
He dismissed concerns that expanded US aid to Pakistan had too many strings attached, but said the country's wobbling economy needed more, in particular access for its goods to Western markets. "The challenge we face is far larger than that," he told Reuters. "We are not asking for you to keep doling out money and aid, we are asking for greater market access." "Better trade with the European Union and the US can help our economy stabilise."
Obama has said that increased aid and trade will be tools he plans to use to fight Islamic extremism both in Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan. Congress has just approved a bill tripling aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year for the next five years, but with conditions attached that have unleashed a storm of protest from Pakistanis who complain the country is being humiliated.

Source: Business Recorder

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Realistic utilisation of funds to be ensured: Shahbaz - 9th October 2009

Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that realistic utilisation of funds is being ensured for the rapid development of the province and welfare of the masses. A comprehensive strategy has been adopted for rooting out corruption to improving efficiency of institutions so that every penny of public money could be utilised for the betterment of the people.
Addressing a meeting of Advisory Council here at Chief Minister's Secretariat he said billions of rupees were being spent on the uplift of education, health, infrastructure and other sectors and special attention was being paid to the generation of additional resources for mega projects and provision of basic amenities to the citizens.
He said that an advisory council comprising experts in different sectors had also been constituted which was giving new ideas for the uplift of various sectors and was working as a team with provincial departments. He said that the setting up of advisory council would prove to be a breath of fresh air with regard to development of the province and would leave a positive impact on development process.

Source: Business Recorder

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Strategic growth concepts for small business highlighted - 9th October 2009

"If we want to bring our economy back on the track, we will have to promote innovative activities for our nation's small businesses," Senior Vice President of Multan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI), Khawaja Muhammad Usman, said this while addressing a meeting of executive committee of MCCI. In which Business Enabling Environment experts, Asma Malik Deputy component leader, Azeem Niazi and Muhammad Azim were the guests on the occasion.
Mr Usman said that a survey report revealed that the reasons most cited were high cost, lack of time and not knowing where to begin. Strategic growth concepts is striving to change those results. With the largest percentage of businesses today having less than five employees and little, if any, start up capital, it is imperative that small business owners should be aware of using the technology tools and resources available to aid them in growing their businesses, he added.
This technology can teach them how to maximise their businesses resources (both human and financial) and provide them with the tools to do so. Khwaja Usman further stated, "Business owners need to be aware that today's technology allows them to work virtually, from the comfort of their own homes if they like, but yet to perform and appear as if they are a much larger organisation. This builds their credibility and enables them to grow their business at a much faster pace."

Source: Business Recorder  

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Tourism continues to grow in troubled times: minister - 9th October 2009

Tourism industry, which remained in shackles by prolonged militancy and other security-related issues, however, earned US $278.741 million (Rs 16905.40 million) during 2006-07 and US $264.140 million (Rs 16485.631 million) in 2007-08 for the national kitty, said Tourism Minister, Maulana Atta-ur-Rehman on Thursday.
If steered out of crisis and managed effectively, tourism industry alone had the potential to take on all economic woes of the country, he said. "No country of the world is so blessed as Pakistan in terms of tourism...we are a four-season tourism destination," the minister said. He opined Pakistan tourism could generate employment opportunities, reduce poverty and contribute a substantial share to national exchequer.
He called for putting in maximum resources in country's tourism sector to extract its full benefits. Tourism is a major supporter of some of the world's leading economies and it involves billions of dollars. But, Pakistan's share in this multi-billion trade is not up to its potential.

Source: Business Recorder 

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Turkish Prime Minister to visit Pakistan to finalise MoUs - 9th October 2009

The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, along with a high-powered delegation of chief executive officers of the Turkish companies, is planning to visit Pakistan in near future to finalise a number of memorandums of understanding to expedite trade and economic relations between the two countries.
The Turkish Ambassador Mustaf Babur Hizlan stated this while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Thursday. LCCI Senior Vice President Ejaz A Mumtaz, Honorary Consul General of Turkey Mian Tajjamal Hussain, former LCCI Presidents Bashir A Baksh, Mian Muzaffar Ali and former Senior Vice Presidents Sohail Lashari and Yaqoob Tahir Izhar also spoke on the occasion.
The Ambassador said that the ongoing month of October was important in many ways as a number of high-profile people, including the Commander of Turkish Armed Forces, were due to visit Pakistan. He said that quite a few sector-specific agreements were likely to be finalised during these visits. He said that air links had always been very important as far as the issues of economic ties are concerned, therefore, Turkish authorities were also working on a direct flight of Turkish Airlines from Lahore, as presently there was no direct flight from Lahore.

