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BUSINESS Sunday, 17 November, 2013

pakistan offers to set up sugar mills in sri lanka COLOMBO APP Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has offered that the Pakistan government or the private sector can set up sugar mills in Sri Lanka. The prime minister stated this during his meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at President's House on Thursday evening, said a press release issued by Pakistan High Commission on Friday. The prime minister's offer was in response to the one made by the Sri Lankan president to invest in the sugar sector of his country. He was accompanied by Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Anusha Rahman, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunications, Syed Jalil Abbas Jilani, Foreign Secretary, and Major General (R) Qasim Qureshi, High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif congratulated President Rajapaksa on successfully hosting the commonwealth heads of government meeting 2013. He appreciated the economic growth achieved by Sri Lanka since the end of civil war in 2009. He also lauded the leadership of President Rajapaksa for eliminating terrorism from the country. During the meeting, both the leaders agreed to further strengthen economic ties, especially by increasing bilateral trade volume from present US$ 460 million to US$ 1 billion in the next few years. They also agreed that bilateral flow of investments could play an important role in boosting economic relations. The meeting between the two leaders, which was the second one during the last two months, would give significant boost to the already strong bilateral ties between the two countries.

apBf for regionally competitive mark-up rate

I do not believe a man can ever leave his business. He ought to think of it by day and dream of it by night. –Henry Ford

Dar warns action against forex market speculators

Says newly-imposed taxes are a result of caretaker government’s commitment with the IMF LAHORE

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STAFF RePORT

eDeRAL Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday warned the speculators to immediately refrain from speculations in the forex market or be ready to face the music for causing huge financial loss to the entire economy for their petty gains. The federal minister was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. LCCI Acting President Mina Tariq Misbah presided over the meeting which continued for over three hours. While LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar, former presidents Mian Muhammad Ashraf, Mian Anjum Nisar, Mian Misbahur Rehman, Iftikhar Ali Malik, Bashir A Baksh, Sheikh Muhammad Asif, Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Mohammad Ali Mian, Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, Mian Muzaffar Ali were prominent among the speakers. Federal Board of Revenue Chiarman Tariq Bajwa and the State Bank of Pakistan deputy governor were also present in the meeting. A few hands have taken the whole economy of the country hostage but they will not allow them to play at the cost of the country, said the minister firmly. The minister assured the businessmen that there would be no witch hunting by the FBR to broaden the tax net. He said 165-A is meant for tax evaders only. Name a single tax registered person who had been given notice under 165A? he asked. He said increasing the tax to GDP ratio to 15 percent of the GDP was the first goal of the government which

could be achieved only by registering new taxpayers. He said the government was hopeful of fully reviving growth and economy in next five years. He said foreign direct investment increased by 83 percent, portfolio investment jumped by 101 percent and the large scale manufacturing grew by 8.5 percent. The negative trends in growth had been stopped and now they were moving on, he added. Ishaq Dar said the rating agencies had acknowledged Pakistan’s performance and upgraded its rating. He said donors had offered lucrative loans to appreciate the efforts of the new government The federal minister spoke at length on all issues being faced by the economy and the measures being taken to overcome these challenges. The minister said that economy, energy and extremism were the three serious challenges and the government was utilising all its energies to resolve them. He said that newly-imposed taxes were a result of caretaker government’s commitment with the IMF. He, however, added that the government was focusing on narrowing down the foreign account and budget deficit. On the issue of shortage of energy, the minister said the government was striving to ensure supply of cheaper energy to masses and it had also launched medium- and short-term plans. He said work on Neelum-Jehlum, Diamir-Basha and Dasu dams were well on way and

their completion would help end power shortage in next three years. He said the government was also working on the civil nuclear technology and wind energy projects. He said the government was determined to add 8500 MW of electricity into the national grid by year 2016. The finance minister

Pakistan should grant MFN status to India: FPCCI MFN status must be given to India. This is what I am urging our government. We want to see trade flourish between the two countries and it will only flourish if there is free movement of people and if the visa regime is eased by both governments

