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Pakintan's Oil Company To Invest $800 million

Pakistan's national oil company will invest more than $800 million developing new projects this year as 50-year-old gas and oil fields can't keep up with rising energy demand. Attacks by insurgents on pipelines and installations have disrupted gas supplies to textile exporters, which account for two-thirds of Pakistan's overseas shipments.

Oil & Gas Development Co. plans to drill in Baluchistan for the first time in six years as the government increases security against attacks from insurgents, tapping a region that holds half of Pakistan's gas reserves. Oil & Gas, Pakistan's biggest explorer, will drill at least nine of 51 planned wells in the western province that borders Iran and Afghanistan, Chief Executive Zahid Hussain said. "In Baluchistan we have entered areas that for about six years were high security zones," Hussain said in an interview in Islamabad yesterday. "The government and local people are supporting us." "The company is aggressive in exploration and investment" compared with its rivals Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. and Pakistan Oilfields Ltd., said Farhan Mahmood, an oil analyst at Karachi- based JS Global Capital Ltd., who has a "buy" recommendation on the stock. The company usually meets 85 percent of its targets and its success in finding fuels is also high, he said. Pakistan's government is targeting $15 billion investment over five years to develop its oil and natural gas industry in order to reduce dependence on imports and meet local demand, which it expects will double by 2020. Overseas Exploration Oil and Gas Development also plans to search for fuels overseas in a joint venture, Hussain said. Oil & Gas Development teams have been looking for exploration opportunities in Africa and the Middle East, he said. Oil and Gas shares, which account for 18 percent of the benchmark Karachi 100 Index, have gained 89 percent this year, outpacing the 37 percent rise in the key index. They rose 1.8 percent to 89.71 rupees at the 3:30 p.m. local time close in Karachi. The company produces about 1 billion cubic feet of gas a day, or a quarter of the country's total output. Its oil production is 60 percent of the country's total of 62,000 barrels a day. Pakistan imports 85 percent of the oil it uses. Pakistan needs to boost oil and gas production as the government battles extremist violence and its worst economic crisis in a decade. The government's bid to revive the economy has been hurt by Taliban militancy in the northwest. Share of Revenue Baluch nationalists want political autonomy and a share of the gas in the province, where Pakistan's largest gas fields, including Sui, are located. "We have to be close to the local people," Hussain, a former diplomat, said. Under the government's new petroleum policy announced this year, companies are bound to spend $25,000, up from $10,000, on the welfare of local people besides employing them on priority, he said. Gas supply to the Pirkoh purification plant from the Sui field in Baluchistan was suspended yesterday after unidentified men blew up the pipeline, the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported today, citing police. Nawab Akbar Bugti, a Baluch tribal chief, was killed in August 2006 in a military operation ordered by the country's former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said in April Brahamdagh Bugti, Akbar's grandson, is now leading the rebellion.

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Expiry of EU anti-dumping duty paves way for Pakistan's export

The European Union's anti-dumping duty on bedlinen import from Pakistan expired on Thursday

The European Union's anti-dumping duty on bedlinen import from Pakistan expired on Thursday. Without the duty, Pakistan will be able to enjoy normal duties on its exports. Pakistan's products were subject to a 5.8% anti-dumping duty, on top of the normal customs duty. This made Pakistan's exports more expansive than it's major competitors' like India and China. The anti-dumping duty has cost the country between $250 and $300 million a year in bedlinen export.

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Terrorist Attacks Hurt Pakistan Stock Market

The attacks on Sri Lanka's cricket team yesterday drove stocks to tumble for the first time in three days.

The attacks on Sri Lanka's cricket team yesterday drove stocks to tumble for the first time in three days. The Karachi Stock Exchange 100 index dropped to 5,596.49 after news of the attacks broke. The drop in the market represents receding confidence in the stability of Pakistan, although there was some recovery in the market after it was announced that all of the cricket players were in stable condition. Five police officers died in the attack.

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Pakistan Continues to Search for Help

A recent report that was issued earlier this week by an influential think-tank in Washington D.C., called for $4 billion to $5 billion in support for Islamabad's infrastructure.

A recent report that was issued earlier this week by an influential think tank in Washington D.C., called for $4 billion to $5 billion in support for Islamabad's infrastructure. Senator John Kerry, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, used this report to push for legislation that would give $7.5 million in immediate aid to Islamabad, stating that "if we fail, we face a truly frightening prospect: terrorist sanctuary, economic meltdown, and spiraling radicalism, all in a nation with 170 million inhabitants and a full arsenal of nuclear weapons". Pakistan is the predominantly-Muslim nation with nuclear capability. Editor's note; Pakistani President Zardari recently returned from China, where he was seeking addition foreign aid from the Chinese government, but was only able to secure agreements for long-term projects between the two countries.

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Pakistan President Returns from China Empty Handed

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari returned from China empty handed as Pakistan continues to look for additional foreign aid from neighboring countries.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari returned from China empty handed as Pakistan continues to look for additional foreign aid from neighboring countries. China has already granted $500 million in loans, but Zardari was looking to China to write off some of Islambad's bad debt. Instead, both leaders reached agreements on long-term projects that will help build economic ties between the two countries, including agricultural growth and the development of a Pakistan-China railroad connection. Although China sees promise in increasing relations between the two government, Shabbir Cheema, director of the Asia-Pacific Governance and Democracy Initiative, has evaluated the situation by saying "Pakistan today needs China more than China needs Pakistan - that is why there is more enthusiasm in Pakistan about its relations with China that vice-versa".

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Pakistani Capital to Receive 450 Megawatts

For the first time in a decade, Pakistan's largest electricity supplier plans to expand its network by 450 megawatts.

For the first time in a decade, Pakistan's largest electricity supplier plans to expand its network by 450 megawatts. Karachi Electric Supply Co. announced that within the next three to five years, it will increase daily output by 38 percent by utilizing more efficient sources of energy. The ultimate goal of the company is not only to become more profitable by reducing costs, but also to reduce the occurrence of blackouts, which affect two-thirds of Karachi's population.

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Pakistan Needs Modern Day Marshall Plan

President Asif Ali Zardari announced that Pakistan needs a modern day "Marshall Plan" to improve conditions within the country.

President Asif Ali Zardari announced that Pakistan needs a modern day "Marshall Plan" to improve conditions within the country. There are currently 170 million people, who are under the age of 25, that are trying to cope with the poor economic and social conditions. Zardari called for "massive programs" to help strengthen education and labor conditions and asked for a $4.5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to invest in Pakistan's infrastructure.

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Banking Channel Must for Enhancing Pak-Iran trade : FPCCI

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI) discusses the potential between Pakistan and Iran trade.

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI) discusses the potential between Pakistan and Iran trade. The President of FPCCI Sultan Ahmed Chawla believes that the amount of trade between the two nations are insignificant and must be addressed; Chawla looks to Pakistani Ambassador to Islamic Republic of Iran, M.B. Abbassi to farther improve relations between the two nations and seek avenues to improve trade. Chawla also urges the Pakistani government to consider easier accessibility to Iran despite the Pakistani Banks' sanction against Iran.

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Pakistan to Reinvigorate Existing Ties with Australia

A recent visit from the Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith - first visit by an Australia Foreign Minister since 1998 - has lead to stronger and renewed ties between Pakistan and Australia sources report.

A recent visit from the Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith - first visit by an Australia Foreign Minister since 1998 - has lead to stronger and renewed ties between Pakistan and Australia sources report. The Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has stated that talks between the governments have called for Australia to grant Pakistan a Generalised Preferential System (GPS) facility, which would allow for Pakistan to export semi-manufactured and manufactured goods free of duty or at reduced rates of duty. The Prime Minister also stated that the GPS facility would help generate new employment opportunities, which are necessary in order to combat terrorism and extremism.

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State Bank of PK Issues Guidelines on Islamic Financing for Agri

On Tuesday, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has released the guidelines on Islamic financing for agriculture.

On Tuesday, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has released the guidelines on Islamic financing for agriculture. This aims to help banks develop Shariah compliant products that meet the financing needs of their respective farming communities. The Guidelines cover various modes of Islamic financing such as Ijara, Musawamah, Murabaha, Salam, Musharaka that can be used for meeting financing requirements of farm and non-farm sector activities. The SBP has informed all banks to use the guidelines for developing their own Shariah compliant products that will help finance the agri sector. These Shariah compliant products must conform to SBP regulations and must be approved by their Shariah Advisors.

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Pakistan's BoI Secretary Puri Sees Positive Trend in FDI

Board of Investment (BoI) Sec. Tariq Iqbal Puri addresses the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)regarding Pakistan's investment outlook.

Board of Investment (BoI) Sec. Tariq Iqbal Puri addresses the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) regarding Pakistan's investment outlook. Sec. Puri believes that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is showing a positive trend in Pakistan. The main reason for this is that foreign investors are taking interest in Pakistan's food basket and undiscovered potentials. LCCI Pres. Mian Muzaffar Ali is concern about the country's perennial problem on law and order and has challenged the government to come up with resolutions to address this problem. He further states that this issue on law and order is one of the main reasons why foreign investors are hesistant to invest in Pakistan. Sec. Puri assured the LCCI that the BoI and the government of Pakistan is doing its best to resolve this issue.

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Textile Exports to Help Pakistan's Economy Grow by 4 Percent

Demand for exports of Pakistani textile goods, specifically to the US market, have held up, making it possible for the economy to grow by 3.5 to 4 percent in the coming year, despite the global financial crisis.

Demand for exports of Pakistani textile goods, specifically to the US market, have held up, making it possible for the economy to grow by 3.5 to 4 percent in the coming year, despite the global financial crisis. Pakistan's textile industry accounts for more than half of the county's exports. Although 4 percent growth will be down from the previous 7 percent, a 4 percent growth is very respectable and almost defies logic amidst the global downturn. Pakistan's textile market represents the lower echelon in the industry, therefore, demand has actually increased over other more expensive textile competitors, such as Egypt. It is estimated that textile shipments grew by about 7-8 percent in the second half of 2008.

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Pakistan to Meet Initial Program Targets

The International Monetary Fund has announced that data indicates Pakistan has met its December targets. Pakistan and the IMF agreed on a $7.6 billion loan in November to stabilize the country's finances.

The International Monetary Fund has announced that data indicates Pakistan has met its December targets. Pakistan and the IMF agreed on a $7.6 billion loan in November to stabilize the country's finances. Pakistan had critical balance of payment problems and were heading toward possible default on its foreign debt. Meeting the first deadline under the 23-month IMF funding program suggests the Pakistani government is making some headway in its balance of payments crisis. At the time of the loan, the Pakistani rupee had fallen sharply against the dollar, causing the stock market to crash after foreign investors fled. Pakistan's central bank announced Thursday that foreign exchange reserves rose $260 million.

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Pakistan Likely to Cut Interest Rate

A federal minister told the National Assembly on Wednesday the government is very likely to cut the interest rate.

A federal minister told the National Assembly on Wednesday the government is very likely to cut the interest rate. The high markup on bank lending has been detrimental to an already slumping industrial sector. In fiscal 2008-09, the industrial sector output has declined by five percent. Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, Industries and Production Minister, blamed the excessively high interest rate, which is currently at 18 percent. Although the government is seriously considering the matter, no figures have be determined.

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Forex Reserves in Pakistan Soar to $10bln

The foreign exchange reserves have climbed above the $10 billion mark after a $500 million soft loan from China and a $101 million logistic disbursement from the US for the ongoing war on terror.

The foreign exchange reserves have climbed above the $10 billion mark after a $500 million soft loan from China and a $101 million logistic disbursement from the US for the ongoing war on terror. The injection of cash will help Pakistan to achieve exchange rate stability and meet the current account deficit. Currency experts believe that the reserves will rise even higher amid falling demand for the US dollar.

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Only Six Days of Petrol Reserves Left in Pakistan

Pakistan's energy gap continues to shrink as petrol reserves are only sufficient for six days and furnace oil for only nine days.

Pakistan's energy gap continues to shrink as petrol reserves are only sufficient for six days and furnace oil for only nine days. The stock of energy has continued to plummet because of rising debt, specifically the government's debt to the Oil Marketing Companies and refineries, the weak Rupee and lack of currency reserves. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources says that a tanker delivery scheduled to arrive Monday should boost reserves an additional five days.

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Draft of Regulations Okayed for Share Buy Back

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has approved the draft of the Companies (Buy-Back of Shares) Regulations 2009.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has approved the draft of the Companies (Buy-Back of Shares) Regulations 2009. The deal will allow companies to buy back their own shares, in attempt to stabilize market prices, which have declined significantly over the last few months. It is believed that the repurchasing of stocks will improve the stock's earning per share. Although there are numerous restrictions and regulations, the draft should provide sufficient tools for companies to stabilize their market prices.

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Pakistan’s Inflation Slows After Four Rate Increases

The raising of interest rates by Pakistan's Central Bank four times in 2008 has finally produced a slight slowdown in rapidly growing inflation.

Pakistan, which stands as South Asia's second largest economy, saw consumer prices increase by 23.34 percent from the previous year after a near 25 percent increase in the month of November. There has been increasing concern over the rapdily rising rates and the central bank has promised the IMF as a part of a $7.6 Billion bailout package to contiue raising key interest rates if the nation's foreign reserves droppped below $1.165 billion in the month of December of 2008. The recent cooling of inflation comes as great news or perhaps a breath of fresh air as it may allow the State Bank of Pakistan to avoid further interest rate increases in the coming month when is is due to release its next policy statement. "Given our declining inflationary numbers and stable exchange rate outlook, we expect interest rates to decline in coming months," said Muhammad Imran Khan, an analyst at First Capital Securities Ltd. in Karachi. "An interim cut in the key policy rate between January and July cannot be ruled out." As inflation rates will remain high for the coming year, it looks as though Pakistan will not reach its growth target of 5.8 percent and will in fact slow to between 3.5 and 4.5 percent.

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Pakistan in Trade and Arms Offer to India

Pakistan wants to push for an economic union with India and is prepared to join its neighbor in the signing of a South Asian nuclear non-proliferation pact.

Pakistan wants to push for an economic union with India and is prepared to join its neighbor in the signing of a South Asian nuclear non-proliferation pact. After Pakistan parted with India in 1947, relations between the two countries have been weak and economic cooperation has been minimal. Both countries are now willing to open up borders and increase trade, marking a new chapter in the Indo-Pakistan relations.

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FTA Boosts Pakistan-China Trade Volume to $6.54 billion

After signing a free trade agreement, trade between Pakistan and China has currently reached $6.54bn.

After signing a free trade agreement, trade between Pakistan and China has currently reached $6.54bn. Pakistan is investing $618million in China's coal mining to meet Pakistan's power shortages. China is investing in Pakistan's agriculture, energy, telecom, defense and health sectors. Moreover, Chinese mobile companies plan to invest around $800 million in Pakistan, which could increase trade to up to $7 bn in the near future.

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Pakistan Says $7.6 billion IMF Loan Agreed

Pakistan has agreed to borrow $7.6 billion dollars from the IMF in order to avoid a deeper economic crisis.

Pakistan has agreed to borrow $7.6 billion dollars from the IMF in order to avoid a deeper economic crisis. Pakistan is currently struggling with Islamic militants and the aftermaths of the October earthquake, while also experiencing extremely low economic growth and high inflation. Pakistan is expected to receive payments over a two -year period starting at the end of the month. The loan will carry an interest rate of between 3.5% and 4.5% and Pakistan is expected to pay it back in five years starting in 2011.

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Economic Cooperation: Pakistan's Cabinet Approves Negotiations with Bulgaria and Romania

Pakistan's officials have agreed to start negotiations between Bulgaria and Romania for an agreement in economic cooperation

Pakistan's officials have agreed to start negotiations between Bulgaria and Romania for an agreement in economic cooperation. Pakistan plans to promote cooperation with Bulgaria and Romania in the areas of commerce, agriculture, industry, technology and higher education. Along with the reduction of prices in several items, economic cooperation is part of Pakistan's plan for economic recovery.

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Pakistan's Conservation of Energy: Smeda Signs MoU with Enercon

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) and the National Energy Conservation Centre (Enercon) have signed an agreement to promote energy conservation in the textile sector.

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (Smeda) and the National Energy Conservation Centre (Enercon) have signed an agreement to promote energy conservation in the textile sector. This agreement is an effort to avert Pakistan's possible energy crisis caused mainly by the textile sector's continuous abuse of electricity in a time where energy supplies are particularly low.

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State Bank of Pakistan Spurred Pak Rupee Goes Up

After the State Bank of Pakistan pumped $200 million into the market on Monday, the Rupee recovered significantly against the dollar.

After the State Bank of Pakistan pumped $200 million into the market on Monday, the Rupee recovered significantly against the dollar.

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Pakistan, China Ink 11 Agreements to Bolster Cooperation in Diverse Fields

After an hour of discussion, Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari and China's Hu Jintao signed eleven agreements to strengthen bilateral cooperation in energy, telecommunication, agriculture, minerals, industry, infrastructure, space technology, and disaster relief.

After an hour of discussion, Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari and China's Hu Jintao signed eleven agreements to strengthen bilateral cooperation in energy, telecommunication, agriculture, minerals, industry, infrastructure, space technology, and disaster relief.

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Pakistan ahead of India in list of world's top rice exporters

India will lose two ranks in list of world's top rice exporters in calendar year 2008 to Pakistan.

India will lose two ranks in list of world's top rice exporters in calendar year 2008 to Pakistan. According to the latest report of the US Agriculture Department (USDA), India will lose two ranks in the list to become the fourth largest rice exporter in calendar year 2008 while Pakistan would improve its position to the third Largest. While Thailand will remain at the top with an estimated 10 million export followed by Vietnam at 4.7 million tons. In addition, Pakistan may export 3 million tons while India 2.8 million tons in 2008.

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Pakistan IT exports set to grow by 50% in 2008-09

According to the WTO, Pakistan exports have touched $1.4 billion, and they have the potential to increase manifold in 2008-2009

According to the WTO, Pakistan exports have touched $1.4 billion, and they have the potential to increase manifold within few years. With the government implementing policies that boost growth in the IT sector and create employment opportunities in the country, the Federal Secretary is expecting Pakistan software exports to grow by 50% by the next fiscal year.

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Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves decline

Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves posted a $328.6 million lost during the last week due to rising current account deficit and slow foreign inflows.

Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves decline from $10.4877 billion a week earlier to 10.1591 billion dollars during the week ended August 2, 2008, accounted for $328.6 million lost. According to the Economist, The country has failed in portfolio investment due to political turmoil, while the current account deficit is continuously rising.

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Pakistan May Raise Rates on 30-Year-High Inflation (Update1)

Pakistani Governor says Inflationary pressures are "more alarming than ever before"

On Tuesday in Karachi, Governor Shamshad Akhtar told the reporters Pakistan's central bank raised the discount rate by 1 percentage, the rate at which it lends to commercial banks, from 12 per cent to 13 per cent. The central bank also warned Pakistan's government to cut down the borrowing from the central bank because it may cause further weaken the economy.

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Pakistani Government to Launch Share Market Stabilization Fund

With inflation surging at over 21%, the highest its been in thirty years, the government hopes to start using a 20 billion rupee ($282 million) equity market stabilization fund.