Source: Business Recorder

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UK will help Pakistan strengthen its economy: Alan - 7th October 2009

British Home Secretary Alan Johnson on Tuesday assured UK's commitment to continue to assist Pakistan in war against terrorism, saying his country wants to see Pakistan as a strong, stable and a peaceful country. "The UK will help Pakistan strengthen its economy by making complete peace after elimination of terrorists," Alan said while addressing a joint press conference with Rehman Malik, Federal Interior Minister here.
Visiting British Home Secretary called on Interior Minister at the Interior Ministry and after the meeting, both addressed the press conference. Alan reiterated his government's resolve to make the British visa process in Pakistan easy, saying the process will be completed within 15 days from next month. The UK has cut short the duration of UK visa processing for Pakistanis from 60 to 15 days, he added.
UK visa office had to be shifted to United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to unsatisfactory IT system here in Pakistan but now it is being relocated back as late by November this year, he added. He said a joint task force will be established for return of Pakistanis illegally staying in UK. "We are working with Pakistani authorities on this issue and the task force under consideration will make sure the return of Pakistanis staying illegally in the UK," Alan said.

Source: Business Recorder 

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Economy showing signs of recovery: interview with IMF official - 3rd September 2009

Pakistan's economy is showing signs of recover - its remittances are up despite global downturn, local economy is stabilising and global trends are showing signs of improvement, foreign portfolio investment is improving and electricity problems would be mostly over by next year, said an IMF official in an exclusive interview with Business Recorder.
"Pakistan's inflation rate came from 25 percent to 11 percent, its forex reserves position is better and fiscal side is also somewhat stable, despite challenges," said Adnan Mazarei, Assistant Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department of the IMF, who also heads the IMF review missions. Pakistan remittances were 19.13 percent in July at $747.22 million and maintained a similar trend in last few months.
Pakistan received $22.6 million in July in foreign private investment from developed countries though $26 million were repatriated by Developing Asia. The IMF in its report has envisaged a growth rate of 3 percent for the current year, which was at 2 percent in 2008-09. Foreign portfolio investment is a sign of sentiments while FDI is more important but this improvement signals somewhat betterment in sentiment of investors towards Pakistan.

Source: Business Recorder 

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Xinjiang to strengthen trade, culture bonds with Pakistan - 2nd September 2009

The regional governor of Xinjiang Nur Bekri Tuesday expressed his desire for further strengthening trade and cultural bonds with Pakistan.
He expressed these views while meeting Federal Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim in Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang. Makhdoom Amin Fahim is participating at the 18the Urumqi Trade Fair at the invitation of Chinese Government to represent Pakistan at the fair that opened on Tuesday.
The Federal Commerce Minister while endorsing Governor Bekri's views said that upgradation of Karakoram Highway which is currently in progress will help further strengthen our trade and tourism relationship.
Nur Bekri on the occasion also assured inviting maximum number of Pakistan businessmen in trade exhibitions in Xinjiang.In same way, the region governor assured sending  trade delegations from Xinjiang for participation in different exhibitions in Pakistan to strengthen economic bonds, the Commercial Counsellor at Pakistan Embassy Dr.  Naeem Khan who is accompanying Pakistani delegation told APP for Urumqi.
The Northern Areas  Chamber of Commerce has also established a "Pakistan Pavilion" in the fair in which over 25 importers and exports of gems and jewelry have organized their stalls, he said.

