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ICAP awards certificate to qualified CAs

F.P. Report

KARACHI: A Certificate Distribution Ceremony for the newly qualified Chartered Accountants was hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) and organised by the Southern Regional Committee (SRC), ICAP here in a local hotel.

As many as 148 newly qualified CAs of the Southern Region received their certificates.13 students were awarded merit certificates and one got a gold medal for outstanding performance. The theme for the evening was “Think – Strive – Achieve”.

The guests were addressed by Riaz A. Rehman Chamdia, FCA, President ICAP, who congratulated the newly qualified students and their parents on achieving this milestone, and encouraged them to stay on the path of success in the future. He also urged that the newly qualified students to grow with the institute as members.

The guest speakers for the evening were Shabbar Zaidi, FCA, past President ICAP and Abdul Aleem, General Secretary, OICCI. The secretary and Chief Operating Officer, ICAP also addressed the gathering.

Certificates were distributed by Riaz A. Rehman Chamdia President, ICAP, Shabbar Zaidi, Abdul Aleem, Sharif Tabani, Council Member, ICAP, Adnan Rizvi, Chairman SRC, Zulfikar Akhtar, Honarary Secretary, SRC and Abdul Malik, Secretary and COO, ICAP

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Foreign delegates start arriving for furniture expo

F.P. Report

LAHORE: High-level delegations belonging to the furniture industry of China, Turkey, Taiwan, Thailand and other countries have started arriving here on a week-long visit to participate in the three-day 9th National Interiors Pakistan Exhibition commencing from Dec 15 here at Expo Center.

Talking to media here on Wednesday, Chief Executive Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Mian Kashif Ashfaq said that all the foreign delegations were visiting Pakistan on the invitation of FPC and the council will bear their all expenses, including boarding, lodging, transportation and travelling. PFC Board of Directors Khawaja Maqbool Ilahi, Shahzad Yousaf Mughal, Shahbaz Aslam and Rizwan Amjad were also present on this occasion.

He elaborated that main purpose behind extending invitations was to introduce handmade best quality solid wood furniture products to the foreign investors and importers.

“Special extra-ordinary arrangements have been made to facilitate all the foreign visitors,” he added.

He further said that in order to ensure quick flow of information, a special desk had been set up for print and electronic media. In this regard, Adnan Afzal has been appointed coordinator. He said that the Board of Directors of PFC reviewed the arrangements in detail and expressed their satisfaction.

He said more than100 leading local companies and interior designers will display their products, while as many as 200,000 to 250,000 people were expected to visit this mega event. “This exhibition will also provide young designers and architects an opportunity to see the market trends and display their own work alongside that of more established professionals. PFC is also continuing its work to ensure Pakistan’s presence in more countries and to act as the focal point for Pakistani furniture designers and manufacturers so that they could enter the international market with confidence,” he added.

Pakistan’s wood industry is well developed and captures 95 percent of the country’s total market of furniture.

The country has more than 700 units of wooden furniture, with Chiniot, alone meeting 80 percent of furniture demands in the country. Gujrat, with world-class furniture, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi are other important centers.

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World Bank experts visit Sialkot Tannery Zone

F.P. Report

SIALKOT: A delegation of the World Bank (WB) experts visited the city here on Wednesday and discussed matters of establishment of Sialkot Tannery Zone Project with the Sialkot district administration during a meeting held here.

While giving the briefing about the Sialkot Tannery Zone Project to the delelgation, DC, Dr Farrukh Naveed, said that the construction of Sialkot Tannry Zone was underway on 396 acres of land near Khambraanwala-Sialkot, where all the 250 small and big sized tanneries scattered in and around the city would soon be shifted to the zone.

He said that the Punjab government was spending Rs 3.47 billion on the project for saving people from the environmental pollution.

DC said that a chunk of Rs.1.3 billion was direly needed to install an international standard water treatment plant in this tannery zone, asking the WB delegation to provide these funds at earliest. On the occasion, the experts of the World Bank (WB) showed keen interest in the Project and assured of their early technical and financial assistance.

