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Textile industry’s issues to be resolved: Minister

F.P. Report

FAISALABAD: State Minister for Textile, Hajji Muhammad Akram Ansari said on Wednesday that problems of textile industry would be resolved within a couple of months.

He was addressing the opening ceremony of 2-day international conference on ‘Emerging Trends in Knitting-2018 (ETK-2018)’ at National Textile University Faisalabad (NTUF) here.

He said that Faisalabad was known as Manchester of Pakistan and it carried yolk of production of textiles in addition to contribute a lot in textile growth and stabilization of national economy.

He said that textile had been a major source of revenue since Pakistan came into being and it was contributing a lot in terms of employment.

In Pakistan, every second person is directly or indirectly linked to textile and every person across the globe is an end user of a textile product, he added.

“I belong to Faisalabad and well-aware of the challenges being faced by industrialists”, he added.

“We, as a nation are affected directly by the shortcomings faced by the industrial sector in term of market share, development of new markets, decreasing profits and aggressive competition at international market”, he observed.

He said that every challenge being faced by the industry would affect the common man, if we did not resolve it on urgent basis.

He said that when PML-N government took power, Pakistan was facing terrorism and load shedding whereas increased price of raw material and brain drain had further aggravated the situation.

However, the PML-N government took solid steps and overcome terrorism and load shedding, while further problems of industrial sector would also be resolved within next couple of months, he added.

Akram Ansari said that ETK-2018 international conference was a good omen to keep pace with innovations and emerging trends in textile knitting. This event will provide an international podium for researchers to come together to play their role in national development, he said.

“I will also invite the international researchers around the globe to visit Pakistan as Pakistan’s economy is growing phenomenally, he said and added, we will also keep motivating international researchers, technologists and scientists to play their role in uplifting textile sector”, he added.

Earlier, Rector NTU Prof Dr Tanveer Hussain in his welcome address presented performance of his institute and highlighted various innovations in textile.

Chairman Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) Mian Naeem Ahmad, textilers, and researchers were also present on the occasion.


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Seminar on REX system by EU for issuance of certificate of origin held

F.P. Report

KARACHI: A new system for issuance of Certificate of Origin (COO) by beneficiary countries has been introduced by Europe Union (EU) to cover exports under the EU-GSP preferential tariff facility. Registered Exporters (REX) system will enable Pakistan’s exporters to issue the COO by themselves for 28 EU member states and also for Switzerland and Norway after their registration into EU’s REX database.

To educate the exporters about this new system, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) continues to organize seminars on REX System by European Union for Issuance of Certificate of origin. On 6th February, 2018, TDAP organized a Seminar on REX system in Hyderabad Chamber of Small Traders and Small Industry, which was attended by the representatives of all regional chambers, trade associations, exporters and potential producers.

Kamal Shahryar, Consultant, TDAP gave an elaborate presentation covering introduction of REX, eligibility for registration, method to become a registered exporter, REX in Pakistan _ progress and benefits and scope of TDAP’s operations for REX and Rules of Origin (ROO).

He informed that 36 countries including Pakistan were required to completely switch to the REX System by the end of December, 2017. Only six countries have successfully switched to REX system. Pakistan is one and has, so far, registered 4300 exporters into REX database.

Kaleemullah Memon, deputy director, GSP Section, TDAP told that REX system is very simple. Mr. Ashiq Hussain Khoso, deputy director, TDAP, Hyderabad, emphasized up on the regional exporters to immediately get registered under REX system; if need be, TDAP will further help the exporters in registration process.

Sikanadr Ali Rajput, Senior Vice President and Mr. Dolat Ram Lohana, vice president, Hyderabad Chamber of Small traders and Small Traders appreciated TDAP’s efforts to guide the exporters about REX System and emphasized on TDAP to continue to conduct seminars on new trends of the trade.

Wasiuddin Sheikh, Chamber member, asked if the imported products qualify for export purpose. Mr. Kamal Shahryar informed that the exporter has to comply with the origin rules specified for those goods in the GSP scheme.