With inflation surging at over 21%, the highest its been in thirty years, the government hopes to start using a 20 billion rupee ($282 million) equity market stabilization fund. In addition to the inflation problem, the fiscal and current account deficits are unsustainable. In an effort to decrease pressure on the central bank to maintain a tight monetary stance, the government is planning to bring its net borrowing from the bank to 0%.

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Akhtar Proposes a Transfer or All Deposit and Lending Insitutions to be Overlooked by SBP

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, governor of State Bank of Pakistan proposed to Development Finance Conference that all large monetary institutions be overseen by the SBP.

Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, governor of State Bank of Pakistan proposed to Development Finance Conference that all large monetary institutions be overseen by the SBP. This would allow for a reorganization of regulatory architecture, modernization of wholesale and retail markets, all the while reducing risks for both small and large depositors.

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Pakistan Acts to Stem Share Fall

The Karachi Stock Exchange changed its stock minimums and maximums for the month, instituting a minimum fall of 1% and a maximum increase of 10%.

The Karachi Stock Exchange changed its stock minimums and maximums for the month, instituting a minimum fall of 1% and a maximum increase of 10%. Previously, the limits moved 5% in either direction. Shares have been experiencing losses after a crisis in confidence regarding Pakistan's economy and government.

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World Banks Asks Government to Carry Out Reforms, Quick Adjustments

The World Bank has advised Pakistan to carry through economic reforms and make quick adjustments to prevent economic crisis.

Pakistan was advised by the World Bank (WB) to carry out economic reforms and make speedy adjustments to avoid economic crisis. The World Bank believes the government needs to take extra caution when striving towards economic stability due to concerns over Pakistan's likelihood of missing targets of fiscal deficit, current account deficit, inflation, and foreign exchange reserves. Although there is no crisis at the moment, Praful Patel, WB vice president, strongly believes economic growth will not be maintained unless the government adjusts to the global prices of oil and wheat.

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Pakistan Seeks SOF from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar

Pakistan will import around 250,000 barrels special oil facility (SOF) per day from Saudi Arabia, 150,000 from Abu Dhabi, 18,000 from Qatar and 15,000 from Iran to meet its needs.

Pakistan will import around 250,000 barrels special oil facility (SOF) per day from Saudi Arabia, 150,000 from Abu Dhabi, 18,000 from Qatar and 15,000 from Iran to meet its needs. Altogether, Pakistan has to import 82 percent of its yearly consumption.

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Pakistan Budget Size to Be Increased By 15 Percent: Projections Presented to Prime Minister

Pakistan's budgetary projections increased by 15 percent in the first high level meeting on Wednesday.

Pakistan's budgetary projections increased by 15 percent in the first high level meeting on Wednesday. The revenue collection went up to PKR 2.25 trillion. The revenue collection went up to PKR 2.25 trillion.

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Chakki Flour Prices Likely to Fall As Supply Resumes

The prices of Chakki flour in Karachi, Pakistan are likely to fall in next few days since the Sindh Food Department allowed about 1,500 Chakki owners to buy wheat from Sindh interior in the last two months.

The prices of Chakki flour in Karachi, Pakistan are likely to fall in next few days since the Sindh Food Department allowed about 1,500 Chakki owners to buy wheat from Sindh interior in the last two months. The chakki flour will now be solde at PKR 24 to PKR 25 per kg.

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Pakistan Foreign Currency Rating Lowered To B

Pakistan's foreign currency rating was cut one level to B.

Pakistan's foreign currency rating was cut one level to B. The reason is that government spending is growing faster than revenue collection and political instability. Pakistan's outlook is not good right now; this is the first time their rating has been cut since President Pervez Musharraf seized power.

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Firms to Invest In Farms in Pakistan

Because of a worldwide shortage of food grains and high food prices, leading food companies and investors from the UAE are going to Pakistan for good deals in the agriculture sector in one of the world's major food exporters.

Because of a worldwide shortage of food grains and high food prices, leading food companies and investors from the UAE are going to Pakistan for good deals in the agriculture sector in one of the world's major food exporters. Investors are planning joint ventures and direct investments in Pakistan's farm and livestock sectors. In addition to this, a lot of big UAE companies are planning to develop farms for various products in Pakistan.

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Measures Urged For Rapid Growth of Agriculture Sector

The government has been called upon to initiate measures for rapid growth of the agricultural sector.

The government has been called upon to initiate measures for rapid growth of the agricultural sector. They would do this by providing maximum incentives to growers. Meetings were held addressing the problems of the agriculture community and how they could be solved. Solutions include granting subsidies and agricultural loans.

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ADB doubtful about Pak growth sustainability

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has doubts about long-term sustainability of growth patterns for Pakistan.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has doubts about long-term sustainability of growth patterns for Pakistan. ADB has also lowered Pakistan's GPD growth forecast. The halt in growth patterns is due to domestic political uncertainty and higher global oil and commodity prices.

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President ICCI seeks encouragement to local investment

The president of Pakistan asked the government to encourage local investment to promote trade and industry in the country.

The president of Pakistan asked the government to encourage local investment to promote trade and industry in the country. More local investment would help Pakistan grow economically and its foreign reserves would increase. Exports will also increase, inflation will be controlled, and employment will be generated. He wants the investors to keep investing locally.

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Inflation Touches 14.53 percent

Inflation measured by SPI, a price bulletin of 53 items collected from 17 different urban centers, hit 14.53 percent last week.

Inflation measured by SPI, a price bulletin of 53 items collected from 17 different urban centers, hit 14.53 percent last week. Price surges of essential commodities including petroleum, vegetables, fruits, petrol and diesel have been listed at potential causes. SPI inflation was 12.16 percent during the previous week.

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ADB to Give USD 75 million in Loans for Water Schemes

To build up multiple dams, irrigation canals, and drinking water supplies in Pakistan, the Asian Development Bank is providing USD 75 million in loans to communities along the Potohar Plateau.

To build up multiple dams, irrigation canals, and drinking water supplies in Pakistan, the Asian Development Bank is providing USD 75 million in loans to communities along the Potohar Plateau. USD 20 million will carry low interest rates while the rest will be provided under ordinary capital resources.

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Services Sector Deficit up by 52 percent

Pakistan's services sector deficit has increased to about USD 4 billion during the July-January quarter year, a 52 percent increase year over year.

Pakistan's services sector deficit has increased to about USD 4 billion during the July-January quarter year, a 52 percent increase year over year. Shrinking exports and increasing costs of transportation have been labeled as potential causes.

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PKR 4.9 billion Aid for December 27 Damaged Assets may be Sought

The Pakistani government is seeking foreign assistance of PKR 4.9 billion for the damages that followed the riots after Benazir's assassination.

The Pakistani government is seeking foreign assistance of PKR 4.9 billion for the damages that followed the riots after Benazir's assassination.

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Foreign Group to Invest USD 200 billion in Sindh, says Prime Minister

An entrepreneur group from the United States and Canada will invest in oil exploration, coal mining and power generation projects.

An entrepreneur group from the United States and Canada will invest in oil exploration, coal mining and power generation projects. An initial investment of USD 200 billion will start off the project. The Prime Minister was confident that these projects would lead to a self-sustaining power sector that will contribute new jobs and robust tax revenues.

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Policy Rate Up by 50 Basis Points

To battle inflation, the State Bank of Pakistan has raised its policy rate up half a percentage point to 10.5 percent and raised cash reserve ratio up a percentage point to 8 percent.

To battle inflation, the State Bank of Pakistan has raised its policy rate up half a percentage point to 10.5 percent and raised cash reserve ratio up a percentage point to 8 percent. Inflation was high at the end of the year at 8.7 percent, 2.3 percent higher than December 2006.

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Capped Oil Prices may cost Exchequer USD 11 billion by June 30: Policy-Makers Brief President

Pakistani policy makers advised President Pervez Musharraf that the growing oil bill is going to create mounting pressure on the budget and may cost USD 11 billion by June 30.

Pakistani policy makers advised President Pervez Musharraf that the growing oil bill is going to create mounting pressure on the budget and may cost USD 11 billion by June 30. The President asked energy officials to focus on coal for electricity purposes and does not want to increase oil prices before the upcoming general elections on February 18.

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Posinous Sugar invades Pakistan

The Trading Corporation of Pakistan, TCP, has sold nearly 0.4 million tons of sugar containing sulfur and other harmful contaminants.

The Trading Corporation of Pakistan, TCP, has sold nearly 0.4 million tons of sugar containing sulfur and other harmful contaminants. Another 100,000 tons of sugar have been banned from open markets by the Federal Food Committee. The Federal Food Committee is requesting the TCP to reprocess the sugar. According to the TCP, an estimated PKR 4 per kg of sugar would be incurred as losses.

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PKR 467.625 Million Loss to Exchequer: 10 Leading Karachi Companies Violated Tax Law

The 10 leading companies of Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, committed violations of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

The 10 leading companies of Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, committed violations of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001. Brokers of stock exchange, transporters, and a commercial bank all top the list of the alleged companies.

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Government Borrowing Cross PKR 1 Trillion market

For the first time in Pakistan's history, the government has borrowed more than PKR 1 trillion for the current budget.

For the first time in Pakistan's history, the government has borrowed more than PKR 1 trillion for the current budget. From July to January 6, 2008, net government borrowing for the budget went up PKR 180,445 billion, according to the State Bank of Pakistan.

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First Half Trade Deficit Widens to USD 8.24 Billion

Pakistan's trade deficit increased to USD 8.24 billion for the first six months of this fiscal year, compared to USD 6.49 billion during the same period last year.

Pakistan's trade deficit increased to USD 8.24 billion for the first six months of this fiscal year, compared to USD 6.49 billion during the same period last year. An emerging energy crisis is stalling most economic activity in the country. Rising global oil prices have hit Pakistan's consumers hard, creating upward pressure on most commodity prices.

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Unabated Borrowing from SBP: Excessive Liquidity Stoking Inflation

The State Bank of Pakistan is currently financing fifty-eight percent of the Federal budget deficit through money printing.

The State Bank of Pakistan is currently financing fifty-eight percent of the Federal budget deficit through money printing. Government borrowing has passed PKR 220 billion this year on current expenditures of PKR 340 billion. This is in addition to a double in domestic borrowing despite higher tax collection rates and higher inflows of money to savings accounts.

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pakistan

ISGC Authorised to Sign IPI Deal with Iran: ECC also reviews Wheat and Flour (atta) Situation

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved the signing of a gas sale/purchase agreement with Iran 14 years since the project was realized.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved the signing of a gas sale/purchase agreement with Iran 14 years since the project was realized. The signing of the agreement makes way for a multi-billion dollar Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project. The project was originally brought up in 1994 to import gas from Iran via Pakistan.

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pakistan

Growth Rate to Stay Close to Six Percent

Below the 6.6 to 7.0 percent forecast for FY08 by the State Bank of Pakistan, the GDP growth rate will stay close to six percent.

Below the 6.6 to 7.0 percent forecast for FY08 by the State Bank of Pakistan, the GDP growth rate will stay close to six percent. The report, released by SBP in mid-December, did take into account the drop in trade and commerce following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

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pakistan

Tarin-led Foreign Banks’ Consortium Acquires 68 percent of Saudi Pak Shares

68 percent of Saudi Pak Bank Limited, a joint banking venture by the Saudi and Pakistani governments, has been acquired by various investment banks.

68 percent of Saudi Pak Bank Limited, a joint banking venture by the Saudi and Pakistani governments, has been acquired by various investment banks. Bank Muscat, Nomura Investment (Japan), and the International Finance Corporation (World Bank) are the banks involved in this share purchase. The banks will pay PKR 29.30 per share for about 340 billion shares and are restricted to sell shares to potential buyers at buying price. Regulatory approvals and management transitions are expected to be completed around the middle of February 2008.

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pakistan

Financial Sector Swells to Rs 6.9 Trillion: SBP

Pakistan's financial sector continued its upward trend during the fiscal year 2007 and reached PKR 6.9 trillion.

Pakistan's financial sector continued its upward trend during the fiscal year 2007 and reached PKR 6.9 trillion. Although the markets are performing well in Pakistan, the State Bank of Pakistan has warned that there are many risk factors that could reverse that trend. Low risk premia, and high oil prices have been listed as possible factors that could hurt present economic growth.

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pakistan

The Rupee: Money Market Cheers as Emergency Goes

The rupee, by the end of the week of December 15, recovered strongly with a 27 paisa rise against the dollar.

The rupee, by the end of the week of December 15, recovered strongly with a 27 paisa rise against the dollar. This weekend marked the end of the six week state of emergency for Pakistan. The rupee was at three year low last week after the State Bank of Pakistan decided to decrease rupee reserves that banks have to maintain against their foreign deposits.

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pakistan

60 Paisa per Unit Increase in Power Tariff Approved

The Finance Minister has approved a 10 percent increase in the power tariff for most consumers.

The Finance Minister has approved a 10 percent increase in the power tariff for most consumers. This tariff is significantly great than the Cabinet's already approved 10 paisa raise. Pepco, the Pakistan Electric Power Company, originally sought a 23 percent increase in the tariff. They currently owe the government of Pakistan over PKR 172 billion. The Finance Minister added that past obligations relating to power production should be cleared immediately.

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pakistan

July-November trade Deficit Surges by USD 7.201 Billion

Pakistan's trade deficit grew by USD 7.201 billion during the past five months.

Pakistan's trade deficit grew by USD 7.201 billion during the past five months. Last year during the same period, the trade deficit was USD 5.439 billion. Analysts attribute some of the deficit to the increase in global oil prices which in turn would cause a rise in business and export costs. In addition to dealing with rising fuel costs, Pakistan has also been importing many commodities which could strengthen inflationary pressure on the economy.

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pakistan

Finance Refuses to Extend Re-Lending: ADB Agreed to Lend to Wapda

The Pakistani Finance Ministry has refused to lend rupees to the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) below the standard interest rate.

The Pakistani Finance Ministry has refused to lend rupees to the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) below the standard interest rate. According to the Economic Affairs Division, the Asian Development Bank has agreed to lend to Wapda but with the option that the Finance Ministry decide on the interest. As a result, Wapda may be allowed to accept foreign loans at market rate interest.

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pakistan

Parco Withdraws Increase in LPG Price

Due to pressure from the government and local distributors, the Pak Arab Refinery Limited has withdrawn its efforts to keep an increase in Liquefied Petroleum Gas Prices.

Due to pressure from the government and local distributors, the Pak Arab Refinery Limited has withdrawn its efforts to keep an increase in Liquefied Petroleum Gas Prices. On December 4th PARCO had increased the LPG price by PKR 6584 per ton. The LPG Distributors Association welcomed the decision and said that the production and sale of LPG will benefit by at least 40 percent.

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pakistan

Textile Bodies Boycott Hearing on Gas Tariff

Some 19 associations, representing the country's large and small textile businesses, boycotted the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority on Wednesday.

Some 19 associations, representing the country's large and small textile businesses, boycotted the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) on Wednesday. They claimed that the regulators did not cap domestic gas prices, and in fact, the OGRA meeting was seeking to increase the price of gas for 2007-08. An increase of PKR 9.98 per MMBTU effective January 2008 was requested by the Sui Southern Gas Company Limited to meet the decline in revenue from the previous year.

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pakistan

SBP Move Great Comfort to Banks to Meet Dollar Demand: USD 400 million to be Returned

The reduction in the Special Cash Reserve Requirement (SCRR) fell from 15 to 5 percent which prompted the State bank of Pakistan to act.

The reduction in the Special Cash Reserve Requirement (SCRR) fell from 15 to 5 percent which prompted the State bank of Pakistan to act. They will return USD 400 million to the banks and DFIs to help them with some liquidity. Banks had invested about USD 1.3 to 1.4 billion as deposits abroad to get returns on falling dollar deposit interest rate. The State Bank of Pakistan was concerned because the banks had to use a buy/sell system just to meet their clients' needs.

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pakistan

Private Sector: Significant Rise in Credit Disbursement: SBP chief

The distribution of credit to the private sector has increased greatly during October-November 2007, and is likely to pick up further during the second half of the current fiscal year.

The distribution of credit to the private sector has increased greatly during October-November 2007, and is likely to pick up further during the second half of the current fiscal year. During the Private Sector Credit Advisory Council meeting on Monday, Governor of State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Shamshad Akthar explained that growth in the private sector was going along with the State Bank of Pakistan's policies and that the recent credit growth has supported real economic growth.

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pakistan

Cut in PSDP May Avoid Oil and Power Tariff Hike: Budget Makers Seek President’s Ruling

The Cabinet has denied the proposals to increase the prices on petroleum or to enhance a power tariff.

The Cabinet has denied the proposals to increase the prices on petroleum or to enhance a power tariff. To avoid the public outcry before the general elections, the Cabinet froze POL prices and only raised the power tariff by 10 percent despite pressure for a 33 percent hike. Although President Musharraf has reportedly agreed with the measures, budget makers want the Cabinet to raise prices to keep a deficit within 4 percent of the GDP.

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pakistan

Money Rates Ease; Rupee Flat

Short-term money rates lowered a bit on Thursday even though the country is experiencing increased liquidity.

Short-term money rates lowered a bit on Thursday even though the country is experiencing increased liquidity. Rising import payments including oil have resulted in higher demand for the dollar. Dealers explained that money rates are likely to stay in range until next week. To combat this problem, the Central Bank is planning to raise about 15 million rupees through auctions of long-term government bonds.

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pakistan

July – October 2008: 26 Percent Rise in Services Sector Trade Deficit

During the first four months of the current fiscal year the services sector trade deficit has reached USD 2 billion.

During the first four months of the current fiscal year the services sector trade deficit has reached USD 2 billion. Overall exports were USD 897.46 million and imports came in at USD 2.994 billion. The deficit during this period was USD 2.09 billion a 26 percent rise compared to USD 1.02 billion of the previous fiscal year.

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pakistan

Crisis Not to Affect Economic Growth, Says Finance Minister

Federal Finance Minister Dr. Salman Shah of Pakistan says that the country will continue to grow despite recent political developments.

Federal Finance Minister Dr. Salman Shah of Pakistan says that the country will continue to grow despite recent political developments. Speaking to the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce, which includes members that contribute to 14 percent of the GNP, Dr. Shah discussed the positive outlook of the Pakistani economy. He assured investors that Pakistan has had record foreign reserves of USD 14 billion and that this trend will continue.

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pakistan

Pakistan Sees Food Prices Rise 14 Percent in October

A far higher-than-expected rise in food prices has hit Pakistan. In year-on-year comparison, the prices for food in October surged by as much as 14 percent.

A far higher-than-expected rise in food prices has hit Pakistan. In year-on-year comparison, the prices for food in October surged by as much as 14 percent, leading to an overall CPI increase of 9.31 percent.

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pakistan

Pakistan Targets USD 3.5 Billion Through Privatisation

Pakistan's Federal Minister for Privatization and Investment, Mohammad Wasi Zafar, has announced the country's target for proceeds to be realized through privatization of public sector entities.

Pakistan's Federal Minister for Privatization and Investment, Mohammad Wasi Zafar, has announced the country's target proceeds to be realized through privatization of public sector entities. During the first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year 2007-2008, between July and November, the Privatization Commission has recorded gains of USD 440.597 million. For the complete fiscal year, the target announced is at USD 3.5 billion.