Earlier, the delegation also visited the site of the under completion project near Khambraanwala.

MPA Ch. Muhammad Ikram, ADCG Sialkot Meesam Abbas, President Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Zahid Latif Malik and the senior officials of the Environment Protection Agency and Sialkot Tannery Zone were also present on the occasion.

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Vegetables prices seen slight inclination

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Vegetables and fruit prices was seen slight inclination in the city as the prices of tomatoes has reached Rs.75 from Rs 87 per kilogram and Green Chillies reaches Rs 105 from 134 per kilogram.

Islamabad Market Committee on Tuesday issued price list of vegetables and fruits in the markets of Federal Capital. According to a spokesman, there is a shortage of supply due to which prices of some vegetables were high, the rate list of vegetables in Islamabad except for Jinnah Super, Super and Kohsar markets are as follows:

Potato Rs 53/46 per Kg, Onion Rs 69/60, Ginger Rs 195/135, Garlic Dasi Rs 105/85, Garlic (Quetta) Rs 135/110, Lady Finger Rs 150/125, Pumpkin Rs 75/64, Brinjal Rs 55/49, Peas Rs 140/120, Cucumber Rs 55/49, Capsicum Rs 115/95, Cauliflower Rs 75/65, Cabbage Rs 55/48, Bitter Gourd Rs 115/100, Green Zucchini Rs 85/70, Spinach Rs 25/20, Raddish Rs 22/17, Turnip Rs 23/18, Maroo Rs 75/65, Yam Rs 52/42, Carrot Rs 65/54, Saag Rs 25/18, Lemon (China) Rs 65/54, Chicken Rs 175 and Eggs per dozen Rs129.

Likewise, he said that rates of fruit per kilogram of high and medium quality in Islamabad are as follows: Apple Golden Rs 170/130, Papaya Rs 170/130, Apple China Rs 260/225, Banana Pak Rs 115/85, Guava Rs 75/65, Pomegranate Rs 220/150, Fruiter Rs 110/80, Pear China Rs 180/145 and Orange (Khanpur) Rs 125/110.

The spokesman has asked all the people to follow this list and inform the authorities at 051-4867762 in case of any complaint against the shopkeepers

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Services exports up by 4.06 per cent in 4 months

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The exports of services from the country witnessed growth of 4.06 percent during the first four months of the current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period of last year. The services exports during July-October (2017-18) were recorded at $1663.39 million against the exports of $1598.42 million during July-October (2016-17), according to the latest data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The imports of services into the country also increased from $3129.48 million last year to $3323.37 during the current year, showing positive growth of 6.2 percent. Based on the figures, the services trade deficit during the first four months of the current fiscal year witnessed growth of 8.42 percent by going up from the deficit of $1531.06 million last year to $1659.54 million during the current fiscal year.

Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the services exports from the country during the month of October 2017 increased by 1.50 percent compared to the same month of last year.

The services exports during October 2017 were recorded at $400.17 million against the exports of $394.25 million in October 2016, the PBS data revealed.

The imports of services on year-on-year basis also increased by 6.23 percent by going up from $768.02 million in October 2016 to $815.88 million in October 2017. On month-on-month basis, the exports of services from the country, however, witnessed negative growth of 11.07 percent in October 2017 when compared to the exports of $449.99 during September 2017.

On the other hand, the imports of services into the country expanded by 9.61 percent in October 2017 when compared to the imports of $744.37 million in September 2017, according to the data of PBS.

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Hyundai Motor to assemble commercial cars in Indonesia

Monitoring Desk

SEOUL: Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea’s largest car maker, said Tuesday that it will set up a joint venture with an Indonesian company to help assemble commercial vehicles in one of the world’s most populous countries in the latest move to expand into Asian markets.

The joint company, to be set up between Hyundai and Artha Graha (AG) in May, will be in charge of putting together the knockdown units of the Xcient heavy-duty and New Mighty trucks and sell the complete vehicles in the Indonesian market, the company said in a statement.