Source: Pakistan Times 

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Bangladesh to boost trade with Pakistan - 24th August 2009

Bangladesh has formed a high-powered committee on 'Regional and Sub-regional Cooperation' with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as its chief to find out ways and means of boosting trade and business with the neighbouring countries including Pakistan.
The committee will hold its first meeting on August 26 at here the Prime Minister's Office. Advisers to the Prime Minister and cabinet members will attend the meeting, according to sources on Saturday.
The meeting will discuss all issues relating to trade and commerce, especially with Pakistan, India, Myanmar and Nepal.
The committee will discuss how trade deficit and imbalance with these countries can be reduced.As Bangladesh has a large trade deficit with member-states of the eight-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), it will try to increase its exports to those countries.

Source: Pakistan Times 

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Inflation decreases by 0.08pc in Pakistan - 24th August 2009

The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI), for the week ended on August 20, for the lowest income group up to Rs.3,000 has registered increase of 0.08 percent over the previous week. The SPI for the week under review in the above mentioned group was recorded at 235.93 as against 236.12 registered in the previous week, according provisional figures of Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS).
The weekly SPI has been computed with base 2000-2001=100 covering 17 urban centers and 53 essential items for all income groups and combined. SPI for the combined group registered decrease of 0.17 per cent by declining up from 225.66 in the previous week to 225.27 in the week under review.
As compared to the corresponding week of last year, the SPI for combined group in the week under review witnessed increase of 7.44 percent. As compared to last week, the SPI for the group falling in the income brackets of 3001-5000, 5001-12000 and above 12000 decreased by 0.12 percent, 0.16 percent and 0.19 percent respectively.

Source: Pakistan Times 

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Pakistan wins World Bank Grant for nutrition project - 24th August 2009

Pakistan has won the World Bank Grant Competition 2009 for Nutrition Projects in South Asia following a tough and close contest among 1000 project proposals submitted by private organization from five countries of South Asia.
The Grant competition was for child and infant nutrition related projects and Pakistan's "Home Based Rehabilitation of Severely Malnourished Children" was selected as one of the best proposals in the region.
The project proposal submitted by Health Education and Literacy Program (HELP), Pakistan will be implemented, as pilot project, in two different union councils of Sanghar, located in rural Sindh.
Dr. Dure Samin Akram, a senior pediatrician of the country and HELP coordinator says that a special caloric meal has been formulated to improve nutrition status of children with wasting (chronic malnutrition).
Our goal is to improve the weight of these children within three months upto close to normal weight for their height," she said. Answering a question, she said the scheme holds extreme relevance as 37% of under five Pakistani children are underweight.

Source: Pakistan Times 

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18 S&T projects: Pakistan to seek Rs 23.224 billion FoDP financing - 23rd August 2009

Pakistan will place a request before Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) to finance 18 science and technology projects costing Rs 23.224 billion, in the meeting scheduled to be held in Istanbul. Pakistan will also seek financing for social and welfare project 'Establishment of National Urban and Regional Policy Research Centre' at a cost of Rs 1.5 billion.
The government requires Rs 150 million for this project during current financial year (2009-10). The main objective of this project is to influence urban policy making process through evidence based demand-led research by collecting comprehensive data on social, economic and physical dimensions of development.
Pakistan will request assistance for six other projects designed to bring development and prosperity. One project is 'Institutional Strengthening Capacity Development and Database Preparation' costing Rs 491 million for which the government requires Rs 175.207 million during the current financial year.

Source: Business Recorder 

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Workshop deliberates on evolving new draft of labour policy - 23rd August 2009

The Industrial Relations Ordinance (IRO) 1969, Industrial Relations Act (IRA) 2002 and IRA 2008 are being deliberated for striking agreements towards a new draft of labour policy which is likely to be legislated by 2010.
According to details available here on Saturday, a two-day workshop was organised by American Centre for International Labour Solidarity (ACILS) to discuss core labour standards and obligations for rectifying countries, national employment policy, priority areas and decent work consideration.
Consultations were also held on Pakistan decent work program, evolution, current stage and future directions, labour inspection (LI) and labour protection (LP), current stage and future directions followed by deliberations and identification of areas of concerns.
Greg Schulze of Solidarity Centre Pakistan and Country Director of American Centre for International Labour Solidarity initiated the consultations with labour inspection and labour protection: current stage and future directions. He said that employers and employees could together sponsor a healthy and productive environment through exercise of freedom to form representative bodies better known as trade unions.