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pakistan

Pakistan's Current Account Deficit is Shrinking

Pakistan's current account deficit has improved by USD 607 million to USD 2,145 billion during the first quarter of the current fiscal year 2007-2008.

Pakistan's current account deficit has improved by USD 607 million to USD 2,145 billion during the first quarter of the current fiscal year 2007-2008. According to statistics, Pakistan's exports have grown by 5.8 percent between July and September, and imports have slightly decreased by one percent to USD 6,755 billion.

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pakistan

Pakistan's Growth Inconsistent with Economic Sectors

Pakistan has reached a growth rate of 7 percent for the term 2006-2007, but the growth reached has no consistency with the real sector performance.

Pakistan has reached a growth rate of 7 percent for the term 2006-2007, but the growth reached has no consistency with the real sector performance. This view by the president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry is supported by findings published in a report by the State Bank of Pakistan. The services sector is considered to be the major driver of the seen growth.

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pakistan

Sri Lanka Tries to Reenter Pakistan's Tea Market Under FTA

Sri Lanka is going to try to recapture the Pakistani tea market under the bilateral free trade agreement in operation now.

Sri Lanka is going to try to recapture the Pakistani tea market under the bilateral free trade agreement in operation now. Pakistan in return can provide Sri Lanka with textiles, yarn, fabric, rice, fruits, leather, and surgical and sports equipment. Further, the Sri Lankan construction sector might be of interest to Pakistani companies. Hopes are that the FTA will supplement the "great potential" of their trade relations.

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pakistan

Pakistan's FDI likely to be Boosted by Arab, Chinese Investments

The United Nations report on World Investment 2007 states that investments from especially Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and China will boost Pakistan's FDI results.

The United Nations report on World Investment 2007 states that investments from especially Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and China will boost Pakistan's FDI results. The country currently ranks tenth amongst the top South, East, and Southeast Asian recipients of FDI.

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pakistan

Pakistan: Final Draft of Stock Exchange Ordinance

The final draft of the "Stock Exchange (Corporatisation, Demutualisation and Integration) Ordinance, 2007" has been adopted by the Securities adn Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the Karachi Stock Exchange.

The final draft of the "Stock Exchange (Corporatisation, Demutualisation and Integration) Ordinance, 2007" has been adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the Karachi Stock Exchange. The two parties reached consensus on Monday after detailed deliberation.

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pakistan

ADB: USD 510 Million for Hydrowpower Projects in Pakistan

The Asian Development Bank has agreed to support the Pakistani renewable energy development sector investment program with USD 510 million. The money is thought to particularly be spent on low-head hydropower projects in Punjab and NWFP provinces.

The Asian Development Bank has agreed to support the Pakistani renewable energy development sector investment program with USD 510 million. The money is thought to particularly be spent on low-head hydropower projects in Punjab and NWFP provinces. Pakistan's government estimates the overall cost of the program being USD 2.2 million. The remaining funds need to be provided by other sources, such as private investments, public-private partnerships and funding agencies.

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pakistan

Pakistan's Foreign Exchange Reserves Hit Record High

According to a central bank's statement, Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves have developed properly, hitting a record high of USD 16.104 billion. The State Bank of Pakistan states rising inflows from foreign investments and higher remittances from Pakistanis abroad as main reasons for the sound development of the foreign exchange reserves.

According to a central bank's statement, Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves have developed properly, hitting a record high of USD 16.104 billion. The State Bank of Pakistan states rising inflows from foreign investments and higher remittances from Pakistanis abroad as main reasons for the sound development of the foreign exchange reserves.

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pakistan

Pakistan's Pharma Producers Request Governmental Support

Pakistan's pharmaceutical producers have approached their government with the demand to provide stronger support to the industry in order to enable the sector to compete with very strong countries countries like India, China, several Eastern European Countries and Turkey on the international market.

Pakistan's pharmaceutical producers have approached their government with the demand to provide stronger support to the industry in order to enable the sector to compete with very strong countries like India, China, several Eastern European countries, and Turkey on the international market. With governmental support, the manufacturers claim, they could not only become more competitive and raise their export contribution of currently 29 percent, but also increase their coverage of country requirements from 85 to 100 percent.

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pakistan

Maldives: USD 30 Million Borrowing from HSBC Fuels Speculation

After a USD 30 million credit contract with HSBC at commercial lending rates has become public, the governments silence on requests for explanation spark speculations on how exactly the money is going to be spent.

After a USD 30 million credit contract with HSBC at commercial lending rates has become public, the government's silence on requests for explanation spark speculations on how exactly the money is going to be spent. So far, the government only has stated that the money is supposed to be spent on reconstruction of destroyed harbors and "other important projects". Of particular interest for many observers is the answer to the question why the bank opted for borrowing from a private, for profit bank instead of a development bank such as the World Bank or Asian Development Bank.

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pakistan

Pakistan: Millers Demand Import of 1 Million Tons of Wheat

To prevent a wheat crisis in Pakistan, millers and Traders do not see another alternative but to immediately import 1 million tons of wheat. The government had estimated this year's wheat harvest in spring to be 23.5 million tons.

To prevent a wheat crisis in Pakistan, millers and Traders do not see another alternative but to immediately import 1 million tons of wheat. The government had estimated this year's wheat harvest in spring to be 23.5 million tons, but recently this estimation had been questioned. Further, the Pakistani government might face a huge, unnecessary loss. Having allowed the export of half a million tons of wheat earlier this year for USD 170 per ton, the price they might need to pay per ton now may be as high as USD 400 per ton.

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pakistan

High Interest in Islamic Banking Products in Pakistan

At the Asia Finance Conferences held this week in Karachi, Islamic bankers stated that 80 percent Pakistanis are interested in Islamic Banking products that provide the same features as conventional banking products.

At the Asia Finance Conferences held this week in Karachi, Islamic bankers stated that 80 percent Pakistanis are interested in Islamic Banking products that provide the same features as conventional banking products. Still, the growth of Islamic Banking in Pakistan has been rather modest in the past: Islamic Banking only accounts for 2.3 percent of conventional banking.

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pakistan

Record Gains for Pakistan from Oil and Gas

Royalties and surcharges for oil and gas, far beyond the expected level of PKR 48 billion, have been raised by the Pakistani government throughout the last fiscal year.

Royalties and surcharges for oil and gas, far beyond the expected level of PKR 48 billion, have been raised by the Pakistani government throughout the last fiscal year. The actual yields amount up to PKR 94 billion. In addition, the government has generated income of as much as PKR 157 billion from direct and indirect levies on natural gas and oil products.

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pakistan

Bangladesh-Pakistan Hold Secretary-Level Consultations

The Bangladesh-Pakistan annual foreign secretary-level meeting will have free trade agreements and direct shipping links high on the agenda list. One of the biggest aims of this year's meeting is to revitalize bilateral trade between the two countries. Included in the discussion would be the selection of particular commodities to fall under the trade agreement as well as possible elimination of non-tariff barriers.

The Bangladesh-Pakistan annual foreign secretary-level meeting will have free trade agreements and direct shipping links high on the agenda list. One of the biggest aims of this year's meeting is to revitalize bilateral trade between the two countries. Included in the discussion would be the selection of particular commodities to fall under the trade agreement as well as possible elimination of non-tariff barriers.

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pakistan

Bank Branches for Pakistan's Rural Areas

Pakistan's State Bank has made an amendment to its branch policy, stating a necessary increase of bank branches by 20 percent in rural and underserved areas.

Pakistan's State Bank has made an amendment to its branch policy, stating a necessary increase of bank branches by 20 percent in rural and underserved areas. The State Bank, which normally provides guidelines for the country's banks, has made it mandatory with this amendment to open up branches in rural areas. Despite the reluctance of the banks, they might create considerable revenues due to a massive increase of liquidity in rural areas during the last five years.

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pakistan

Growth in Pakistan's Manufactoring Sector Declining

Pakistan might miss its growth targets for large-scale manufacturing for a second consecutive year.

Pakistan might miss its growth targets for large-scale manufacturing for a second consecutive year. Relative to last fiscal year, sectoral growth of 8.4 percent has lagged behind figures of the previous year with 10.7 percent, already staying behind a target growth rate of 13 percent. Now concerns that rising interest rates, declining demand, increased labor cost, erratic supply of electricity, high utility prices and poor infrastructure will result in a growth rate much lower than the desired 12.5 percent.

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pakistan

Pakistan's Stock Exchange Plunges

For the second time within this months, rumors about the imposition of emergency or martial law in Pakistan have triggered panic foreign sales. Consequentially, the KSE-100 index has lost 3.5 percent and dropped to a session's low of 12,188.48. The index recovered slightly to 12,244.62, still eroding PKR 130 billion from the market capital.

For the second time within this months, rumors about the imposition of emergency or martial law in Pakistan have triggered panic foreign sales. Consequentially, the KSE-100 index has lost 3.5 percent and dropped to a session's low of 12,188.48. The index recovered slightly to 12,244.62, still eroding PKR 130 billion from the market capital.

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pakistan

Pakistan to Comply with WTO Requirements

With the purpose to enhance the country's exports, the Pakistani government has decided to take measurements to comply with international requirements requested by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The list of requirements to be fulfilled by Pakistan includes various sectors, but focuses in particular on technical barriers to trade like standards, scientific and legal metrology, and quality testing as well as on the field of mutual agreements between Pakistan and other countries.

With the purpose to enhance the country's exports, the Pakistani government has decided to take measurements to comply with international requirements requested by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The list of requirements to be fulfilled by Pakistan includes various sectors, but focuses in particular on technical barriers to trade like standards, scientific and legal metrology, and quality testing as well as on the field of mutual agreements between Pakistan and other countries.

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pakistan

Pakistan FBR to Establish Integrity Unit to Check on "Corrupt" Officials

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to set up a new department, "Integrity Enquiry Unit" to conduct integrity checks and inquiries against tax official who have allegedly been involved in corrupt practices. According to sources, tax officials have expressed disapproval of such checks since it has resulted in harassment of some officials by the Directorate-General Intelligence authorities. The unit will be empowered to collect and verify information about any previous or current complaints concerning an official, who might not possess the necessary integrity required for the position.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to set up a new department, "Integrity Enquiry Unit" to conduct integrity checks and inquiries against tax official who have allegedly been involved in corrupt practices. According to sources, tax officials have expressed disapproval of such checks since it has resulted in harassment of some officials by the Directorate-General Intelligence authorities. The unit will be empowered to collect and verify information about any previous or current complaints concerning an official, who might not possess the necessary integrity required for the position.

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pakistan

Pakistan: LCCI and SMEDA to Hold Training Program

Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) are holding a 2-day training program targeted towards the "magic of customer service." The program hopes to educate the top functionaries belonging to textile, banking, telecom, engineering, pharmaceutical and leather sectors.

Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) are holding a 2-day training program targeted towards the "magic of customer service." The program hopes to educate the top functionaries belonging to textile, banking, telecom, engineering, pharmaceutical and leather sectors.

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pakistan

Pakistan Must Improve Global Competitiveness in Exports

Pakistan has to enhance its global performance in exports, it calls for an improvement in the index from the present 91 among 125 countries. Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) has stressed the need for strengthening research and development through investment in human capital, which will bring high technology exports. According to experts, Pakistan scores relatively low on export sophistication because of low technology and to overcome this barrier, the government needs to improve its goverance, facilities and technological progress.

Pakistan has to enhance its global performance in exports, it calls for an improvement in the index from the present 91 among 125 countries. Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) has stressed the need for strengthening research and development through investment in human capital, which will bring high technology exports. According to experts, Pakistan scores relatively low on export sophistication because of low technology and to overcome this barrier, the government needs to improve its goverance, facilities and technological progress.

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pakistan

ADB to Provide USD 500 Million for Infrastructure Uplift Project

Asian Development Bank (USD) will support Pakistan's Private Participation in Infrastructure Development Project (PPI) with financial assistance amounting to USD 500 million. Principal Financial Sector Specialist of ADB, Julia Rogers, noted that project aims to enhance growth through improved infrastructure and utilities. PPI will promote private sector participation in structural development and utility investment and maintenance, thereby reducing the government's fiscal burden and enhancing people's access to quality services.

Asian Development Bank (USD) will support Pakistan's Private Participation in Infrastructure Development Project (PPI) with financial assistance amounting to USD 500 million. Principal Financial Sector Specialist of ADB, Julia Rogers, noted that project aims to enhance growth through improved infrastructure and utilities. PPI will promote private sector participation in structural development and utility investment and maintenance, thereby reducing the government's fiscal burden and enhancing people's access to quality services.

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pakistan

Pakistan: 1500 Utility Stores to Be Set Up Before Ramadan

Utility Stores Corporation (USC) of Pakistan announced that as many as 1500 more utility stores would be established in different parts of the country before the advent of the holy month of Ramadan. Currently 1000 stores are already running on no loss no profit basis and by the end of September 4000 stores would be established mostly in poverty stricken areas. The USC is targeting the poor segment of society by providing them essential items on 5 to 10 percent subsidized rates.

Utility Stores Corporation (USC) of Pakistan announced that as many as 1500 more utility stores would be established in different parts of the country before the advent of the holy month of Ramadan. Currently 1000 stores are already running on no loss no profit basis and by the end of September 4000 stores would be established mostly in poverty stricken areas. The USC is targeting the poor segment of society by providing them essential items on 5 to 10 percent subsidized rates.

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pakistan

Pakistan Government to Formulate Policy to Check Food Inflation

According to Federal Minister of Industries Production and Special Initiatives (MOIPSI), the government is examining the causes of core food inflation so it can devise a long-term policy that will keep prices of essential food items in check. He noted that officials were discussing various methods of controlling prices and it was suggested that provincial government might be involved in such meetings so that a comprehensive and effective policy is formulated. The Economic Coordination Committee has already set up a committee to analyze food inflation.

According to Federal Minister of Industries Production and Special Initiatives (MOIPSI), the government is examining the causes of core food inflation so it can devise a long-term policy that will keep prices of essential food items in check. He noted that officials were discussing various methods of controlling prices and it was suggested that provincial government might be involved in such meetings so that a comprehensive and effective policy is formulated. The Economic Coordination Committee has already set up a committee to analyze food inflation.

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pakistan

5,500 Pakistani Workers Being Trained For South Korean Market

Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) reported that South Korea is expected to import 5,500 skilled Pakistani workers this year. OEC has trained over 3,800 workers so far about Korean language and culture and the remaining laborers will be trained soon. After the training is completed, a Korean delegation will visit Pakistan to hold tests for recruited applicants. OEC has urged individuals to avoid unauthorized technical trade centers and private agents who are misleading people for employment in Korea.

Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) reported that South Korea is expected to import 5,500 skilled Pakistani workers this year. OEC has trained over 3,800 workers so far about Korean language and culture and the remaining laborers will be trained soon. After the training is completed, a Korean delegation will visit Pakistan to hold tests for recruited applicants. OEC has urged individuals to avoid unauthorized technical trade centers and private agents who are misleading people for employment in Korea.

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pakistan

Pakistan, Germany to Boost Trade

German Consul General (CG), Hans Goachin Kandrelan, stressed the need to boost the current USD 2 billion trade between Pakistan and Germany. He noted that textile machinery, chemicals, instruments and various other goods could be imported to Pakistan, while rice, dates and leather goods among many others could be exported to Germany from Pakistan. A Pakistani official encouraged German CG to avail investment opportunities in agriculture-based industries in Sukkur.

German Consul General (CG), Hans Goachin Kandrelan, stressed the need to boost the current USD 2 billion trade between Pakistan and Germany. He noted that textile machinery, chemicals, instruments and various other goods could be imported to Pakistan, while rice, dates and leather goods among many others could be exported to Germany from Pakistan. A Pakistani official encouraged German CG to avail investment opportunities in agriculture-based industries in Sukkur.

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pakistan

Asian Development Bank to Finalize Framework for Gas Pipeline

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is working on finalizing the framework for a USD 4 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project. Delegations will determine how to allocate gas quantities for the producers as well as the requirements for recipient countries. The United States has openly expressed support for this project and is prepared to aid the project in security issues.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is working on finalizing the framework for a USD 4 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project. Delegations will determine how to allocate gas quantities for the producers as well as the requirements for recipient countries. The United States has openly expressed support for this project and is prepared to aid the project in security issues.

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pakistan

Pakistan: Cotton Prices Soar to New Heights

Due to rising demand and slow supply of cotton, raw cotton prices have reached PKR 3,350 per maund at Karachi Cotton Exchange (KCE). Officials have attributed the rise primarily to the low supply and harsh weather conditions and expect further increase in prices in coming days. Traders expressed their concerns that gining factories are not meeting the textile industry's demands, cotton production stood at 3,000 bales per day against the demand of 5,000 bales.

Due to rising demand and slow supply of cotton, raw cotton prices have reached PKR 3,350 per maund at Karachi Cotton Exchange (KCE). Officials have attributed the rise primarily to the low supply and harsh weather conditions and expect further increase in prices in coming days. Traders expressed their concerns that gining factories are not meeting the textile industry's demands, cotton production stood at 3,000 bales per day against the demand of 5,000 bales.

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pakistan

India to Facilitate Import of 20 Specified Items from Pakistan

India has expressed its willingness to facilitate import of "Pakistan-wished" 20 items and remove non-tariff barriers without seeking "Most Favored Nation (MFN)" status. Asif Shah, Commerce Secretary, indicated that the list would be complied after consulting all stakeholders so that it comprises of items that Pakistan can export easily, without affecting its domestic market. He went on to say that India was concerned over the lack of infrastructure at the border, which is necessary to facilitate bilateral trade. Both sides have agreed that they would complete the infrastructure on their sides to assist transportation of goods by road vehicles.

India has expressed its willingness to facilitate import of "Pakistan-wished" 20 items and remove non-tariff barriers without seeking "Most Favored Nation (MFN)" status. Asif Shah, Commerce Secretary, indicated that the list would be complied after consulting all stakeholders so that it comprises of items that Pakistan can export easily, without affecting its domestic market. He went on to say that India was concerned over the lack of infrastructure at the border, which is necessary to facilitate bilateral trade. Both sides have agreed that they would complete the infrastructure on their sides to assist transportation of goods by road vehicles.

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pakistan

Pakistan to Explore Trade Opportunies with Brunei

A four-member delegation from Pakistan visited Brunei to discuss possibilities of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two Islamic countries. The trade delegation wanted to explore economic expansion links in an attempt to export Pakistani manpower to the sultanate. In addition, Pakistan sought Brunei to investment in areas such as infrastructure, banking and insurance. The bilateral trade between Pakistan and Brunei during the financial year 2005-06 was USD 3.3 million.

A four-member delegation from Pakistan visited Brunei to discuss possibilities of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two Islamic countries. The trade delegation wanted to explore economic expansion links in an attempt to export Pakistani manpower to the sultanate. In addition, Pakistan sought Brunei to investment in areas such as infrastructure, banking and insurance. The bilateral trade between Pakistan and Brunei during the financial year 2005-06 was USD 3.3 million.

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pakistan

Pakistan President Stresses the Need for Private Sector's Involvement

President General Pervez Musharraf emphasized the need for rapid industrialization as it contributes toward poverty alleviation and reduction in unemployment. He went on to say that industries must be facilitated since the industry sector creates the most employment opportunities. The president said that local and foreign investors should be encouraged to industrial areas such as Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad. He stressed that one of the main issues that needs to be tackled by the national and local governments is lack of economic efficiency and growth.