The size of the investment in the joint venture has yet to be decided, a company spokesman said.

The joint venture will produce 2,000 Xicent and New Mighty trucks annually from late next year, with a plan to gradually add new models to woo Indonesian customers, it said.

Currently, Japanese carmakers account for more than 90 percent of Indonesia’s commercial vehicle market, as they have operated local assembly lines since the 1970s, Hyundai said.

As Indonesia pushes large reclamation and mine development projects, local demand for commercial cars is expected to exceed 100,000 units in 2020, up from the 76,000 units estimated for this year, it said.

Hyundai Motor said it aims to export commercial vehicles assembled in Indonesia to neighboring Southeast Asian countries, as they do not impose import tariffs on products from Indonesia due to their bilateral trade agreements.

Southeast Asian countries now impose tariffs ranging from 30 percent to 80 percent on Korean-made vehicles.

 

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Bilateral ties between Pak, Indonesia excellent

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Indonesia to Pakistan, Iwan S Amri has said that Indonesia and Pakistan were committed to bolstering cooperation in various venues to further expand existing excellent bilateral and economic relations.

Talking to Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) Shahid Rasheed Butt at his office here on Tuesday, Iwan S Amri said that relations with Pakistan were growing at a fast pace and both brotherly countries had a strong wish and will to give new dimensions to these relations, he added.

The Ambassador noted with satisfaction that economic relations are good but the bilateral trade can be improved for which both the governments and private sector should play their role.

He underlined the importance of close ties and enhancing people-to-people networks and all-around cooperation to further strengthen the bond between the two nations.

Indonesia with 1,340 ethnic groups, 1,211 local languages and 17,504 islands is spread out over 3000 km area and represents great opportunities for Pakistani investors.

Iwan S Amri said that Indonesia has witnessed remarkable social, political and economic change in recent years. It made important progress towards its Millennium Development Goals, graduated to a Middle Income Country status and was welcomed to the fold of the G20, he added.

The Envoy elaborated that Indonesia as an emerging economy market was the largest economy in Southeast Asia with a Gross domestic product of almost one trillion dollars with above five percent annual growth rate.

He said that President of Indonesia is scheduled to visit Pakistan next month (January) along with high powered business delegation which will bring both the brotherly countries together.

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PIAF welcomes relaxation in foreign exchange regulations

F.P. Report

LAHORE: The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has appreciated the State Bank of Pakistan for relaxing its foreign exchange regulations, allowing exporters to directly dispatch transport documents to the buyers abroad against shipments valuing up to $100,000 or equivalent.

In a joint statement, along with senior vice chairman Tanveer Ahmed Sufi and vice chairman Khawaja Shahzeb Akram, he said that in wake of changing global trade practices and to facilitate exporters, the central bank move is expected to provide manifold benefits to the local exporters including reducing the cost of doing business, efficient processing of export documents and improving competitiveness of Pakistani exports in the international market.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh also asked the SBP to issue circular for implementing the Prime Minister Export Enhancement Package in its true spirit. He stressed on the need for evolving an export-led policy and availability of energy at regionally competitive prices for economic turnaround.

He said that much-awaited export package, approved by the ECC to steer the exporting industry out of crisis, is not being implemented by the government while the crisis is worsening day-by-day. He said that not only our share in the global market was shrinking and going to other countries but also the unit price of our products was decreasing thus resulting in reduced profitability for Pakistani exporters.

It is to be noted that earlier, the carriers (shipping companies, airlines, railways, etc.) were required to draw the transport documents (bills of lading, airway bill, railway receipts, etc.) only to the order of an authorized dealer for exports taking place from Pakistan and the same were required to be dispatched to the buyer abroad through an authorized dealer.

 

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Overseas Pakistanis remit US $ 8 billion

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Overseas Pakistani workers remitted US $8021.18 million in the first five months (July to November) of FY18, compared with US $7919.74 million received during the same period in the preceding year.