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Shipping activity at Port Qasim

KARACHI (APP): Five ships, Maersk Pittsburg, Mehun, APL Miami, Sea Charming and Johanna Olderdroff carrying Containers, Chemicals and Coal were allotted berths at Qasim International Container Terminal, Engro Vopak Terminal and Multi Purpose Terminal respectively during last 24 hours, said a report issued by Port Qasim Authority (PQA) here on Wednesday.

Meanwhile five more ships Cerulean, Al-Gattara, Chemroad Hope, Navicosmos and Brizo carrying General Cargo, LNG, Plam Oil and Furnace oil also arrive at outer anchorage of Port Qasim during last 24 hours.

Berth occupancy was managed at the port at forty seven percent on Tuesday where a total of eight ships namely, Maersk Pittsburg, Mehun, APL Miami, Beks Cenk, Johanna Oldendroff, BW Hazel, YM Miranda and Sea Charming are currently occupying berths to load/offload Containers, Cement, Canola Seeds, Coal and Chemicals.

A cargo volume of 115,393 tonnes, comprising 83,433 tonnes import cargo and 31,960 tonnes export cargo inclusive of containerized cargo carried in 3,523 containers (TEUs), (2,701 TEUs imports and 822 TEUs exports) was handled at the port.

Two Chemicals carriers, Sea Charming and YM Miranda sailed out to sea on Wednesday morning, while two Container ships Maersk Pittsburg and Mehun are expected to sail on at night hours.

Three ships, Cerulean, Chemroad Hope and Al-Gattara carrying General Cargo, Palm Oil and LNG are expected to take berths at MW-1, ICT and EETL respectively on Wednesday. While two more Container ships, CMA CGM Indus and Prosper and a Gas carrier Maran Gas Sparta are due to arrive at PQ on Thursday.

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Mitao Bhook sings MoU with The Citizens Foundation

F.P. Report

KARACHI: KFC’s CSR initiative Mitao Bhook hosted the MoU signing ceremony of its partnership with The Citizens Foundation at TCF Qayummabad campus which drew the leadership team from both the organizations and unveiled their new school, which TCF has adopted to run under its Mitao Bhook ambit.

TCF is a professionally managed, non-profit organization set up in 1995 by a group of citizens who wanted to bring about positive social change through education. 22 years later, TCF is now one of Pakistan’s leading organizations in the field of education for the less-privileged.

Raza Pirbhai, CEO KFC Pakistan added, “I would like to share with you the success of our CSR platform Mitao Bhook where we have partnered with multiple NGOs till date and contributed more than 70 million for the education of underprivileged. With everybody’s kind and enduring effort to raise donations for this cause, we have been able to make remarkable difference in the lives of many and rekindle hope, joy and aspirations in their lives. Our partnership with TCF has come a long way where we have built a TCF school by the name of KFC Campus in SITE area, Karachi as well as run a full-fledged campaign for them back in 2015. We’re glad to partner again and contribute towards their wide school network. Kudos to all the customers for contributing in all small and big way for the much deserved children of our country!”

On this occasion, Asaad Ayub, CEO The Citizens Foundation, said “”As a nation, education is the way forward to give our youth the means to become independent, self-sufficient and productive members of the society. We greatly value this partnership with KFC and their efforts in supporting TCF’s education movement. I would like to thank KFC for joining hands with us to enable education of less privileged children for one of our schools. I hope that more corporates would join hands to support education and bring us closer to our goal.”

Besides TCF school, Mitao Bhook has also collaborated with various other non-profit organizations to bring about a positive change in the lives of ordinary people, including SOS Children’s Village, Deaf Reach School, Zindagi Trust, Aman Foundation etc.


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FPCCI becomes permanent member of SCO Business Council

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) has become permanent member of the Business Council of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which is a organization of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Pakistan, India and Uzbekistan with the permanent Secretariat in Moscow.

The Business Council of Shanghai Cooperation Organization established in 2006 with the composition of all National Chambers of respective member countries SCO.

The objective of the Business council is to assist in expanding economic cooperation within the SCO, to establish direct ties and dialogue between business and financial circles of the SCO member states; to involve members in all-round business cooperation in trade, economic and investment fields; to promote multilateral projects; to develop plans and programs for cooperation in the prospective areas of economic cooperation for business circles of member states,

The Board meeting of Business Council of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is held once a year on the eve of the summit of the Council of SCO Heads.