President General Pervez Musharraf emphasized the need for rapid industrialization as it contributes toward poverty alleviation and reduction in unemployment. He went on to say that industries must be facilitated since the industry sector creates the most employment opportunities. The president said that local and foreign investors should be encouraged to industrial areas such as Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad. He stressed that one of the main issues that needs to be tackled by the national and local governments is lack of economic efficiency and growth.

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pakistan

Pakistan: PKR 50 Billion to Be Invested in Development Sectors

According to Munir Sultan, Chairman of Housing and Construction Sub-committee of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), more than PKR 50 billion will be invested in housing and construction sector, creating direct and indirect employment opportunities. He expressed concern over the World Bank report that Pakistan faces a 7.1 million houses shortage, though appreciates the recently introduced government scheme which will allow small investors to participate in real estate projects.

According to Munir Sultan, Chairman of Housing and Construction Sub-committee of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), more than PKR 50 billion will be invested in housing and construction sector, creating direct and indirect employment opportunities. He expressed concern over the World Bank report that Pakistan faces a 7.1 million houses shortage, though appreciates the recently introduced government scheme which will allow small investors to participate in real estate projects.

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Pakistan: Cement Sector Continues its Healthy Growth

According to industry sources, the cement sector witnessed a 41.25 percent growth during the first month of current fiscal year due to rising international demand. The companies are using maximum capacity utilization to meet the local and international demand, especially to the gulf countries were there are numerous on going real estate projects. Fortunately, despite the large quantity of cement exports, there has been no price increase in the local market.

According to industry sources, the cement sector witnessed a 41.25 percent growth during the first month of current fiscal year due to rising international demand. The companies are using maximum capacity utilization to meet the local and international demand, especially to the gulf countries were there are numerous on going real estate projects. Fortunately, despite the large quantity of cement exports, there has been no price increase in the local market.

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Russian Delegation Visits Pakistan’s Rawalpindi Chamber

A two-member Russian delegation visited Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) to discuss enhancing trade relations between Pakistan and Russia. According to the Russian Federation for Pakistan representative, Alexander Keryoken, private sector trade companies could play a crucial role in improving trade opportunities. He went on to say that both countries business communities must work together to strengthen economic cooperation and devise comprehensive strategy to increase imports and exports between the Russia and Pakistan.

A two-member Russian delegation visited Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) to discuss enhancing trade relations between Pakistan and Russia. According to the Russian Federation for Pakistan representative, Alexander Keryoken, private sector trade companies could play a crucial role in improving trade opportunities. He went on to say that both countries business communities must work together to strengthen economic cooperation and devise comprehensive strategy to increase imports and exports between the Russia and Pakistan.

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Italy to Recruit Manpower from Pakistan

According to an official of Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC), Italy is interested in recruiting manpower from Pakistan in the near future. Italy has created a plan to employ manpower from the Asian countries and OEC hopes that majority of the recruitment be done from Pakistan. He also noted that OEC has been able to make a remarkable leap in the field of manpower supply from Pakistan by sending over 127,000 workers to 53 different countries.

According to an official of Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC), Italy is interested in recruiting manpower from Pakistan in the near future. Italy has created a plan to employ manpower from the Asian countries and OEC hopes that majority of the recruitment be done from Pakistan. He also noted that OEC has been able to make a remarkable leap in the field of manpower supply from Pakistan by sending over 127,000 workers to 53 different countries.

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Pakistan Business Community Urges Government to Control Food Inflation

The business community has urged the government and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to take comprehensive measures to control food inflation. They have noted that growing interest rates to curb inflation has proven to be a futile exercise. There is disagreement between the SBP and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on what the root cause is for the current inflation. The business community hopes that SBP and KCCI will observe steps taken by neighboring counties to overcome the crisis and not further tighten the monetary policy which could be counter-productive.

The business community has urged the government and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to take comprehensive measures to control food inflation. They have noted that growing interest rates to curb inflation has proven to be a futile exercise. There is disagreement between the SBP and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on what the root cause is for the current inflation. The business community hopes that SBP and KCCI will observe steps taken by neighboring counties to overcome the crisis and not further tighten the monetary policy which could be counter-productive.

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India and Pakistan Aim to Strengthen Trade

India and Pakistan have agreed to set a goal to increase their trade to USD 10 billion by 2010 from USD 1.7 billion in 2006/2007. The two countries will permit banks to open branches in either countries, increase the number of goods traded, improve transportation, and work to eliminate tariffs that have hindered business as well as promoted illegal smuggling across borders.

India and Pakistan have agreed to set a goal to increase their trade to USD 10 billion by 2010 from USD 1.7 billion in 2006/2007. The two countries will permit banks to open branches in either countries, increase the number of goods traded, improve transportation, and work to eliminate tariffs that have hindered business as well as promoted illegal smuggling across borders.

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Pakistan: Sindh Government Announces Salary Raise

Sindh Finance Department has issued for a 15 percent increase in salaries of provincial government employees starting in the month of August. The decision was announced in the 2007-08 budget speech and hopes to meet the needs of government and federal employees in wake of increasing inflation in the country.

Sindh Finance Department has issued for a 15 percent increase in salaries of provincial government employees starting in the month of August. The decision was announced in the 2007-08 budget speech and hopes to meet the needs of government and federal employees in wake of increasing inflation in the country.

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Pakistan, Morocco Trade to Exceed USD 140 Million

Trade between Pakistan and Morocco is developing steadily and is expected to grow further in coming years. Mohammed Rid El Faso, Moroccan Ambassador, said that the leadership of both countries are keen to move forward in developing bilateral relations and inter-Islamic cooperation. A 30-member delegation from Pakistan visited Morocco to observe trade opportunities in an effort to increase the trade volume between the two countries.

Trade between Pakistan and Morocco is developing steadily and is expected to grow further in coming years. Mohammed Rid El Faso, Moroccan Ambassador, said that the leadership of both countries are keen to move forward in developing bilateral relations and inter-Islamic cooperation. A 30-member delegation from Pakistan visited Morocco to observe trade opportunities in an effort to increase the trade volume between the two countries.

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Pakistan Wants Increased Trade Ties with Uzbekistan

Provincial Minister for Industries, Muhammad Ajmal Cheema, stressed that investors from Pakistan and Uzbekistan should begin joint ventures in leather and other sectors which would help improve the volume of trade between the two countries. He emphasized that investors from Uzbekistan should avail the opportunites presented to them by the Pakistani government.

Provincial Minister for Industries, Muhammad Ajmal Cheema, stressed that investors from Pakistan and Uzbekistan should begin joint ventures in leather and other sectors which would help improve the volume of trade between the two countries. He emphasized that investors from Uzbekistan should avail the opportunites presented to them by the Pakistani government.

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Pakistan Hopes to Export Manpower to Middle East

The federal government has intensified its efforts to export manpower to labor deficient countries in the Middle East. According to officials, skilled plumbers, masons, drivers and electricians from Pakistan are still in demand in countries such as Malaysia, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. The federal government said that it is determined to facilitate and encourage individuals desirous of going aboard for gainful employment, particularly in province of Sindh that has "exportable surplus" in the specific fields.

The federal government has intensified its efforts to export manpower to labor deficient countries in the Middle East. According to officials, skilled plumbers, masons, drivers and electricians from Pakistan are still in demand in countries such as Malaysia, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. The federal government said that it is determined to facilitate and encourage individuals desirous of going aboard for gainful employment, particularly in province of Sindh that has "exportable surplus" in the specific fields.

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Pakistan: SME Bank to Disburse PKR 800 Million

The Small and Medium Enterprise Bank (SME Bank) will distribute PKR 800 million among small and medium entrepreneurs by the end of this year to encourage them to boost their business activities. An official report outlined that medium entrepreneurs in Pakistan were not flourishing properly because the majority of these businesses were family owned and disputes over inheritance matters has restricted their growth.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Bank (SME Bank) will distribute PKR 800 million among small and medium entrepreneurs by the end of this year to encourage them to boost their business activities. An official report outlined that medium entrepreneurs in Pakistan were not flourishing properly because the majority of these businesses were family owned and disputes over inheritance matters has restricted their growth.

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Pakistan, India to Begin Trade Talks

India and Pakistan will hold 2-day talks to diversify the trade basket and resolve issues that stand in the way of closer economic ties. The talks are part of the fourth round of composite dialogue that will focus on easing trade restrictions, joint patent registration of basmati rice, and export of cement by Pakistan to India.

India and Pakistan will hold 2-day talks to diversify the trade basket and resolve issues that stand in the way of closer economic ties. The talks are part of the fourth round of composite dialogue that will focus on easing trade restrictions, joint patent registration of basmati rice, and export of cement by Pakistan to India.

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Pakistan, China Trade Ties Will Continue to Grow

According to Consular General of Republic of China, Chen Shan, the commercial and trade ties will continue to grow further despite recent problems in business and trade dealings with Pakistan. He went on to say that he has observed huge economic progress in the country's major cities, particularly Karachi, where many commercial, constructional and trading activities have flourished. The Consular General pledged to facilitate the Pakistani business community on their visits to China so the two countries can further strengthen their economic ties.

According to Consular General of Republic of China, Chen Shan, the commercial and trade ties will continue to grow further despite recent problems in business and trade dealings with Pakistan. He went on to say that he has observed huge economic progress in the country's major cities, particularly Karachi, where many commercial, constructional and trading activities have flourished. The Consular General pledged to facilitate the Pakistani business community on their visits to China so the two countries can further strengthen their economic ties.

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Pakistan: NWFP Industrialists Offer to Purchase Power from Malakand Project

The industrialists of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) have offered to purchase the electricity produced by the Malakand III hydropower project to provide it to the industries in the province at a lower price. The cost of production of the industries located in NWFP is higher in comparison to other parts of the country due to long distance from the seaport. To overcome this locational disadvantage and promote industrialization, the provincial government had announced 25 percent subsidy in electricity consumption for some industrial units in Investment Policy 2005, an incentive that none of the industrial units have utilized so far.

The industrialists of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) have offered to purchase the electricity produced by the Malakand III hydropower project to provide it to the industries in the province at a lower price. The cost of production of the industries located in NWFP is higher in comparison to other parts of the country due to long distance from the seaport. To overcome this locational disadvantage and promote industrialization, the provincial government had announced 25 percent subsidy in electricity consumption for some industrial units in Investment Policy 2005, an incentive that none of the industrial units have utilized so far.

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Pakistan: Employers Reject 53 Percent Increase in Minimum Wage

The national and multi-national companies have rejected the 53 percent rise in minimum wage of unskilled workers announced by the government in the 2007-08 federal budget. The Employer's Federation of Pakistan (EFP) is upset that the government did not consult them prior to the announcement of such amendments, which has caused deep resentment among stakeholders and employers.

The national and multi-national companies have rejected the 53 percent rise in minimum wage of unskilled workers announced by the government in the 2007-08 federal budget. The Employer's Federation of Pakistan (EFP) is upset that the government did not consult them prior to the announcement of such amendments, which has caused deep resentment among stakeholders and employers.

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German Group Discusses Investment in Pakistan

A three-member delegation from Germany expressed strong interest in investing in Pakistan. The group met with the Minister of Industries and Production to discuss investments, particularly in agricultural machinery and joint ventures with local companies. They further discussed long-term business opportunities for German firms in the dairy and farming sectors as well as seeking their assistance in expanding the vender industry.

A three-member delegation from Germany expressed strong interest in investing in Pakistan. The group met with the Minister of Industries and Production to discuss investments, particularly in agricultural machinery and joint ventures with local companies. They further discussed long-term business opportunities for German firms in the dairy and farming sectors as well as seeking their assistance in expanding the vender industry.

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Pakistan: Strategy Devised to Boost Seafood Exports

The federal government is working on a three-pronged strategy to increase seafood exports from USD 200 million to USD 1 billion. The Fisheries Development Commissioner, Dr. Muhammad Hayat, said the government plans to control post-harvest losses, focusing on value addition and development of aquaculture and shrimp farming to enhance exports.

The federal government is working on a three-pronged strategy to increase seafood exports from USD 200 million to USD 1 billion. The Fisheries Development Commissioner, Dr. Muhammad Hayat, said the government plans to control post-harvest losses, focusing on value addition and development of aquaculture and shrimp farming to enhance exports.

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Pakistan: Committee to Check Rising Inflation

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has constituted a committee to analyze the reasons for food inflation and formulate long- and short-term anti-inflation policies. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), headed by the Prime Minister, expressed serious concerns over the rising prices of wheat and other essential items. ECC has asked the provincial governments to do more to control artificial increases in prices of wheat and flour.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has constituted a committee to analyze the reasons for food inflation and formulate long- and short-term anti-inflation policies. The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), headed by the Prime Minister, expressed serious concerns over the rising prices of wheat and other essential items. ECC has asked the provincial governments to do more to control artificial increases in prices of wheat and flour.

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Solid Earnings Drive Up Regional Asia-Pacific Benchmark

Better-than-expected earnings forecasts and profit reports at a number of Asia-Pacific's largest companies helped prop up the regional benchmark index on Tuesday. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index gained 0.9 percent to hit 161.36 points at 6:22 pm in Tokyo, erasing a slide of 0.4 percent yesterday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.2 percent and South Korea's Kospi index hit 2,000.00 points for the first time, while the markets in Pakistan and the Philippines regressed.

Better-than-expected earnings forecasts and profit reports at a number of Asia-Pacific's largest companies helped prop up the regional benchmark index on Tuesday. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index gained 0.9 percent to hit 161.36 points at 6:22 pm in Tokyo, erasing a slide of 0.4 percent yesterday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average gained 0.2 percent and South Korea's Kospi index hit 2,000.00 points for the first time, while the markets in Pakistan and the Philippines regressed.

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Pakistan Textile Exports Surpass USD 10 Billion Mark

Despite domestic and international constraints, textile exports have surpassed USD 10 billion for the first time in the history of Pakistan. The textile exports have increased by 10 percent but are still short of the 20 percent growth target set by the federal government for the last fiscal year. Regardless, this is a big achievement for the textile industry, especially when the government has failed to provide the industries with proper facilities.

Despite domestic and international constraints, textile exports have surpassed USD 10 billion for the first time in the history of Pakistan. The textile exports have increased by 10 percent but are still short of the 20 percent growth target set by the federal government for the last fiscal year. Regardless, this is a big achievement for the textile industry, especially when the government has failed to provide the industries with proper facilities.

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Pakistan: Goods Containers Still Disappearing on Upcountry Routes

Despite the efforts made by the Federal Reserve Board (FBR) to check the disappearance of upcountry-bound containers, they are still vanishing and not reaching their documented destinations. FBR authorities have decided to take the help of the latest tracking technology to monitor the whereabouts of upcountry-bound goods. Experts estimate that the cost of the tracker would range from PKR 1000 to 1500 per container due to Pakistan's inefficient cargo handling.

Despite the efforts made by the Federal Reserve Board (FBR) to check the disappearance of upcountry-bound containers, they are still vanishing and not reaching their documented destinations. FBR authorities have decided to take the help of the latest tracking technology to monitor the whereabouts of upcountry-bound goods. Experts estimate that the cost of the tracker would range from PKR 1000 to 1500 per container due to Pakistan's inefficient cargo handling.

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Pakistan: ZBTL to Provide Assistance to Tea Growers

Zari Taraqati Bank Limited (ZTBL) will provide financial and technical assistance to the growers for tea cultivation in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK). According to an official, ZTBL will offer financial assistance of PKR 60,000 per hectare. He said the government decided to cultivate tea in the country to meet the high domestic demand of the most consumed and favorite drink in Pakistan.

Zari Taraqati Bank Limited (ZTBL) will provide financial and technical assistance to the growers for tea cultivation in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK). According to an official, ZTBL will offer financial assistance of PKR 60,000 per hectare. He said the government decided to cultivate tea in the country to meet the high domestic demand of the most consumed and favorite drink in Pakistan.

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Pakistan: Exporters Committed to Achieve Target

According to President of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), local exporters are fully committed to achieve the export target set by the government. He lauded the efforts of the federal government for reducing the problems confronted by the local business community, especially the sports goods industry. Officials emphasized that timely action and full backing of the government would not only help in doubling the exports but also enable the sports goods industry to adopt new technologies and achieve new heights of excellence.

According to President of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), local exporters are fully committed to achieve the export target set by the government. He lauded the efforts of the federal government for reducing the problems confronted by the local business community, especially the sports goods industry. Officials emphasized that timely action and full backing of the government would not only help in doubling the exports but also enable the sports goods industry to adopt new technologies and achieve new heights of excellence.

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Pakistani Government Fails to Save Daimler-Chrysler Project

Damiler-Chrysler has withdrawn its interest in a USD 1.1 billion Mercedes Benz manufacturing plant project located on a 1,200 acre tract of land in Pakistan's Punjab region. In addition to losing a guaranteed investment from a major international player, Pakistan also loses out on the opportunity to secure at least USD 5 billion in annual exports from the newly established industrial zone, as well as the potential to attract similar investments from other global heavyweights.

Damiler-Chrysler has withdrawn its interest in a USD 1.1 billion Mercedes Benz manufacturing plant project located on a 1,200 acre tract of land in Pakistan's Punjab region. In addition to losing a guaranteed investment from a major international player, Pakistan also loses out on the opportunity to secure at least USD 5 billion in annual exports from the newly established industrial zone, as well as the potential to attract similar investments from other global heavyweights.

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Pakistan Focused on Roadmap for Enhancing Trade with China

Pakistan's Commerce Ministry welcomed a trade delegation under Chinese Assistant Trade Minister Wang Chao with a number of Chinese traders and importers present, expressing its desire to create a roadmap for the enhancement of trade with China. Chinese imports from Pakistan in 2006 were valued at USD 462 million, a 32 percent increase from 2005.

Pakistan's Commerce Ministry welcomed a trade delegation under Chinese Assistant Trade Minister Wang Chao with a number of Chinese traders and importers present, expressing its desire to create a roadmap for the enhancement of trade with China. Chinese imports from Pakistan in 2006 were valued at USD 462 million, a 32 percent increase from 2005.

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Pakistan's Liquid Forex Reserves Increase by USD 166 Million

Pakistan's liquid foreign exchange reserves increased by USD 166 million dollars during the week ending July 14, putting the measure at USD 15.6459 billion. Nonetheless, reserves held by commercial banks decreased by USD 266 million to USD 2.2571 billion.

Pakistan's liquid foreign exchange reserves increased by USD 166 million dollars during the week ending July 14, putting the measure at USD 15.6459 billion. Nonetheless, reserves held by commercial banks decreased by USD 266 million to USD 2.2571 billion.

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Pakistan's Benchmark KSE-100 Index Falls Further

Trading opened strong on the Karachi share market (KSE) on Friday, but news of a bomb blast in the city's Hub area and the ensuing uncertainty triggered widespread panic selling, driving down the KSE's benchmark index. The KSE-100 index hit 13,706.80 during intra-day trading, but fell to 13,132.92 as investors began to offload their shares, good for a fall of 526.92 points. Overall market capitalization fell to 321.661 million shares from 461.560 a day earlier.