During November 2017, the inflow of worker’s remittances amounted to US $1576.72 million, which is 4.7% lower than October 2017 and 2.6% lower than November 2016. The country wise details for the month of November 2017 show that inflows from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries amounted to US $409.52 million, US $352.64 million, US $204.28 million, US $213.47 million, US $191.83 million and US $49.06 million respectively compared with the inflow of US $465.19 million, US $362.82 million, US $194.04 million, US $192.8 million, US $193.12 million and US $37.03 million respectively in November 2016. Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during November 2017 amounted to US $155.92 million together as against US $173.35 million received in November 2016.

Revised instructions regarding making and dispatch of shipping documents by exporters: In wake of changing global trade practices and to facilitate exporters, the State Bank has relaxed its foreign exchange regulations allowing exporters to directly dispatch transport documents to the buyers abroad against shipments valuing upto US Dollar 100,000/- or equivalent. The authorized dealers (banks) have been advised to above effect vide F.E. Circular No. 11 issued today by the State Bank.

The development is expected to provide manifold benefits to the local exporters including reducing the cost of doing business, efficient processing of export documents and improving competitiveness of Pakistani exports in the international market.

Earlier, the carriers (shipping companies, airlines, railways, etc.) were required to draw the transport documents (bills of lading, airway bill, railway receipts, etc.) only to the order of an authorized dealer for exports taking place from Pakistan and the same were required to be dispatched to the buyer abroad through an authorized dealer.

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International rating agencies optimistic about economic performance

F.P. Report

Islamabad: The international ratings agencies are optimistic about Pakistan’s economic performance and are predicting Pakistan to emerge as one of the fast growing economies in the world in the coming years” said Mr. Sartaj Aziz Deputy Chairman Planning Commission while addressing to a conference on “Redefining prosperity paths in changing global economy: opportunities and challenges for Pakistan” organized by Pakistan Society of Development Economists.

Mr. Sartaj Aziz said that the Real GDP growth was 5.3% in 2016-17 which is highest in last 9 years due to improvements in energy supply along with security situation, two key bottlenecks which were holding back the performance of the economy. Pakistan’s economy has seen noticeable turnaround in last four years as a result of cumulative impact of macroeconomic and structural reform program. As a result deficit from 8% in 2012-13 to below 5% in 2016-17 and brought inflation to a single digit. Mr. Aziz also said that Pakistan successfully executed USD 1 billion five years Sukuk and USD 1.5 billion ten years Eurobond transactions at a profit rate of 5.625% and 6.875% respectively and this reflects the confidence of global investors in Pakistan’s economy.

In redefining paths for the future Mr. Sartaj Aziz said it is important to carefully analyze the dramatic changes that are taking place in the world economy as Economic dynamism has shifted from advanced economies to emerging markets. While quoting example of Chinese economy he said China is rebalancing its economy from manufacturing to services, investments to consumption, from exports to domestic services and this means slower but more sustainable growth path.

Moreover, the major economic powers including US and European Union are facing structural issues of aging populations, growing debts, weak financial institutions and global financial crisis which has brought about a shift in policies that will allow a greater role to the public sector in steering the national economies.

Deputy Chairman said due to rapid transformation of the global economic order, it is necessary for Pakistan to reposition itself in the world economy and Pakistan’s outlook for economic growth is favorable due to CPEC investments, improved availability of energy, and growth supporting-supporting structural reforms.

He further said that Pakistan possesses fundamental advantages that can be harnessed to prepare the economy for leadership role in global economy by becoming a regional food basket and an engineering hub. Now under CPEC there is great potential for industrial and agricultural development as both sectors are major contributors to Pakistan’s GDP. Moreover, nine Special Economic Zones along with CPEC routes will help both sectors to increase their productivity as per their potential.

Mr. Sartaj Aziz in his concluding remarks said that we need political stability, national unity and a sound macroeconomic policy framework to take full advantage of the opportunities.