Source: Business Recorder 

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Three Year Trade Policy (2009-12) - 15th August 2009

Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Minister for Commerce, announced a medium term (2009-12) Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) on 27th July, 2009. The policy set an export target of $18.84 billion for 2009-10, 6 percent growth over last year. The policy has fixed an export growth of 10 percent, $20.724 billion, for 2010-11 and 13 percent to $23.418 billion for 2011-12. The government had projected an export target of $22.2 billion for 2008- 09, which fell short by over $4 billion and decreased to $17.8 billion. It remained $1.3 billion less than the exports of $19.1 billion of 2007-08. In spite of the last 2 year's performance the targets were fixed higher than previous years.
The Minister said this is the second Trade Policy that has hopes and aims of the people of Pakistan. He said the policy is in line with the same spirit of budget to serve the common man. The aim is to bring forth a positive strategic change in the export sector of Pakistan. To serve the common man is only a lip service as no relief measures have been taken in the direction.
He said "We also wish to expand our support and encouragement to the private sector and ensure the availability of enabling infrastructure, which can put the economy on a path towards sustained growth and development ultimately culminating into poverty and inequality reduction in the country."

Source: IAR (Industrial Advisory Reports)

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MCCI urges government to reform labour laws - 10th August 2009

The government needs to rectify labour policy to develop harmonious relationship between labourers and employers for promoting productivity, competitiveness and industrial growth. This was stated by President of the Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), Anis Ahmed Sheikh, here on Sunday, while commenting on "Industrial Relations Act (IRA) 2008.
In a statement, Anis Sheikh said the Industrial Relations Act was prepared without consulting industrialists and the MCCI, as there was clash of interests among employers and employees.
The MCCI President said labour laws needed to be reformed, adding that the government should devise a strategy to generate employment opportunities. He said the government also needed to reconsider its decision regarding a raise in minimum wages of labourers, as it was impossible for industrialists to pay such an amount due to economic recession. Anis Sheikh said the government should demarcate new industrial areas providing housing for low paid workers.

Source: Business Recorder 

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Encouraging feedback received on investment policy: Waqar - 9th August 2009

Federal Minister for Investment, Senator Waqar Ahmed Khan, said here on Saturday that present government was engaged in initiating a number of policies to attract investments into Pakistan. 'We have recently announced a draft of the new Investment Policy and have made substantial progress on Special Economic Zones,' he said while addressing the Inaugural Ceremony of the 11th ISAM-2009 symposium here.
He said that the proposed investment policy draft was presented to initiate public private dialogue, adding that the ministry has received encouraging and highly positive feedback on the policy. The government has also introduced a number of measures to facilitate and strengthen the move towards competitiveness, he said adding that with these initiatives, Pakistan will attract substantial investments annually.
He said that the government was continuously engaged in negotiating bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with leading economies of the world. Highlighting the scope of materials technology, Waqar said, Pakistan was a developing country, and was rich in material resources.

Source: Business Recorder 

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Superiority in economic growth: business incubators, technology parks' role underlined - 5th August 2009

The Great Countries of the World have obtained excellence in economic growth by setting up business incubators and Technology Parks to market their indigenous technologies by capturing World market. The sole superpower USA initiated technology park in early 50's and within the span of 30 years the figure touched 127 which played vital role to establish the impact of supremacy all over the World.
This was stated by the Dr Sarfraz A Mian, (Professor in Business Administration at School of Business, State University of New York, USA) while delivering a special lecture on "Business Incubator and Technology Parks" organised by Endowment Fund Secretariat UAF at New Senate Hall of the University here on Tuesday morning.
Dr Mian added that developing countries like Brazil, South Korea, Malaysia, Turkey, Singapore and India has also achieved their economic goals by adopting this technique. Somehow China adopted export processing zone system to boost the economic growth and expedite the export potential, he said. He hoped that establishment of ever first technology park at UAF Campus would become a milestone for the entrepreneurial activities in institutions of higher learning in Pakistan.

Source: Business Recorder 

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