Trading opened strong on the Karachi share market (KSE) on Friday, but news of a bomb blast in the city's Hub area and the ensuing uncertainty triggered widespread panic selling, driving down the KSE's benchmark index. The KSE-100 index hit 13,706.80 during intra-day trading, but fell to 13,132.92 as investors began to offload their shares, good for a fall of 526.92 points. Overall market capitalization fell to 321.661 million shares from 461.560 a day earlier.

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Pakistan's Energy Crisis, Exessive Electricity Tariffs Hurting Exports

Citing the impact of the nation's energy crisis and excessively high electricity tariffs, the Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front (PIAF) is growing increasingly concerned about stunted exports. PIAF Chairman Abuzar Shad is also concerned about the country's increasing trade deficit, saying that a deficit of USD 14 billion is borderline alarming, and that an export target of USD 19.4 billion is insufficient in spurring Pakistan's export volume.

Citing the impact of the nation's energy crisis and excessively high electricity tariffs, the Pakistan Industrial and Traders Association Front (PIAF) is growing increasingly concerned about stunted exports. PIAF Chairman Abuzar Shad is also concerned about the country's increasing trade deficit, saying that a deficit of USD 14 billion is borderline alarming, and that an export target of USD 19.4 billion is insufficient in spurring Pakistan's export volume.

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Pakistan, Japan Continue Economic Policy Talks

Officials from Pakistan and Japan will meet today for a third round of high level economic policy dialog, with the two parties being led by Japan's Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Pakistan's Secretary of Economic Affairs. Paving the way for bilateral trade and investment is the focus of the meeting, as the sides are reported to desire better collaboration and cooperations amongst one another.

Officials from Pakistan and Japan will meet today for a third round of high level economic policy dialog, with the two parties being led by Japan's Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Pakistan's Secretary of Economic Affairs. Paving the way for bilateral trade and investment is the focus of the meeting, as the sides are reported to desire better collaboration and cooperations amongst one another.

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Pakistani Firms Sign 15 Deals with Chinese Trade Delegation

A visiting Chinese Trade Mission inked deals with 15 Pakistani firms on Thursday, mostly related to the import of goods such as cotton and chrome ore. On-the-spot purchase orders were placed by the Chinese business groups, with the deals expected by the Pakistani government to exceed USD 1 billion in value.

A visiting Chinese Trade Mission inked deals with 15 Pakistani firms on Thursday, mostly related to the import of goods such as cotton and chrome ore. On-the-spot purchase orders were placed by the Chinese business groups, with the deals expected by the Pakistani government to exceed USD 1 billion in value.

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Pakistani Oil & Gas Production Prices Increase Under New Policy

The cost to produce oil and gasoline in Pakistan is expected to increase between 6 and 8 percent under a new 5-year energy policy unveiled yesterday. The local equivalence cap system has been done away with and prices will be determined with a formula-based pricing mechanism that is entirely linked to international prices. Outgoing Secretary of Petroleum Ahmad Waqar believes that the impact of the new pricing system will be passed on to domestic consumers after 5 years.

The cost to produce oil and gasoline in Pakistan is expected to increase between 6 and 8 percent under a new 5-year energy policy unveiled yesterday. The local equivalence cap system has been done away with and prices will be determined with a formula-based pricing mechanism that is entirely linked to international prices. Outgoing Secretary of Petroleum Ahmad Waqar believes that the impact of the new pricing system will be passed on to domestic consumers after 5 years.

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Asian Stocks Rise for First Time in Four Days

Asian stocks gained for the first time in four days, as price gains in copper, gold and oil helped BHP Billiton Ltd. and Zijin Mining Group Co. pace risers on the day. Growing demand in emerging markets, particularly China, continues to drive the global economy and corporate profits. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index advanced 0.6 percent to close at 158.69, with 9 of 10 industry groups rising. The Jakarta Composite index led all index gains in the region with a jump of 1.7 percent. The Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index (KSE 100) lost 3.4 percent, the sharpest decline in the region.

Asian stocks gained for the first time in four days, as price gains in copper, gold and oil helped BHP Billiton Ltd. and Zijin Mining Group Co. pace risers on the day. Growing demand in emerging markets, particularly China, continues to drive the global economy and corporate profits. The Morgan Stanley Capital International Asia-Pacific Index advanced 0.6 percent to close at 158.69, with 9 of 10 industry groups rising. The Jakarta Composite index led all index gains in the region with a jump of 1.7 percent. The Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index (KSE 100) lost 3.4 percent, the sharpest decline in the region.

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Pakistan Businessmen Welcome 2007-08 Trade Policy

Different sectors of the economy have welcomed the Trade Policy 2007-08 saying that it will further strengthen economic activities in the country. According to officials, the government will support the manufacturing sector to assist in creating an export surplus as well as the agricultural sector, which is vital for economic growth. The policy announced a government subsidy from 50 to 100 percent which would significantly increase Pakistan's market access to international markets.

Different sectors of the economy have welcomed the Trade Policy 2007-08 saying that it will further strengthen economic activities in the country. According to officials, the government will support the manufacturing sector to assist in creating an export surplus as well as the agricultural sector, which is vital for economic growth. The policy announced a government subsidy from 50 to 100 percent which would significantly increase Pakistan's market access to international markets.

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Pakistan, India Reluctant to Facilitate Bilateral Trade

Both Pakistan and India have shown reluctance to facilitate bilateral trade because each country desires to export to the other rather then create opportunities for import. The high growth in the two countries has led to supply shortages mainly due to the lack of capacity to produce, particularly in cement and cotton industries. Experts in both countries have calculated the potential gains from trade and are urging their governments to implement policies to cut transaction costs and create adequate transportation links.

Both Pakistan and India have shown reluctance to facilitate bilateral trade because each country desires to export to the other rather then create opportunities for import. The high growth in the two countries has led to supply shortages mainly due to the lack of capacity to produce, particularly in cement and cotton industries. Experts in both countries have calculated the potential gains from trade and are urging their governments to implement policies to cut transaction costs and create adequate transportation links.

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Pakistan, China Sign “Letter of Exchange”

Pakistan and China signed a "Letter of Exchange" to establish Pak-China Center and Digital Seismic Network in Pakistan. Under the agreement, the Chinese Government will establish a Digital Seismic Network which will include survey and selection of the stations, provision of earthquake monitoring equipment, dispatch of technical personnel to Pakistan for equipment installation and training of Pakistani personnel. The project assistance will be in form of a grant which is approx. USD 10 million.

Pakistan and China signed a "Letter of Exchange" to establish Pak-China Center and Digital Seismic Network in Pakistan. Under the agreement, the Chinese Government will establish a Digital Seismic Network which will include survey and selection of the stations, provision of earthquake monitoring equipment, dispatch of technical personnel to Pakistan for equipment installation and training of Pakistani personnel. The project assistance will be in form of a grant which is approx. USD 10 million.

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Pakistan: KSE-100 Index Recovers Overnight Losses

The Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index (KSE-100 Index) once again breached the 14,000 mark to close at its intra-day high level of 14,053.94 points with a net gain of 108.91 points due to fresh buying. Local institutions and retail investors took fresh positions mainly in the cement, fertilizer, oil and telecom sectors.

The Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index (KSE-100 Index) once again breached the 14,000 mark to close at its intra-day high level of 14,053.94 points with a net gain of 108.91 points due to fresh buying. Local institutions and retail investors took fresh positions mainly in the cement, fertilizer, oil and telecom sectors.

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Pakistani, German Bilateral Relations Strengthening

According to Punjab Chief Minister, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, bilateral relations between Germany and Pakistan in engineering, agriculture, science and technology, and other sectors are growing rapidly due to local and foreign investment. Major areas of collaboration include universities and other educational institutes, which will help develop a skilled workforce. The German ambassador emphasized that Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flights from Lahore to Frankfurt would help in export of fresh fruit, fish and other essential items.

According to Punjab Chief Minister, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, bilateral relations between Germany and Pakistan in engineering, agriculture, science and technology, and other sectors are growing rapidly due to local and foreign investment. Major areas of collaboration include universities and other educational institutes, which will help develop a skilled workforce. The German ambassador emphasized that Pakistan International Airline (PIA) flights from Lahore to Frankfurt would help in export of fresh fruit, fish and other essential items.

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Pakistan: KSE May Sell Stake to Overseas Partner

The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) may sell a 10 percent stake to an overseas partner before its initial share sale to help drive trading in markets which have grown 14-fold in six years. According to Abdul Aziz Anis, chief executive of Alfalah GHP Investment Management Ltd., selling a stake will help bring in technology infrastructure, cross-border listings and product development.

The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) may sell a 10 percent stake to an overseas partner before its initial share sale to help drive trading in markets which have grown 14-fold in six years. According to Abdul Aziz Anis, chief executive of Alfalah GHP Investment Management Ltd., selling a stake will help bring in technology infrastructure, cross-border listings and product development.

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Pakistan Edible Oil Prices Still High as International Rates Fall

The local ghee (clarified butter) and cooking oil manufacturers are not willing to reduce their prices despite a substantial decline in palm oil prices on the international market in the last 15 days. During the last month, ghee manufacturing companies increased the prices of ghee and cooking oil three times, affecting the prices of other commodities in the process.

The local ghee (clarified butter) and cooking oil manufacturers are not willing to reduce their prices despite a substantial decline in palm oil prices on the international market in the last 15 days. During the last month, ghee manufacturing companies increased the prices of ghee and cooking oil three times, affecting the prices of other commodities in the process.

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Pakistan Steel Industry Rejects Three New Taxes

The steel industry has rejected three new taxes which include 20 percent sales tax deduction, 3.5 percent income tax, and 1 percent excise duty on the sale of finished produced to non-corporate sector placed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). According to steel industry officials, the unjustified taxes are going to raise construction/housing industry costs as well as the production of steel. The massive taxation leads officials to believe that the government's only concern is revenue collection.

The steel industry has rejected three new taxes which include 20 percent sales tax deduction, 3.5 percent income tax, and 1 percent excise duty on the sale of finished produced to non-corporate sector placed by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). According to steel industry officials, the unjustified taxes are going to raise construction/housing industry costs as well as the production of steel. The massive taxation leads officials to believe that the government's only concern is revenue collection.

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Pakistan: National Textile Policy to be Finalized

According to Federal Minister for Textile Industry, Mushtaq Ali Cheema, the national textile policy is being finalized to help develop all segments of the textile sector value chain, from cultivation of cotton crop to garments. Cheema emphasized the need to increase the productivity of Pakistan's textile industry so it can compete in international markets.

According to Federal Minister for Textile Industry, Mushtaq Ali Cheema, the national textile policy is being finalized to help develop all segments of the textile sector value chain, from cultivation of cotton crop to garments. Cheema emphasized the need to increase the productivity of Pakistan's textile industry so it can compete in international markets.

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Pakistan: KSE-100 Index Closes at Record High

The Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index (KSE 100-Index) reached an all-time high level of 14,131.28 points with a net gain of 163.88 points due to foreign and local investors. Kamran Naqvi, Head of Equity Trade at Atlas Capital Markets, said that the improved law and order situation in Islamabad restored the investors' confidence to take fresh positions.

The Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index (KSE 100-Index) reached an all-time high level of 14,131.28 points with a net gain of 163.88 points due to foreign and local investors. Kamran Naqvi, Head of Equity Trade at Atlas Capital Markets, said that the improved law and order situation in Islamabad restored the investors' confidence to take fresh positions.

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Pakistan: DAP Price Increases by PKR 200 Per 50kg

The price of Diammonium Phosphate (DAP), an essential nutrient for crops, has shot up by PKR 200 to PKR 1250 per 50kg bag. According to traders, DAP was available in huge quantities in the domestic market, but the rising international prices had put a negative impact on its price, which is expected to further rise in the near future. Concerned farmers have demanded the government introduce price fixation to safeguard the growers' interest and stabilize the DAP prices in the domestic market.

The price of Diammonium Phosphate (DAP), an essential nutrient for crops, has shot up by PKR 200 to PKR 1250 per 50kg bag. According to traders, DAP was available in huge quantities in the domestic market, but the rising international prices had put a negative impact on its price, which is expected to further rise in the near future. Concerned farmers have demanded the government introduce price fixation to safeguard the growers' interest and stabilize the DAP prices in the domestic market.

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Pakistan: Banks Alerted on Fake Currency Notes

The Pakistan Banks Association (PBA) has alerted the banking sector about new PKR 500 counterfeit notes. According to the PBA, the quality and printing of these fake notes makes it difficult to distinguish them from the authentic notes, especially when cashiers are not trained to identify the forged notes. Even though the volume of the fake notes is very low, PBA has encouraged currency handlers to accustom themselves to the feel, touch, and specification of the new-design currency notes.

The Pakistan Banks Association (PBA) has alerted the banking sector about new PKR 500 counterfeit notes. According to the PBA, the quality and printing of these fake notes makes it difficult to distinguish them from the authentic notes, especially when cashiers are not trained to identify the forged notes. Even though the volume of the fake notes is very low, PBA has encouraged currency handlers to accustom themselves to the feel, touch, and specification of the new-design currency notes.

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Pakistan Government to Modernize Industrial Sector

According to Federal Industries Minister, Jahangir Khan Tareen, the government is committed to modernize the industrial sector through certain technologies to further accelerate its productivity. He emphasized that the government would provide full support to help the sector become internationally competitive, particularly in sports goods sector which should concentrate on enhancing exports to US to USD 1 billion in the next three years.

According to Federal Industries Minister, Jahangir Khan Tareen, the government is committed to modernize the industrial sector through certain technologies to further accelerate its productivity. He emphasized that the government would provide full support to help the sector become internationally competitive, particularly in sports goods sector which should concentrate on enhancing exports to US to USD 1 billion in the next three years.

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Pakistan: KSE-100 Index Falls 102 Points

The KSE-100 share index fell by 101.62 points to 13,917.43 which had breached the 14,000-point mark a day earlier. According to analysts, investors responded negatively to the weeklong operation against Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) occupants, rumors of resignations by ministers and deteriorating law and order.

The KSE-100 share index fell by 101.62 points to 13,917.43 which had breached the 14,000-point mark a day earlier. According to analysts, investors responded negatively to the weeklong operation against Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) occupants, rumors of resignations by ministers and deteriorating law and order.

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China to Invest USD 800 Million in Pakistan

According to Dr. Salman Shah, Finance and Economic Affairs Advisor, China will invest approximately USD 800 million in different sectors during the current fiscal year. Under the five year economic cooperation agreement, Pak-China bilateral trade would reach USD 15 billion. Dr. Shah stressed the need for initiating more export-oriented projects to minimize the trade deficit and collaborating in joint ventures with the Chinese investors in the country.

According to Dr. Salman Shah, Finance and Economic Affairs Advisor, China will invest approximately USD 800 million in different sectors during the current fiscal year. Under the five year economic cooperation agreement, Pak-China bilateral trade would reach USD 15 billion. Dr. Shah stressed the need for initiating more export-oriented projects to minimize the trade deficit and collaborating in joint ventures with the Chinese investors in the country.

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Sri Lanka to Develop Pakistan's Gem Industry

Pakistan, which possesses 'world-class gem deposits', is seeking the assistance of Sri Lanka's gem and jewelry experts in the development of their gem industry. Pakistan's current annual revenue from gem exports is USD 200 million, but Pakistan's Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources expects that, after Sri Lanka provides highly-skilled training and regulatory framework enhancements, annual gem revenue could hit USD 4 billion.

Pakistan, which possesses 'world-class gem deposits', is seeking the assistance of Sri Lanka's gem and jewelry experts in the development of their gem industry. Pakistan's current annual revenue from gem exports is USD 200 million, but Pakistan's Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources expects that, after Sri Lanka provides highly-skilled training and regulatory framework enhancements, annual gem revenue could hit USD 4 billion.

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Pakistan's Elections May Spell End to 8-Year Stock Surge

Since current Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf took control of the nation in 1999, Pakistani shares have been Asia's best performers, with the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) index surging 858 percent in dollar terms over the 8-year span. However, with Musharraf's bid for another 5-year term meeting strong public opposition, the thriving market may be set for a selloff and a major correction. The KSE index fell 0.7 percent to close at 13,917.43 on Tuesday.

Since current Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf took control of the nation in 1999, Pakistani shares have been Asia's best performers, with the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) index surging 858 percent in dollar terms over the 8-year span. However, with Musharraf's bid for another 5-year term meeting strong public opposition, the thriving market may be set for a selloff and a major correction. The KSE index fell 0.7 percent to close at 13,917.43 on Tuesday.

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Pakistan: Three Critical Sectors Need Heavy Investments

According to National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President, Syed Ali Raza, three critical sectors including infrastructure, power and agriculture need serious investments to attract maximum foreign capital in the country. He emphasized the need to capitalize on trade opportunities with neighboring countries to encourage investment into the capital market. NBP president believes that "globalization has freed the capital market from governments' influences and control, giving rise to the new challenges in the face of stiff competitions".

According to National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President, Syed Ali Raza, three critical sectors including infrastructure, power and agriculture need serious investments to attract maximum foreign capital in the country. He emphasized the need to capitalize on trade opportunities with neighboring countries to encourage investment into the capital market. NBP president believes that "globalization has freed the capital market from governments' influences and control, giving rise to the new challenges in the face of stiff competitions".

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Pakistan: Price of Sugar Increases by PKR 250

According to market officials, the price of white refined sugar shot up by PKR 250 per 50 kg bag due to increasing demand and declining sugar stocks in the country. During the last two weeks, there was a 10 percent increase in demand of sugar in the local market. Another main reason for the recent price rise is Pakistan Sugar Mills Association's (PSMA) decision to delay sugarcane crushing by three months.

According to market officials, the price of white refined sugar shot up by PKR 250 per 50 kg bag due to increasing demand and declining sugar stocks in the country. During the last two weeks, there was a 10 percent increase in demand of sugar in the local market. Another main reason for the recent price rise is Pakistan Sugar Mills Association's (PSMA) decision to delay sugarcane crushing by three months.

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Pakistani WAPDA Wants Further Increase in Consumer Tax

According to Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman, the financial burden on the utilities sector because of the 10 percent per annum growth in demand for energy needs to be rationalized on the consumer end. The consumer-end tariff remained stagnant during November 2003 to February 2007 whereas the cost of electricity increased by 39 percent during the same period.

According to Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) Chairman, the financial burden on the utilities sector because of the 10 percent per annum growth in demand for energy needs to be rationalized on the consumer end. The consumer-end tariff remained stagnant during November 2003 to February 2007 whereas the cost of electricity increased by 39 percent during the same period.

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ADB to Fund Pakistan’s Electricity, Gas Import Projects

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will finance import of approximately 2000MW electricity to Pakistan from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The bank will also provide assistance for the pipeline project for importing gas from Turkmenistan. According to officials, the bank decided to fund the projects because it finds Pakistan's development of Gwadar port as a transnational hub for Central Asian states, South Asia, China and Middle East.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will finance import of approximately 2000MW electricity to Pakistan from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The bank will also provide assistance for the pipeline project for importing gas from Turkmenistan. According to officials, the bank decided to fund the projects because it finds Pakistan's development of Gwadar port as a transnational hub for Central Asian states, South Asia, China and Middle East.