The business community has appreciated the permanent membership of FPCCI with the Business council of SCO and considered it imminent important particularly in the backdrop of CPEC.

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SECP opens single online procedure for registration

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), in continuation of its reforms to provide ease of doing business, has combined the procedures of reserving the name of proposed company and applying for its incorporation.

The major amendment in the procedure will enable speedy company registration in “four working hours” through eServices. The SECP has already issued the SRO to amend the incorporation procedures. These measures are in line with ease of starting a business indicators mentioned by the World Bank Doing Business Report.

The promoters of a company would only require submitting a combined application that contain three options of name for proposed company and incorporation application with model memorandum of association and articles of association. Earlier in current fiscal year, the SECP has already merged the procedure to notify the appointment of CEO in company incorporation.

In addition, the fee for incorporation of a company has already been reduced significantly due to merger of several statutory forms into a single form. The current name reservation and company registration fee for single member company with a paid up capital upto Rs100,000 is Rs1,550 under online mode and Rs3,000 under offline mode. Previously it was Rs2,300 under online mode and Rs4,500 under offline mode.

These reforms have led to further reduction in the number of procedures, time required to start a company and cost of starting a business. The SECP being a lead agency for business registration, is cognizant of the importance of “Ease of Doing Business” and will continue the reform measures, which will lead to further robust corporate growth in the country and formalization of the business sector and documentation of economy.


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Gazan importers stage one-day strike

Monitoring Desk

GAZA CITY: Palestinian traders in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday refused to receive incoming commodity shipments at the Kerem Shalom (Karem Abu Salem) border crossing to protest the strip’s worsening economic conditions and draconian Israeli security measures.

Gaza’s only functioning commercial crossing, Kerem Shalom links the strip — which for 10 years has groaned under a crippling Israeli/Egyptian embargo — to Israel. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Maher al-Tabaa, a spokesman for Gaza’s private sector, said that almost all of Gaza’s traders and businessmen had jointly decided not to receive incoming goods on Tuesday.

The move, he said, was intended to deliver the message that “the time has come to lift the blockade on Gaza”.

Israel regulates all commercial traffic through the crossing, typically subjecting it to stringent security measures with the ostensible aim of preventing commodities with military uses from entering the strip.

“By refusing to pick up incoming goods for one day we will force the international community to acknowledge Gaza’s dire economic situation… and the impediments we face here at the crossing,” al-Tabaa said.

Israeli security measures, he explained, include barring certain goods from entry, months-long delays, and preventing Gazans from exporting agricultural and industrial products through Kerem Shalom. Home to more than two million Palestinians, the Gaza Strip has groaned under the Israeli/Egyptian embargo since 2007, when Hamas wrested control of the coastal enclave from forces loyal to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.

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SAARC Chamber for greater economic integration among member countries

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry Suraj Vaidya on Tuesday reiterating his pledge to take concrete and result -oriented steps for greater economic integration by fully exploiting all indigenous natural resources for the progress, prosperity, development and welfare of the people mainly aimed at to do away with abject poverty in South Asia.

He was presiding over a meeting of SAARC Chamber 72nd Executive Committee and 22nd General Assembly meetings of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry here Tuesday. He said in an increasingly developed world, the objectives of peace, freedom, social justice and economic prosperity are best achieved in the South Asian region by fostering mutual understanding, good neighborly relations and meaningful cooperation among the member states which are bound by ties of history and culture.

SAARC Chamber has been proactively advocating stronger commercial and economic relations, for a prosperous and integrated South Asia. Since its inception, SAARC CCI has played an integral role in providing an institutional framework for promoting economic and regional cooperation in South Asia,” said Suraj Vaidya.

He further stated that SAARC should adopt a global approach and should focus on a wide range of activities like poverty alleviation, improvement of the health sector, trade and commerce in the region.

He said South Asia comprises 3 percent of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 3.8% (US$ 2.9 trillion) of the global economy. The respective governments are trying to give its people a much higher quality of life racked by high illiteracy, dismissal health care and sanitation.