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South Asia Struggling to Keep Up with Cross Border Trade

As cross border trade and investment flows continue to soar on the back of rapid economic growth, South Asian nations are struggling to keep up without properly modernized regional payments systems. Ranee Jayamaha, deputy governor of Sri Lanka Central Bank, expects cross border trade and investment flows to exceed manageable levels within the next two years if the right payment instruments, clearing mechanisms and settlement systems are not utilized.

As cross border trade and investment flows continue to soar on the back of rapid economic growth, South Asian nations are struggling to keep up without properly modernized regional payments systems. Ranee Jayamaha, deputy governor of Sri Lanka Central Bank, expects cross border trade and investment flows to exceed manageable levels within the next two years if the right payment instruments, clearing mechanisms and settlement systems are not utilized.

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Pakistan’s Cement Exports Increase by 112 Percent

According to industry officials, Pakistan's cement exports have experienced a robust growth during 2006-07 fiscal reaching 3.88 billion tons due to rising international demand and high increase in local utilization. During June 2007, cement export were 392,372 tones compared to 144,544 tons during June 2006, a staggering 171 percent increase. High competition has caused cement companies to decrease their prices to capture domestic buyers and international interest.

According to industry officials, Pakistan's cement exports have experienced a robust growth during 2006-07 fiscal reaching 3.88 billion tons due to rising international demand and high increase in local utilization. During June 2007, cement export were 392,372 tones compared to 144,544 tons during June 2006, a staggering 171 percent increase. High competition has caused cement companies to decrease their prices to capture domestic buyers and international interest.

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Pakistan: High Taxes Hamper Telecom Growth

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) believes the high ratio of taxes on the country's telecom industry is hindering its growth and preventing expansion of its services to rural areas. PTA has been pursuing the government to rationalize the taxes on telecom services such as elimination of activation fees on new mobile connections to lessen the burden on telecom companies.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) believes the high ratio of taxes on the country's telecom industry is hindering its growth and preventing expansion of its services to rural areas. PTA has been pursuing the government to rationalize the taxes on telecom services such as elimination of activation fees on new mobile connections to lessen the burden on telecom companies.

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Pakistan: PTA Cancels Licenses of a Dozen Companies

According to officials, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has revoked licenses of a dozen companies for non-payment of more than PKR 50 million in dues. PTA has asked the defaulting companies to pay off their dues within a month to avoid further legal action. According to an official, among the dozen defaulter companies, most were solely owned by local groups, therefore the shakeup is not expected to hurt any kind of foreign investment in the telecom industry.

According to officials, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has revoked licenses of a dozen companies for non-payment of more than PKR 50 million in dues. PTA has asked the defaulting companies to pay off their dues within a month to avoid further legal action. According to an official, among the dozen defaulter companies, most were solely owned by local groups, therefore the shakeup is not expected to hurt any kind of foreign investment in the telecom industry.

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Pakistan: Furnace Oil Price Soar to PKR 26,745 Per Ton

Furnace oil prices have increased by 5 percent to an all-time high level of PKR 26,745 per ton in the domestic market in wake of soaring international prices. Furnace oil is generally used by Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and other private sector's independent power producers for power generation purposes. It is also a major raw material of cement, fertilizer, textile industry, rolling mills, and other industries. According to officials, during the last four months, the furnace oil prices have increased on 5 different occasions.

Furnace oil prices have increased by 5 percent to an all-time high level of PKR 26,745 per ton in the domestic market in wake of soaring international prices. Furnace oil is generally used by Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and other private sector's independent power producers for power generation purposes. It is also a major raw material of cement, fertilizer, textile industry, rolling mills, and other industries. According to officials, during the last four months, the furnace oil prices have increased on 5 different occasions.

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Pakistan: PEL Signs Joint Venture with Moroccan Firm

Petroleum Exploration Limited (PEL) has become the first-ever Pakistani oil and gas company to undertake exploration and production in North Africa. It has signed a petroleum agreement and association contract for exploration of hydrocarbons in 3 blocks with ONHYM, the Moroccan state oil and gas company. PEL is the operator as it hold 75 percent of the shares, while its joint venture partner retains 25 percent stakes.

Petroleum Exploration Limited (PEL) has become the first-ever Pakistani oil and gas company to undertake exploration and production in North Africa. It has signed a petroleum agreement and association contract for exploration of hydrocarbons in 3 blocks with ONHYM, the Moroccan state oil and gas company. PEL is the operator as it hold 75 percent of the shares, while its joint venture partner retains 25 percent stakes.

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Pakistan: KSE Index Increases by 157 Points

Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) index gained further momentum by climbing 157 points to close at 13930 marks and marked another new peak in the bourses trading history of the country. According to analysts, the energy in stocks is led by the expected announcement of new petroleum policy. They further predict the index to breach 14000 points due to foreign investors increasing interest in the market.

Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) index gained further momentum by climbing 157 points to close at 13930 marks and marked another new peak in the bourses trading history of the country. According to analysts, the energy in stocks is led by the expected announcement of new petroleum policy. They further predict the index to breach 14000 points due to foreign investors increasing interest in the market.

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Pakistan: LCCI Demands Duty Cut on Tin Raw Material

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has demanded Central Board of Revenue (CBR) to reduce import duty on the raw material of tin can industry because the high duty structure is damaging the whole industrial segment. The high duty tariff has caused 200 tin can units to be shut down and has left 3,000 people jobless. According to LCCI officials, the decrease in duty would help leading food and beverage companies save a huge amount of PKR 3.8 billion being spent on the import of tin cans.

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has demanded Central Board of Revenue (CBR) to reduce import duty on the raw material of tin can industry because the high duty structure is damaging the whole industrial segment. The high duty tariff has caused 200 tin can units to be shut down and has left 3,000 people jobless. According to LCCI officials, the decrease in duty would help leading food and beverage companies save a huge amount of PKR 3.8 billion being spent on the import of tin cans.

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Pakistan: ECC Bans Wheat Export

Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has prohibited wheat export under any circumstances in order to maintain high wheat and flour prices. According to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, the increase in prices is unjustified because it occurred at the time when Pakistan achieved record production of wheat crop, amounting to over 23.5 million tons.

Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has prohibited wheat export under any circumstances in order to maintain high wheat and flour prices. According to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, the increase in prices is unjustified because it occurred at the time when Pakistan achieved record production of wheat crop, amounting to over 23.5 million tons.

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Pakistan to Cut Tariffs on Chinese Imports

Pakistan will soon announce the first tariff cut on Chinese goods under the free-trade agreement in line with China's decision to reduce duty on Pakistani imports from July 1,2007. According to a Pakistani official, the tariff reduction will help ensure "gradual regularization of trade with China while providing an adequate tariff protection to the existing industry as well as future investments."

Pakistan will soon announce the first tariff cut on Chinese goods under the free-trade agreement in line with China's decision to reduce duty on Pakistani imports from July 1,2007. According to a Pakistani official, the tariff reduction will help ensure "gradual regularization of trade with China while providing an adequate tariff protection to the existing industry as well as future investments."

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Pakistan: SingTel to Acquire 30 Percent Stake in Warid Telecom

Singapore Telecommunications, Southeast Asia's leading telecom group, is to buy a 30 percent stake in Warid Telecom, Pakistan's third largest mobile operator for more than USD 700 million. Warid Telecom, launched in 2005, has about 17 percent of Pakistan's 58.4 million mobile subscribers with subscribers rapidly growing. SingTel's home market is just 4.5 million people and the company has been forced to expand abroad in search of growth and higher returns since 100 percent mobile penetration has been reached.

Singapore Telecommunications, Southeast Asia's leading telecom group, is to buy a 30 percent stake in Warid Telecom, Pakistan's third largest mobile operator for more than USD 700 million. Warid Telecom, launched in 2005, has about 17 percent of Pakistan's 58.4 million mobile subscribers with subscribers rapidly growing. SingTel's home market is just 4.5 million people and the company has been forced to expand abroad in search of growth and higher returns since 100 percent mobile penetration has been reached.

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Pakistan: IFIs Ask Islamabad to Control Deficit

The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have asked Islamabad authorities to take corrective measures for controlling the growing current account deficit (CAD) in fiscal year 2007-08. According to an official, in the past Pakistan has successfully bridged CAD gap through Foreign Diret Investment (FDI). However, due to the lingering judicial and political crisis, the IFIs are concerned that the unrest will prevent huge direct foreign investment and substantial privatization proceeds envisioned by the government in the upcoming fiscal year.

The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have asked Islamabad authorities to take corrective measures for controlling the growing current account deficit (CAD) in fiscal year 2007-08. According to an official, in the past Pakistan has successfully bridged CAD gap through Foreign Diret Investment (FDI). However, due to the lingering judicial and political crisis, the IFIs are concerned that the unrest will prevent huge direct foreign investment and substantial privatization proceeds envisioned by the government in the upcoming fiscal year.

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Pakistan: Prices of Fruits, Vegetables Soar

Due to the current wind storm and heavy rainfall, there has been a short supply from upcountry markets prompting a sharp increase in prices of several fruits and vegetables at the local Subzi Mandi (vegetable and fruit market). According to Haji Shah Jhan, president of Subzi Mandi, vegetable and fruit supply has declined 50 percent which is causing huge losses to growers and traders but also forcing prices to move up. He criticized government organizations, particularly market committees for not improving the supply chain system in the country.

Due to the current wind storm and heavy rainfall, there has been a short supply from upcountry markets prompting a sharp increase in prices of several fruits and vegetables at the local Subzi Mandi (vegetable and fruit market). According to Haji Shah Jhan, president of Subzi Mandi, vegetable and fruit supply has declined 50 percent which is causing huge losses to growers and traders but also forcing prices to move up. He criticized government organizations, particularly market committees for not improving the supply chain system in the country.

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Pakistan to Manufacture Nuclear Power Plants

In order to meet its growing energy needs, Pakistan has decided to construct a 300-megawatt commercial nuclear power plant. Officials pointed out that Pakistan's "Energy Security Plan" envisions 8500 MW of nuclear energy by 2030 which requires building 22 nuclear power plants of 300-mw capacity. According to an official, sites for eight nuclear power plants have already been selected and a consortium of private and public industrial units will undertake the construction of the plants.

In order to meet its growing energy needs, Pakistan has decided to construct a 300-megawatt commercial nuclear power plant. Officials pointed out that Pakistan's "Energy Security Plan" envisions 8500 MW of nuclear energy by 2030 which requires building 22 nuclear power plants of 300-mw capacity. According to an official, sites for eight nuclear power plants have already been selected and a consortium of private and public industrial units will undertake the construction of the plants.

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Pakistan: Mining and Quarrying Sector Record Growth Rate of 5.6 Percent

According to officials, the increased growth during the current fiscal year was propelled by strong growth recorded in magnetite, dolomite, limestone and chromites. The Pakistani government is committed to making the mineral sector of Pakistan one of the most profitable, though over the last few decades the sector has been allocated a very small amount of the total public sector expenditure, reflecting a 0.5 percent contribution to Gross National Product (GNP).

According to officials, the increased growth during the current fiscal year was propelled by strong growth recorded in magnetite, dolomite, limestone and chromites. The Pakistani government is committed to making the mineral sector of Pakistan one of the most profitable, though over the last few decades the sector has been allocated a very small amount of the total public sector expenditure, reflecting a 0.5 percent contribution to Gross National Product (GNP).

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Pakistan: US to Provide USD 1.5 Billion in Development Assistance

According to Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, US will grant USD 1.5 billion over the next five years to assist Pakistan develop in the fields of education, health, governance and economic growth. He described the relationship with Pakistan as "one of America's most vital relationships" and emphasized US commitment to help Pakistan become a more stable, open, and economically prosperous nation.

According to Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, US will grant USD 1.5 billion over the next five years to assist Pakistan develop in the fields of education, health, governance and economic growth. He described the relationship with Pakistan as "one of America's most vital relationships" and emphasized US commitment to help Pakistan become a more stable, open, and economically prosperous nation.

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Pakistan: Textile Policy to Be Drafted

The textile industry of Pakistan contributes to almost 65 percent of the export basket and 35 percent of the total workforce, therefore, industry insiders think that a Textile Policy will provide necessary impetus for growth and promotion of this economically important industry. The terms and conditions about the country's first Textile Policy will be discussed at the Ministry of Textile seminar, "Infrastructure and Human Resources."

The textile industry of Pakistan contributes to almost 65 percent of the export basket and 35 percent of the total workforce, therefore, industry insiders think that a Textile Policy will provide necessary impetus for growth and promotion of this economically important industry. The terms and conditions about the country's first Textile Policy will be discussed at the Ministry of Textile seminar, "Infrastructure and Human Resources."

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Pakistan: Withdrawal of Sales Tax on Tea Demanded

The Pakistan Tea Association (PTA) has demanded that the government reduce duties and taxes on black tea imports and insisted that it exempt tea from sales tax like other essential food items. According to the PTA chairman, the government considers tea a luxury beverage, but in fact it is largely consumed by low-income individuals, and therefore it should be included in the list of essential food items. He has also asked the government to take fiscal measures to protect genuine tea importers who are greatly affected by the black market tea smugglers from Afghanistan.

The Pakistan Tea Association (PTA) has demanded that the government reduce duties and taxes on black tea imports and insisted that it exempt tea from sales tax like other essential food items. According to the PTA chairman, the government considers tea a luxury beverage, but in fact it is largely consumed by low-income individuals, and therefore it should be included in the list of essential food items. He has also asked the government to take fiscal measures to protect genuine tea importers who are greatly affected by the black market tea smugglers from Afghanistan.

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Pakistan: PKR 63.81 Billion Balochistan Budget Unveiled

Balochistan Minister for Finance, Syed Ehsan Shah, presented the provincial budget for the fiscal year 2007-08 of PKR 63.81 billion against recieving a total of PKR 53.248 billion, creating a PRK 10.278 billion resource gap. According to Syed Ehsan Shah, the resource deficit will be met by increasing local income, economy measures and Federal Government assistance. He further states that with an increase in infrastructural projects and foreign investments, Balochistan can transform itself into a center for business activities and mineral production.

Balochistan Minister for Finance, Syed Ehsan Shah, presented the provincial budget for the fiscal year 2007-08 of PKR 63.81 billion against recieving a total of PKR 53.248 billion, creating a PRK 10.278 billion resource gap. According to Syed Ehsan Shah, the resource deficit will be met by increasing local income, economy measures and Federal Government assistance. He further states that with an increase in infrastructural projects and foreign investments, Balochistan can transform itself into a center for business activities and mineral production.

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Pakistan to Face Serious Economic Problems

In the upcoming fiscal year, the Pakistani government has to tackle its growing current account deficit, high monetary growth and rising inflation. The State Bank is concerned with the 60 percent increase in the current account deficit that reached USD 7.379 billion during the eleven months of the outgoing fiscal year. The State Bank is satisfied by the monetary growth caused by high foreign inflows in the form of investments and remittances from overseas Pakistanis. Analysts fear that the 2007-08 budget of PKR 1.9 trillion would not allow the government to curtail monetary growth and inflation, but drive it even higher.

In the upcoming fiscal year, the Pakistani government has to tackle its growing current account deficit, high monetary growth and rising inflation. The State Bank is concerned with the 60 percent increase in the current account deficit that reached USD 7.379 billion during the eleven months of the outgoing fiscal year. The State Bank is satisfied by the monetary growth caused by high foreign inflows in the form of investments and remittances from overseas Pakistanis. Analysts fear that the 2007-08 budget of PKR 1.9 trillion would not allow the government to curtail monetary growth and inflation, but drive it even higher.

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Pakistan, India Breakthrough on IPI Pipeline Deal

The Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline deal of USD 7 billion is close to settlement, with the Indian government accepting the transportation tariff and the transit fee that Pakistan was demanding. Pakistan was seeking a transportation tariff of USD 0.70-0.75 per million British thermal unit (mBtu) of gas while India was only willing to pay only USD 0.55 per mBtu. India had been exploring various options of getting gas into the country through transnational pipelines to meet its high gas demands.

The Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline deal of USD 7 billion is close to settlement, with the Indian government accepting the transportation tariff and the transit fee that Pakistan was demanding. Pakistan was seeking a transportation tariff of USD 0.70-0.75 per million British thermal unit (mBtu) of gas while India was only willing to pay only USD 0.55 per mBtu. India had been exploring various options of getting gas into the country through transnational pipelines to meet its high gas demands.

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Pakistan's Internet Sector Growing

According to Cisco Systems Incorporation, the national Internet communication sector of Pakistan is growing at 40 percent. The country's telecom boom has created around 300,000 jobs in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Cisco Networking Academy has partnered with NAVTEC, National Vocational & Technical Education Commission, in order to produce trained and capable ICT professionals to help Pakistan compete globally.

According to Cisco Systems Incorporation, the national Internet communication sector of Pakistan is growing at 40 percent. The country's telecom boom has created around 300,000 jobs in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. Cisco Networking Academy has partnered with NAVTEC, National Vocational & Technical Education Commission, in order to produce trained and capable ICT professionals to help Pakistan compete globally.

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Pakistan: Net Foreign Investment Up by 50 Percent

Total foreign investment in the country increased by 50.4 percent to USD 6.282 billion in July-May (2006-07). State Bank of Pakistan data revealed that foreign private investment rose by 58.8 percent while foreign public investment recorded a small growth of 3.2 percent. Most of the foreign investment was directed towards the telecommunications and financial business sectors.

Total foreign investment in the country increased by 50.4 percent to USD 6.282 billion in July-May (2006-07). State Bank of Pakistan data revealed that foreign private investment rose by 58.8 percent while foreign public investment recorded a small growth of 3.2 percent. Most of the foreign investment was directed towards the telecommunications and financial business sectors.

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Pakistan: Economic "Blips" Will Not Have Strong Impact on Investment

According to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, despite the economic "blips" that Pakistan has been seeing recently, he does not believe overseas investment will be hindered. "We have been vindicated because we have maintained our credit ratings, investment flows and growth momentum," Aziz said Monday.

According to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, despite the economic "blips" that Pakistan has been seeing recently, he does not believe overseas investment will be hindered. "We have been vindicated because we have maintained our credit ratings, investment flows and growth momentum," Aziz said Monday.

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Pakistan: Government Budget Relief Fails to Make a Difference

Government measures to bring down the price of everyday commodities in Pakistan have failed to make a difference, according to Farid Querishi, General Secretary of Karachi Retail Grocers Group (KRGG). The government has given relief in withholding tax on items like cooking oil and ghee, but commodities like wheat flour and tea have not been offered any budget relief.

Government measures to bring down the price of everyday commodities in Pakistan have failed to make a difference, according to Farid Querishi, General Secretary of Karachi Retail Grocers Group (KRGG). The government has given relief in withholding tax on items like cooking oil and ghee, but commodities like wheat flour and tea have not been offered any budget relief.

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Pakistan Plans to Increase Furniture Exportation by PKR 9.85 Million

By 2015, Pakistan hopes to have increased its furniture exports by PKR 9.85 million from its current PKR 15 million. Companies plan to maximize the exportation of non-traditional items like furniture in order to reach the ambitious goal of PKR 1 billion, according to Shahbaz Aslam, chairman of Furniture Pakistan. Aslam says the company has already provided funds for the establishment of a furniture training institute with the intention of increasing manpower.

By 2015, Pakistan hopes to have increased its furniture exports by PKR 9.85 million from its current PKR 15 million. Companies plan to maximize the exportation of non-traditional items like furniture in order to reach the ambitious goal of PKR 1 billion, according to Shahbaz Aslam, chairman of Furniture Pakistan. Aslam says the company has already provided funds for the establishment of a furniture training institute with the intention of increasing manpower.

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Pakistan: Demand for cement to rise to Rs. $225 million

According to the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), the demand for cement in Pakistan will be approximately PKR 225 million by 2011, but if the government proceeds with infrastructure plans, the demand is more likely to be around PKR 291 million. It has been suggested that the supply of blended cement will swell in order to accompany the demand, but economists worry that this might lead to overhang in the future.

According to the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), the demand for cement in Pakistan will be approximately PKR 225 million by 2011, but if the government proceeds with infrastructure plans, the demand is more likely to be around PKR 291 million. It has been suggested that the supply of blended cement will swell in order to accompany the demand, but economists worry that this might lead to overhang in the future.

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Price of Computers in Pakistan Inflating Due to Import Tax

According to Ghias Khan, CEO of Inbox Computers in Pakistan, computer companies have been informed of a 25 percent tax on imported computer monitors, which has begun to reflect on to retail computer prices. The tax was suggested by the tariff guidelines for the new fiscal year. Khan said the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has sought clarity for several of the budget clauses, including this tax, but has not received a response in favor of the computer industry.

According to Ghias Khan, CEO of Inbox Computers in Pakistan, computer companies have been informed of a 25 percent tax on imported computer monitors, which has begun to reflect on to retail computer prices. The tax was suggested by the tariff guidelines for the new fiscal year. Khan said the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has sought clarity for several of the budget clauses, including this tax, but has not received a response in favor of the computer industry.

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Pakistani Government Implements More Lenient Rules for Institutional Investors

The Pakistani government has removed a ban on institutional investment in National Savings Schemes, and new tools will soon be introduced to attract new investments in fiscal year 2007-08. In addition, investors can now withdraw deposits any time after the date of the investment, whereas previously they were required to wait for at least one month.

The Pakistani government has removed a ban on institutional investment in National Savings Schemes, and new tools will soon be introduced to attract new investments in fiscal year 2007-08. In addition, investors can now withdraw deposits any time after the date of the investment, whereas previously they were required to wait for at least one month.

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Pakistani Government to Phase Out Presumptive Tax Regime

According to the director general of the Large Tax Payers Unit (LTU), Mukhtar Ahmed Gondil, the Pakistani government is attempting to phase out the Presumptive Tax Regime (PTR), and measures have already been taken to reduce its influence. Gondil said trade and industries have shown a slight resistance to the change but that the government expects a 16 percent increase in revenue for the new fiscal year as a result of the changes.

According to the director general of the Large Tax Payers Unit (LTU), Mukhtar Ahmed Gondil, the Pakistani government is attempting to phase out the Presumptive Tax Regime (PTR), and measures have already been taken to reduce its influence. Gondil said trade and industries have shown a slight resistance to the change but that the government expects a 16 percent increase in revenue for the new fiscal year as a result of the changes.

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ICBC to Sign Memorandum of Understanding with National Bank of Pakistan

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), according to the president of NBP, S. Ali Raza. Raza said ICBC, the second-largest bank in the world, is attempting to extend its presence into Pakistan. The Memorandum is scheduled to be signed later this month.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has decided to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), according to the president of NBP, S. Ali Raza. Raza said ICBC, the second-largest bank in the world, is attempting to extend its presence into Pakistan. The Memorandum is scheduled to be signed later this month.

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Pakistani Government Implements 5 Percent Witholding Tax on Locally-Assembled Cars

Starting July 1 in Pakistan, a 5 percent withholding tax will be implemented on locally assembled vehicles, and a 1 percent surcharge will be implemented on imports in an effort to increase the prices of domestic vehicles. Many sellers have questioned the government's motives for the implementation of this tax. An anonymous executive in the automobile industry said he anticipated a slowdown in the sale of new cars, and added that it was unclear whether the tax would affect commercial vehicles as well as cars.

Starting July 1 in Pakistan, a 5 percent withholding tax will be implemented on locally assembled vehicles, and a 1 percent surcharge will be implemented on imports in an effort to increase the prices of domestic vehicles. Many sellers have questioned the government's motives for the implementation of this tax. An anonymous executive in the automobile industry said he anticipated a slowdown in the sale of new cars, and added that it was unclear whether the tax would affect commercial vehicles as well as cars.

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NWFP in Pakistan Will Receive PKR 9 Billion for Development Projects

The North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan will receive PKR 9 billion from the federal government for more than 200 new and ongoing development projects, according to Federal Minister for Political Affairs Engr Amir Muqam. Critics have suggested that the distribution of funds may be election-oriented, but Muqam has dismissed these claims, saying: "That is totally the wrong impression."

The North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) in Pakistan will receive PKR 9 billion from the federal government for more than 200 new and ongoing development projects, according to Federal Minister for Political Affairs Engr Amir Muqam. Critics have suggested that the distribution of funds may be election-oriented, but Muqam has dismissed these claims, saying: "That is totally the wrong impression."

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United Arab Emirates to Double Investment in Pakistan

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced Tuesday that it plans to double its investment in Pakistan, bringing the investment total to USD 26 billion. The foreign minister from the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and from Pakistan, Khurshid M. Kasuri, agreed Tuesday in a meeting to try to enhance their bilateral relations through mutual cooperation and frequent visits.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced Tuesday that it plans to double its investment in Pakistan, bringing the investment total to USD 26 billion. The foreign minister from the UAE, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and from Pakistan, Khurshid M. Kasuri, agreed Tuesday in a meeting to try to enhance their bilateral relations through mutual cooperation and frequent visits.

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Pakistan to Sell Up to 30 Percent of United Bank Ltd.

Pakistan has decided to sell up to 30 percent of its shares of United Bank Ltd. (UBL), the nation's third largest bank, according to Privatization Minister Zahid Hamid. Analysts believe Pakistan is attempting to encourage foreign investment while their economy is doing well. The country's expected GDP growth is 7.02 percent in the next fiscal year.

Pakistan has decided to sell up to 30 percent of its shares of United Bank Ltd. (UBL), the nation's third largest bank, according to Privatization Minister Zahid Hamid. Analysts believe Pakistan is attempting to encourage foreign investment while their economy is doing well. The country's expected GDP growth is 7.02 percent in the next fiscal year.

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Pakistan: Judge Makes Progress in Legal Battle Against President

Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has won the first round in his legal attempt to challenge President Pervez Musharraf's accusations against him. Chaudhry was suspended by Musharraf on March 9 on the grounds of misconduct. Chaudhry challenged the accusation, claiming he was intentionally targeted because of fear that he would threaten Musharraf's re-election later this year. This is the largest challege to Musharraf's authority since he gained control in 1999.

Pakistani Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry has won the first round in his legal attempt to challenge President Pervez Musharraf's accusations against him. Chaudhry was suspended by Musharraf on March 9 on the grounds of misconduct. Chaudhry challenged the accusation, claiming he was intentionally targeted because of fear that he would threaten Musharraf's re-election later this year. This is the largest challege to Musharraf's authority since he gained control in 1999.

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PEMRA Ordinance Suspended

After a national display of protest, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has suspended the Pakistan Electronic and Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) ordinance so that it can be reviewed by a committee. The ordinance would allow officials to shut down broadcast offices and suspend operating licenses.

After a national display of protest, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has suspended the Pakistan Electronic and Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) ordinance so that it can be reviewed by a committee. The ordinance would allow officials to shut down broadcast offices and suspend operating licenses.

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Pakistan Government to Borrow Rs70bn for New Budget

In order to meet the finance gap of its 2007-08 budget, the government will borrow around Rs70 billion from foreign sources. The senior official of the ministry of finance states that the negative impacts of the large budget deficit will be neutralized by the implementation of new programs such as increase direct taxes and new power projects to tackle the energy crisis. However, other key issues like the rising trade deficit, inflation and large scale manufacturing are not addressed in the 2007-08 budget.

In order to meet the finance gap of its 2007-08 budget, the government will borrow around Rs70 billion from foreign sources. The senior official of the ministry of finance states that the negative impacts of the large budget deficit will be neutralized by the implementation of new programs such as increase direct taxes and new power projects to tackle the energy crisis. However, other key issues like the rising trade deficit, inflation and large scale manufacturing are not addressed in the 2007-08 budget.

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Pakistani Growth Reflects Vibrant Economic Status

According to projections based on preliminary data, Pakistan's economy probably accelerated to 7 percent in the year through June, up from 6.6 percent during the previous 12 months. The boom is broad-based, and was fueled in particular by a record wheat harvest, strong consumer spending, and rising domestic and foreign investment. While the boom has done wonders for middle- and upper-class Pakistanis, critics say it has done very little for Pakistan's rural poor, who are bearing the brunt of a 7.9 percent inflation rate and a 10.2 percent food inflation rate.

According to projections based on preliminary data, Pakistan's economy probably accelerated to 7 percent in the year through June, up from 6.6 percent during the previous 12 months. The boom is broad-based, and was fueled in particular by a record wheat harvest, strong consumer spending, and rising domestic and foreign investment. While the boom has done wonders for middle- and upper-class Pakistanis, critics say it has done very little for Pakistan's rural poor, who are bearing the brunt of a 7.9 percent inflation rate and a 10.2 percent food inflation rate.

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Cathay Pacific Rejects Pakistan's Plane Scam Allegations

Hong Kong airline carrier Cathay Pacific on Friday rejected allegations that it provided millions of dollars in kickbacks to an official of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) during the sale of six second-hand planes. Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau insists that Cathay Pacific caused PIA losses of USD 31 million.

Hong Kong airline carrier Cathay Pacific on Friday rejected allegations that it provided millions of dollars in kickbacks to an official of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) during the sale of six second-hand planes. Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau insists that Cathay Pacific caused PIA losses of USD 31 million.

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Asian Development Bank and Pakistan's KESC Sign Loan Agreement

Pakistan's Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) has signed a USD 150 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). This loan is part of a program by the KESC to increase its power generation and improve its transmission and distribution systems through a USD 809 million capital investment. This large investment will add 785 megawatts of power to the company's current output of 1,500 megawatts.

Pakistan's Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) has signed a USD 150 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). This loan is part of a program by the KESC to increase its power generation and improve its transmission and distribution systems through a USD 809 million capital investment. This large investment will add 785 megawatts of power to the company's current output of 1,500 megawatts.

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Pakistan Hits 7.02 Percent Growth Rate

Pakistan's 7.02 percent growth rate, hitting slightly above the 7 percent target rate, reflects its positive economic policies. The growth is due to increases in the agriculture and services sectors, despite a low per capita income and manufacturing output. Pakistan's GDP rose to USD146.3 billion from last year's USD145 billion. The Prime Minister estimates that in the next year all sectors will grow, spurred by its current policies.

Pakistan's 7.02 percent growth rate, hitting slightly above the 7 percent target rate, reflects its positive economic policies. The growth is due to increases in the agriculture and services sectors, despite a low per capita income and manufacturing output. Pakistan's GDP rose to USD146.3 billion from last year's USD145 billion. The Prime Minister estimates that in the next year all sectors will grow, spurred by its current policies.

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Food Inflation Rate in Pakistan Jumps to 9.4 Percent

Up from 3.6 percent in April 2006, Pakistan's food inflation rate in April 2007 rose to 9.4 percent. Although non-food inflation dropped to 5.2 percent in the same time period, inflation changed from negative to positive for several important food items such as eggs, chickens, vegetables, and fruits. As a result, the general consumer price index hit 6.9 percent in April 2007. The food inflation has caused consumer price index inflation to exceed the expected target level.

Up from 3.6 percent in April 2006, Pakistan's food inflation rate in April 2007 rose to 9.4 percent. Although non-food inflation dropped to 5.2 percent in the same time period, inflation changed from negative to positive for several important food items such as eggs, chickens, vegetables, and fruits. As a result, the general consumer price index hit 6.9 percent in April 2007. The food inflation has caused consumer price index inflation to exceed the expected target level.

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Asian Stocks Fall on US Rate Speculation

Speculation that interest rates will be adjusted downward in the US, Asia's largest export market, has all but dissipated, especially with an unexpected surge in US home sales. The result was the largest drop in Asian stocks in the past five weeks, with only the benchmark indexes of China, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka advancing in the region. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average took its largest hit of the month at 1.2 percent.

Speculation that interest rates will be adjusted downward in the US, Asia's largest export market, has all but dissipated, especially with an unexpected surge in US home sales. The result was the largest drop in Asian stocks in the past five weeks, with only the benchmark indexes of China, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka advancing in the region. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 1.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average took its largest hit of the month at 1.2 percent.

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Final Proposal of Rs549 million for Pakistan's Development Program

After a second round of deliberation, the Pakistani Annual Plan Coordination Committee has compiled its final proposal for the country's Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the fiscal year 2007-2008. Compared to the ongoing fiscal year, the stated numbers show an increase in the program's budget of 26 percent. However, the proposal still needs the approval of Pakistan's highest economic decision-making body, the National Economic Council (NEC).

After a second round of deliberation, the Pakistani Annual Plan Coordination Committee has compiled its final proposal for the country's Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the fiscal year 2007-2008. Compared to the ongoing fiscal year, the stated numbers show an increase in the program's budget of 26 percent. However, the proposal still needs the approval of Pakistan's highest economic decision-making body, the National Economic Council (NEC).

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Pakistan: Rs514 billion for Public Sector Development Programme

The Pakistani Planning Commission for 2007-2008 has proposed the establishment of a Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) worth Rs514billion. So far, the responsible annual plan coordination committee has only partially discussed the proposal. After a second round of deliberations, the consolidated program will be recommended to the National Economic Council, Pakistan's highest economic decision-making body, for approval.

The Pakistani Planning Commission for 2007-2008 has proposed the establishment of a Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) worth Rs514billion. So far, the responsible annual plan coordination committee has only partially discussed the proposal. After a second round of deliberations, the consolidated program will be recommended to the National Economic Council, Pakistan's highest economic decision-making body, for approval.

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Pakistan's Economy Will Meet Growth Objectives

Ashfaque Hasan Khan, an adviser to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, reported that all indicators suggest that Pakistan's economy will meet its goal of a seven percent annual growth rate for the period ending this June. The Karachi Stock Exchange Index has hit an all time high mainly due to the reemergence of foreign investors who had fled the country after the 9/11 attacks.

Ashfaque Hasan Khan, an adviser to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, reported that all indicators suggest that Pakistan's economy will meet its goal of a seven percent annual growth rate for the period ending this June. The Karachi Stock Exchange Index has hit an all time high mainly due to the reemergence of foreign investors who had fled the country after the 9/11 attacks.

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Pakistan Unlikely to Meet Inflation Target

As the Pakistani Government announced recently, the country will most likely not be able to meet the aspired rate of inflation of 6.5 percent this year, mainly because of an extensive increase in food prices, especially for perishable food items. Instead of the desired rate of inflation of 6.5 percent, its now anticipated value lies within the range of 7.0 to 7.5 percent.

As the Pakistani Government announced recently, the country will most likely not be able to meet the aspired rate of inflation of 6.5 percent this year, mainly because of an extensive increase in food prices, especially for perishable food items. Instead of the desired rate of inflation of 6.5 percent, its now anticipated value lies within the range of 7.0 to 7.5 percent.

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Pakistani Coal Project Loses Chinese Power

Chinese state-owned Shenhua Group Corp has rescinded its plan to build coal-fired power plants at Thar in the Pakistani province of Sindh, a major blow to the power-strapped nation of Pakistan. Shenhua Group cited an insufficient power tariff rate offered by Pakistan, security concerns, and an excessive domestic workload as its reasoning for abandoning the US$1.5 billion project.

Chinese state-owned Shenhua Group Corp has rescinded its plan to build coal-fired power plants at Thar in the Pakistani province of Sindh, a major blow to the power-strapped nation of Pakistan. Shenhua Group cited an insufficient power tariff rate offered by Pakistan, security concerns, and an excessive domestic workload as its reasoning for abandoning the US$1.5 billion project.

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Pakistan's New Budget to Highlight Socio-economic Improvement

By allocating more funds for development projects, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz hopes the 2007-2008 budget will improve the socio-economic conditions of the nation's poor, rural areas. With per capita income and bumper crops on the rise, Aziz expects overall consumption and production to rise as well, and the new budget will tap these improvements to dramatically reduce instances of poverty. Aziz's aim is for Pakistan's per capita income to top US$1,000, up from US$846, by 2008.

By allocating more funds for development projects, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz hopes the 2007-2008 budget will improve the socio-economic conditions of the nation's poor, rural areas. With per capita income and bumper crops on the rise, Aziz expects overall consumption and production to rise as well, and the new budget will tap these improvements to dramatically reduce instances of poverty. Aziz's aim is for Pakistan's per capita income to top US$1,000, up from US$846, by 2008.

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ACU Considers Multi-Currency Adoption, Names New Members

Meeting at the 36th board meeting of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), the directors of the union's member banks created a technical committee to look into the possibility of introducing multi-currency settlements. Currently, ACU countries are required to settle external trade payments exclusively with US dollars. In addition, the ACU welcomed Afghanistan and the Maldives to its ranks, and have extended membership invitations to a number of Central Asian and CIS nations.

Meeting at the 36th board meeting of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU), the directors of the union's member banks created a technical committee to look into the possibility of introducing multi-currency settlements. Currently, ACU countries are required to settle external trade payments exclusively with US dollars. In addition, the ACU welcomed Afghanistan and the Maldives to its ranks, and have extended membership invitations to a number of Central Asian and CIS nations.

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Rs500 billion Development Program for Pakistan

The government of Pakistan has announced to launch a Rs500billion development program for the fiscal year of 2007-2008, thus representing nearly one third of the nation's entire budget for next year. As the upcoming term is an election year as well, the launching of the development program signalizes the commencement of election campaigns.

The government of Pakistan has announced to launch a Rs500billion development program for the fiscal year of 2007-2008, thus representing nearly one third of the nation's entire budget for next year. As the upcoming term is an election year as well, the launching of the development program signalizes the commencement of election campaigns.

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Metal Products Production Line to Boost Pakistan's Exports

Pakistan's government has decided to fund the establishment of a new metal product production line with PKR500 million. Hopes are that the new production line will boost Pakistan's exports by providing state-of-the-art metal products, thus helping to substitute imports and to help the local economy assimilate new technologies.

Pakistan's government has decided to fund the establishment of a new metal product production line with PKR500 million. Hopes are that the new production line will boost Pakistan's exports by providing state-of-the-art metal products, thus helping to substitute imports and to help the local economy assimilate new technologies.

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World Bank Willing to Support Iran-Pakistan-India Pipeline

The World Bank has indicated its cooperativeness concerning the funding of a gas pipeline, connecting Iran with Pakistan and India. The World Bank's Vice President Praful Patel considers the $7 billion project a win-win constellation for both India and Pakistan to cover their energy needs.

The World Bank has indicated its cooperativeness concerning the funding of a gas pipeline, connecting Iran with Pakistan and India. The World Bank's Vice President Praful Patel considers the $7 billion project a win-win constellation for both India and Pakistan to cover their energy needs.