He remarked that initiatives may be taken to utilize the potential of cooperation in the areas of tourism and energy of the region. He said that with a view to ensuring trade facilitation in the region the problems regarding SAARC VISA Sticker, removal of trade barriers including NTMs, acceptance of standard certificate, limitations of infrastructure in the land ports, etc should be removed.

He said the leading business communities of all 8 countries feel that closer collaboration amongst businessmen is integral for regional integration and is a win-win situation for all stakeholders. “At SAARC CCI, our aim is to facilitate businesses of South Asia and to encourage investors from SAARC region and beyond to invest in SAARC countries. We strongly feel that this exchange will address major challenges the region faces; job creation for the youth of South Asia, our region’s biggest asset; and poverty,” he added.

Meanwhile Vice President SCCI Iftikhar Ali Malik underscored that unless strong commitment was shown by all nations in the region towards respecting and honoring sovereign equality, the progress of SAARC will keep getting hampered. He said SAARC should adopt a global approach and should focus on a wide range of activities like poverty alleviation, improvement of the health sector, trade and commerce in the region.


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Global gold demand down due to lower investment

Monitoring Desk

ANKARA: Global demand for gold was down in 2017 from a year earlier as overall investment demand fell annually, according to a new World Gold Council report released on Tuesday.

Demand dropped 7 percent to 4,071 tons last year compared to the previous year, the council said in the report.

The report said that recovery in the fourth quarter failed to mitigate the full-year decline. “Gold demand rallied, gaining 6 percent year-on-year to 1,095.8 tons in the fourth quarter,” it said.

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) was almost one-third of the previous year’s inflow, adding 202.8 tons to the demand.

Bar and coin demand was weak in 2017, down 2 percent compared to 2016 due to a sharp drop in the US demand to a 10-year low of 39.4 tons, which exceeded strong gains in both China and Turkey, the report showed.

The report showed that official gold reserves were also lower 5 percent year-on-year to 371.4 tons and added:

“Turkey and Russia were the most prominent of the central bank buyers.”

Jewelry demand remained below historical averages, though the sector saw the first annual increase since 2013, up 4 percent in 2017 with the back of India and China.

Gold demand in the technology sector also saw the first annual increase since 2010 supported by the rising prevalence of new-generation features in smartphones and vehicles.


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ICCI for timely setup of SEZ in Islamabad

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry has called upon the government to take measures for ensuring timely establishment of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) under CPEC in the federal capital that would give boost to industrial activities in the region and contribute to improving country’s exports.

He said this while exchanging views with Iftikhar Ali Malik, Vice President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry during a meeting with him along with a delegation. Muhammad Naveed Senior Vice President ICCI, Zubair Ahmed Malik Chairman Founder Group and Malik Sohail Hussain Chief Coordinator FPCCI were also in the delegation.

Sheikh Amir Waheed said that CPEC has now entered into the second phase of the Long-Term Plan (LTP) after the completion of the Early Harvest Program (EHP) and stressed that more focus should be given on industrial cooperation in the second phase to promote industrialization in the country. He said that local industry should get better opportunities in SEZs that would be set up in the second phase.

He said the business community has pinned lot of hopes from CPEC and emphasized that the modernization of local industry should be the main component of the LTP in order to transform Pakistan into an industrialized country at par with other developed countries.

Speaking at the occasion, Iftikhar Ali, Vice President SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Chairman United Business Group assured that he would convey the demand of ICCI for establishment of SEZ in Islamabad to the relevant authorities.

He said that the CPEC was a game changer for Pakistan and the LTP has created lot of positives for Pakistan and it would touch upon all important sectors of the economy including connectivity with road and rail infrastructure, information network, energy, trade, industrial parks, agriculture, poverty alleviation, and tourism with a focus on maritime tourism.

He said that apart from industrial cooperation, the LTP would also modernize Pakistan’s agriculture sector as new agro-based technologies, seeds, and irrigation mechanism would be introduced.

He stressed that the enterprises from China and Pakistan should be given enhanced role in the LTP so that joint ventures and partnerships between the private sectors of Pakistan and China could be materialized to create economic benefits for both countries and for the region.