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China Mobile Will Invest $ 400 Million in Pakistan

China Mobile, which has invested $460 million in Paktel, will spend more money to expand its network in Pakistan. The investment might be focused on improving Paktel's sales systems and building new brands. The purpose for investment is to garner experience from the venture which could be applied to China Mobile's further overseas expansion.

China Mobile, which has invested $460 million in Paktel, will spend more money to expand its network in Pakistan. The investment might be focused on improving Paktel's sales systems and building new brands. The purpose for investment is to garner experience from the venture which could be applied to China Mobile's further overseas expansion.

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Free Trade Agreement between China and Pakistan

As a first step to expand strategical partnership between China and Pakistan, both countries have signed agreements to cooperate more intensely in fields such as space, telecommunications, education and legal assistance. Further, they want to focus on the implementation of a five-year plan for economic and trade cooperation.

As a first step to expand strategical partnership between China and Pakistan, both countries have signed agreements to cooperate more intensely in fields such as space, telecommunications, education and legal assistance. Further, they want to focus on the implementation of a five-year plan for economic and trade cooperation.

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Pakistan GDP Growth of 7.5% Estimated in Merril Lynch Report

In a report released on Thursday, Merrill Lynch stated it expected Pakistan's GDP to grow by 7.5% in 2007. The report stated the likelihood of hitting hits growth rate depends on the performance of livestock farming, which comprises approximately 50% of the agriculture sector of the Pakistan economy.

In a report released on Thursday, Merrill Lynch stated it expected Pakistan's GDP to grow by 7.5% in 2007. The report stated the likelihood of hitting hits growth rate depends on the performance of livestock farming, which comprises approximately 50% of the agriculture sector of the Pakistan economy.

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Trade Between India and Pakistan Gains Momentum

Despite still existing barriers to trade and the strong leaning towards protectionism on both sides in the past, India and Pakistan have boosted their bilateral trade within the last five years from $235.74 million in 2001-02 to more than $ 1 billion last year. Within this period of time, Pakistan's exports to India have surged from 0.5 percent to 1.8 percent, and India's export has increased from 1.8 percent to 2.8 percent.

Despite still existing barriers to trade and the strong leaning towards protectionism on both sides in the past, India and Pakistan have boosted their bilateral trade within the last five years from $235.74 million in 2001-02 to more than $ 1 billion last year. Within this period of time, Pakistan's exports to India have surged from 0.5 percent to 1.8 percent, and India's export has increased from 1.8 percent to 2.8 percent.

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Forging an India-Pakistan Economic Partnership

Forever tied by a shared history but broken apart by fate, India and Pakistan are like a divorced couple seeking retribution. The conflict has gone on for over half a century with the situation getting direr by the day. India and Pakistan need to look beyond their religious and political differences and open their eyes to the economic growth that could accrue through partnership.

Once Upon a Time…

When India and Pakistan were unified under British rule, there were great flows of trade between the two nations. Just as sound economic theory predicts, each specialized at which they had a comparative advantage. Pakistan exported their surpluses in jute, cotton, spices, food grains, dry fruits and condiments for Indian raw materials such as iron and coal and finished consumer products. There was strong bilateral trade up to twenty years after independence, a period in which more than 70 percent of Pakistan's trade was with India.

India-Pakistan Economic Relations Today

The economic relationship between India and Pakistan dissipated quickly with disputes like the fight over ownership of Kashmir. In 1996, India granted Pakistan Most Favored Nation (MFN) status in a gesture of peace but India still heavily subsidizes exports that put Pakistan at a disadvantage. As it stands today, India-Pakistan official bilateral trade accounts for only 1 percent of their respective global trade because of restrictions on the types of goods that can be traded. This restriction on traded goods has forced both countries to rely on trade with far-off countries for important raw materials, leading to high transportation costs. However, there is great potential for growth since contraband trade between the two regions accounts for five to eight times official trade.

Bilateral Trade Makes Sense

Economically speaking, India and Pakistan are a perfect match. Because of shared land borders, transportation costs are minimal. The goods in which each has a comparative advantage complement each other and could lead to economies of scale and greater efficiency. For example, India is the largest producer of tea and Pakistan is the second largest consumer of tea. Yet less than 1 percent of Pakistan's tea is imported from India while 60 percent is imported from Kenya, a location much farther away. Pakistan has to import coal, steel, and iron from the West, China, and South Korea when it could get it at half the price from India. Likewise, India has had to convert areas that are best suited for paddy cultivation to jute cropping when Pakistan banned the export of jute to India.

Lessening trade restrictions would not only expose consumers to a wider variety of goods at cheaper prices but manufacturers would have access to larger markets. Governments would also benefit from greater tax revenue currently lost to contraband trade. Currently, there are no joint ventures or direct investments between India and Pakistan and official bilateral trade between the two countries accounts for only $200-$250 million annually. According to the Strategic Foresight Group, if peace prevails and real synergies are formed between the two countries, bilateral trade can potentially reach $3-4 billion a year.

Policy Prescriptions

In order to reap the full benefits of trade liberalization, major goods should receive attention. India needs to lower its export subsidies so Pakistan does not feel threatened by Indian hegemony. In return, Pakistan needs to reciprocate the Most Favored Nation standing to India. Common tastes and cultures should help create a regional market for goods.

If targeted right, joint ventures in certain industries could provide huge benefits. Collaboration on technology enhancement is one such benefit. Pakistan could see great benefits from access to the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and its 2000 industrial technologies. India would benefit from the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and its improved techniques in food and fermentation technology, ore processing, metallurgy, fine chemicals, and polymers. Cooperative technology in agriculture, the industry that employs the most people in both countries, would be cost effective and give way to greater yields through improved pest control and seed breeding.

A lack of water accessibility in Pakistan has been a real threat to economic growth and floods have hampered the region for centuries. One solution is creating a joint venture with India in water management that would effectively streamline their hydropower resources. This would create stability and lead to irrigation benefits and decreased risks of floods. Energy is another formidable area of partnership. Pakistan has an advantage in the production of electric power while India has strength in the engineering industries. Creating a continuous natural gas pipeline that extends across Pakistan and India would be more economically feasible than if each respective country built their own pipeline independently.

Consumers benefit from lower prices, companies benefit from larger markets and exposure to best practices and other efficiencies, and the government benefits from greater revenue from official trade. Perhaps most importantly, such linkages of interdependence would raise the stakes and go a long way in reducing hostilities. An economic partnership makes sense.

Forever tied by a shared history but broken apart by fate, India and Pakistan are like a divorced couple seeking retribution. The conflict has gone on for over half a century with the situation getting direr by the day. India and Pakistan need to look beyond their religious and political differences and open their eyes to the economic growth that could accrue through partnership.

Once Upon a Time…

When India and Pakistan were unified under British rule, there were great flows of trade between the two nations. Just as sound economic theory predicts, each specialized at which they had a comparative advantage. Pakistan exported their surpluses in jute, cotton, spices, food grains, dry fruits and condiments for Indian raw materials such as iron and coal and finished consumer products. There was strong bilateral trade up to twenty years after independence, a period in which more than 70 percent of Pakistan's trade was with India.

India-Pakistan Economic Relations Today

The economic relationship between India and Pakistan dissipated quickly with disputes like the fight over ownership of Kashmir. In 1996, India granted Pakistan Most Favored Nation (MFN) status in a gesture of peace but India still heavily subsidizes exports that put Pakistan at a disadvantage. As it stands today, India-Pakistan official bilateral trade accounts for only 1 percent of their respective global trade because of restrictions on the types of goods that can be traded. This restriction on traded goods has forced both countries to rely on trade with far-off countries for important raw materials, leading to high transportation costs. However, there is great potential for growth since contraband trade between the two regions accounts for five to eight times official trade.

Bilateral Trade Makes Sense

Economically speaking, India and Pakistan are a perfect match. Because of shared land borders, transportation costs are minimal. The goods in which each has a comparative advantage complement each other and could lead to economies of scale and greater efficiency. For example, India is the largest producer of tea and Pakistan is the second largest consumer of tea. Yet less than 1 percent of Pakistan's tea is imported from India while 60 percent is imported from Kenya, a location much farther away. Pakistan has to import coal, steel, and iron from the West, China, and South Korea when it could get it at half the price from India. Likewise, India has had to convert areas that are best suited for paddy cultivation to jute cropping when Pakistan banned the export of jute to India.

Lessening trade restrictions would not only expose consumers to a wider variety of goods at cheaper prices but manufacturers would have access to larger markets. Governments would also benefit from greater tax revenue currently lost to contraband trade. Currently, there are no joint ventures or direct investments between India and Pakistan and official bilateral trade between the two countries accounts for only $200-$250 million annually. According to the Strategic Foresight Group, if peace prevails and real synergies are formed between the two countries, bilateral trade can potentially reach $3-4 billion a year.

Policy Prescriptions

In order to reap the full benefits of trade liberalization, major goods should receive attention. India needs to lower its export subsidies so Pakistan does not feel threatened by Indian hegemony. In return, Pakistan needs to reciprocate the Most Favored Nation standing to India. Common tastes and cultures should help create a regional market for goods.

If targeted right, joint ventures in certain industries could provide huge benefits. Collaboration on technology enhancement is one such benefit. Pakistan could see great benefits from access to the Indian Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and its 2000 industrial technologies. India would benefit from the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and its improved techniques in food and fermentation technology, ore processing, metallurgy, fine chemicals, and polymers. Cooperative technology in agriculture, the industry that employs the most people in both countries, would be cost effective and give way to greater yields through improved pest control and seed breeding.

A lack of water accessibility in Pakistan has been a real threat to economic growth and floods have hampered the region for centuries. One solution is creating a joint venture with India in water management that would effectively streamline their hydropower resources. This would create stability and lead to irrigation benefits and decreased risks of floods. Energy is another formidable area of partnership. Pakistan has an advantage in the production of electric power while India has strength in the engineering industries. Creating a continuous natural gas pipeline that extends across Pakistan and India would be more economically feasible than if each respective country built their own pipeline independently.

Consumers benefit from lower prices, companies benefit from larger markets and exposure to best practices and other efficiencies, and the government benefits from greater revenue from official trade. Perhaps most importantly, such linkages of interdependence would raise the stakes and go a long way in reducing hostilities. An economic partnership makes sense.

read source article
pakistan

Asian Markets Fall Again After Rebound

Chinese stocks fell again after rebounding Wednesday from their biggest drop in a decade. Elsewhere, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand markets were all down. The Philippines, India, Pakistan, Thailand and Indonesia indices were up, with the Philippines' rise as the region's biggest gain of the day after seeing Asia's biggest drop Wednesday at 7.9 percent.

Chinese stocks fell again after rebounding Wednesday from their biggest drop in a decade. Elsewhere, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand markets were all down. The Philippines, India, Pakistan, Thailand and Indonesia indices were up, with the Philippines' rise as the region's biggest gain of the day after seeing Asia's biggest drop Wednesday at 7.9 percent.

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China and Pakistan Explore Rail Route

An international group was awarded a $1.2 million grant on Monday to study a proposed link between the Chinese and Pakistani rail systems. The move is motivated largely by China's interest in increasing access to the energy-rich Persian Gulf states and getting more of an economic foothold in South and Central Asia. China has been actively involved in the transportation and communication sectors of Pakistan for several years.

An international group was awarded a $1.2 million grant on Monday to study a proposed link between the Chinese and Pakistani rail systems. The move is motivated largely by China's interest in increasing access to the energy-rich Persian Gulf states and getting more of an economic foothold in South and Central Asia. China has been actively involved in the transportation and communication sectors of Pakistan for several years.

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Japan and Pakistan Strive for Closer Relations

Japan and Pakistan have recently begun steps to improve relations. Ever since Shinzo Abe replaced Junichiro Koizumi as prime minister last September, Japan has offered to work with Pakistan on energy cooperation. Currently, they are negotiating the Japan-Pakistan free-trade agreement in order to extend economic cooperation between the two countries. This, ultimately, could increase stability and prosperity for Japan, South Asia, and the rest of the international world.

Japan and Pakistan have recently begun steps to improve relations. Ever since Shinzo Abe replaced Junichiro Koizumi as prime minister last September, Japan has offered to work with Pakistan on energy cooperation. Currently, they are negotiating the Japan-Pakistan free-trade agreement in order to extend economic cooperation between the two countries. This, ultimately, could increase stability and prosperity for Japan, South Asia, and the rest of the international world.

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Doing Business Easier in India, Pakistan

The World Bank released a new regional report that doing business became easier in India and Pakistan in 2005-2006. The report also indicated that India's five reforms and Pakistan's two reforms reduced the time, cost, and hassle for business to comply with legal and administrative requirements.

The World Bank released a new regional report that doing business became easier in India and Pakistan in 2005-2006. The report also indicated that India's five reforms and Pakistan's two reforms reduced the time, cost, and hassle for business to comply with legal and administrative requirements.

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Other Important News In Pakistan


Expiry of EU anti-dumping duty paves way for Pakistan's export

The European Union's anti-dumping duty on bedlinen import from Pakistan expired on Thursday

The European Union's anti-dumping duty on bedlinen import from Pakistan expired on Thursday. Without the duty, Pakistan will be able to enjoy normal duties on its exports. Pakistan's products were subject to a 5.8% anti-dumping duty, on top of the normal customs duty. This made Pakistan's exports more expansive than it's major competitors' like India and China. The anti-dumping duty has cost the country between $250 and $300 million a year in bedlinen export.

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Terrorist Attacks Hurt Pakistan Stock Market

The attacks on Sri Lanka's cricket team yesterday drove stocks to tumble for the first time in three days.

The attacks on Sri Lanka's cricket team yesterday drove stocks to tumble for the first time in three days. The Karachi Stock Exchange 100 index dropped to 5,596.49 after news of the attacks broke. The drop in the market represents receding confidence in the stability of Pakistan, although there was some recovery in the market after it was announced that all of the cricket players were in stable condition. Five police officers died in the attack.

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Pakistan Continues to Search for Help

A recent report that was issued earlier this week by an influential think-tank in Washington D.C., called for $4 billion to $5 billion in support for Islamabad's infrastructure.

A recent report that was issued earlier this week by an influential think tank in Washington D.C., called for $4 billion to $5 billion in support for Islamabad's infrastructure. Senator John Kerry, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, used this report to push for legislation that would give $7.5 million in immediate aid to Islamabad, stating that "if we fail, we face a truly frightening prospect: terrorist sanctuary, economic meltdown, and spiraling radicalism, all in a nation with 170 million inhabitants and a full arsenal of nuclear weapons". Pakistan is the predominantly-Muslim nation with nuclear capability. Editor's note; Pakistani President Zardari recently returned from China, where he was seeking addition foreign aid from the Chinese government, but was only able to secure agreements for long-term projects between the two countries.

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Pakistan President Returns from China Empty Handed

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari returned from China empty handed as Pakistan continues to look for additional foreign aid from neighboring countries.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari returned from China empty handed as Pakistan continues to look for additional foreign aid from neighboring countries. China has already granted $500 million in loans, but Zardari was looking to China to write off some of Islambad's bad debt. Instead, both leaders reached agreements on long-term projects that will help build economic ties between the two countries, including agricultural growth and the development of a Pakistan-China railroad connection. Although China sees promise in increasing relations between the two government, Shabbir Cheema, director of the Asia-Pacific Governance and Democracy Initiative, has evaluated the situation by saying "Pakistan today needs China more than China needs Pakistan - that is why there is more enthusiasm in Pakistan about its relations with China that vice-versa".

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Pakistani Capital to Receive 450 Megawatts

For the first time in a decade, Pakistan's largest electricity supplier plans to expand its network by 450 megawatts.

For the first time in a decade, Pakistan's largest electricity supplier plans to expand its network by 450 megawatts. Karachi Electric Supply Co. announced that within the next three to five years, it will increase daily output by 38 percent by utilizing more efficient sources of energy. The ultimate goal of the company is not only to become more profitable by reducing costs, but also to reduce the occurrence of blackouts, which affect two-thirds of Karachi's population.

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Pakistan Needs Modern Day Marshall Plan

President Asif Ali Zardari announced that Pakistan needs a modern day "Marshall Plan" to improve conditions within the country.

President Asif Ali Zardari announced that Pakistan needs a modern day "Marshall Plan" to improve conditions within the country. There are currently 170 million people, who are under the age of 25, that are trying to cope with the poor economic and social conditions. Zardari called for "massive programs" to help strengthen education and labor conditions and asked for a $4.5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to invest in Pakistan's infrastructure.

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Banking Channel Must for Enhancing Pak-Iran trade : FPCCI

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI) discusses the potential between Pakistan and Iran trade.

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI) discusses the potential between Pakistan and Iran trade. The President of FPCCI Sultan Ahmed Chawla believes that the amount of trade between the two nations are insignificant and must be addressed; Chawla looks to Pakistani Ambassador to Islamic Republic of Iran, M.B. Abbassi to farther improve relations between the two nations and seek avenues to improve trade. Chawla also urges the Pakistani government to consider easier accessibility to Iran despite the Pakistani Banks' sanction against Iran.

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Pakistan to Reinvigorate Existing Ties with Australia

A recent visit from the Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith - first visit by an Australia Foreign Minister since 1998 - has lead to stronger and renewed ties between Pakistan and Australia sources report.

A recent visit from the Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith - first visit by an Australia Foreign Minister since 1998 - has lead to stronger and renewed ties between Pakistan and Australia sources report. The Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has stated that talks between the governments have called for Australia to grant Pakistan a Generalised Preferential System (GPS) facility, which would allow for Pakistan to export semi-manufactured and manufactured goods free of duty or at reduced rates of duty. The Prime Minister also stated that the GPS facility would help generate new employment opportunities, which are necessary in order to combat terrorism and extremism.

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State Bank of PK Issues Guidelines on Islamic Financing for Agri

On Tuesday, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has released the guidelines on Islamic financing for agriculture.

On Tuesday, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has released the guidelines on Islamic financing for agriculture. This aims to help banks develop Shariah compliant products that meet the financing needs of their respective farming communities. The Guidelines cover various modes of Islamic financing such as Ijara, Musawamah, Murabaha, Salam, Musharaka that can be used for meeting financing requirements of farm and non-farm sector activities. The SBP has informed all banks to use the guidelines for developing their own Shariah compliant products that will help finance the agri sector. These Shariah compliant products must conform to SBP regulations and must be approved by their Shariah Advisors.

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Pakistan's BoI Secretary Puri Sees Positive Trend in FDI

Board of Investment (BoI) Sec. Tariq Iqbal Puri addresses the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)regarding Pakistan's investment outlook.

Board of Investment (BoI) Sec. Tariq Iqbal Puri addresses the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) regarding Pakistan's investment outlook. Sec. Puri believes that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is showing a positive trend in Pakistan. The main reason for this is that foreign investors are taking interest in Pakistan's food basket and undiscovered potentials. LCCI Pres. Mian Muzaffar Ali is concern about the country's perennial problem on law and order and has challenged the government to come up with resolutions to address this problem. He further states that this issue on law and order is one of the main reasons why foreign investors are hesistant to invest in Pakistan. Sec. Puri assured the LCCI that the BoI and the government of Pakistan is doing its best to resolve this issue.

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