LAHORE APP The All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) on Friday called for regionally competitive mark-up rate by bringing it to a single digit to counter weak growth and revive private investment. APBF Chairman Nabeel Hashmi said here that increase in the mark-up rate from 9.5 percent to 10 percent would hinder investment in industrial sector and expand defaulters list. There was no levelplaying field because Pakistan was far ahead of the regional competitors with regard to interest rate, he said, citing that as against 10 percent in Pakistan, the mark-up rate in India was 7.25 percent, China 6 percent and Bangladesh 7.75 percent. Hashmi suggested that interest rate should not be higher than 8 percent for expansion in investment activities and jobs creation for millions of young people entering the market every year. Availability of cheaper money was absolutely necessary for bringing down the cost of production as it was like any other industrial input, he maintained. APBF Central President Rashid Mehr said that Pakistani goods had already lost their due place in the global market for being uncompetitive, asserting that high mark-up rate also kept the manufacturers from investing money in capacity expansion, technological up-gradation and product diversification. Other APBF officebearers including Yaqub Tahir Izhar, Imtiaz Rastgar and Munir Bana also opposed the raise in mark-up rate and said it would add more to Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) and unemployment in private sector. They said the industry was expecting a reduction in interest rate to single digit.

announced to form two committees comprising LCCI former president Mian Ashraf, Sheikh Muhmmad Asif, Mian Anjum Nisar, Iftikhar Ali Malik and FBR Chairman Tariq Bajwa to look into the issues of steel industry, under invoicing, smuggling and sales tax refunds. He said whatever the decisions were taken by the committee would immediately be implemented in letter and spirit.

ZUBAIR AHMED MALIK FPCCI PRESIDENT

NEW DEHLI Online Pakistan should grant the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India, said Federation of Pakistani Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Zubair Ahmed Malik at a trade event on Saturday. Malik is in India as the head of a Pakistani business delegation participating in the India international trade fair. While

attending an event organised by the federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), he emphasised the need for the two countries to ease visa restrictions. “MFN status must be given to India. This is what I am urging our government. We want to see trade flourish between the two countries and it will only flourish if there is free movement of people and if the visa regime is eased by both governments,”

Malik was quoted as saying. India had already granted Pakistan MFN status in 1996 but Pakistan is yet to reciprocate the measure even though according to World Trade Organisation (WTO) norms, member countries are required to provide this status on a reciprocal basis. Additionally, the Pakistani government has missed the December 31, 2012, deadline for phasing out its negative list regime for trade and to grant MFN status to India. The

deadline was missed as some business sectors in Pakistan raised concerns about awarding MFN status to India, Naeem Anwar, Minister (Trade) was quoted as saying by a local TV channel. However, Anwar too stated that the elimination of the negative list regime would help improve economic ties between the two countries. “If Pakistan grants nondiscriminatory access to India, India will provide a reciprocal market access to Pakistan at a 0-5% duty rate, similar to what is being given to Bangladesh,” India’s Joint Secretary in the Commerce Ministry Arvind Mehta said at the FCCI event. Pakistan is losing out to Bangladesh by delaying granting non-discriminatory access to India, Mehta pointed out.


We don't seem to be able to check crime, so why not legalize it and then tax it out of business? –Will Rogers

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BUSINESS B Sunday, 17 November, 2013

gems exporters refuse to accompany pm at 11th hour We have lost at least $ 250 million during the past two months since SRO has been implemented by the government HABIBUR REHMAN CHAIRMAN OF THE ASSOCIATION

ISLAMABAD

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GHUlAM ABBAS

N a protest against the government’s fresh move of controlling trade of gold resulting in complete halt of export of gems and jewellery, the exporters of the sector have cancelled a scheduled visit to Thailand with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the eleventh hour. During the visit scheduled on November 17, 2013, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also planned

to be signed between the All Pakistan Gem Merchants and the Jewellers Association (APGM&JA) and Thai firms to help Pakistan in stone cutting, jewellery designing and manufacturing on state-of-the-art techniques, and transfer of technology. According to Habibur Rehman, chairman of the association, the visit had been cancelled by the exporters in protest against the government’s move of destroying the industry. The issuance of a controversial SRO had resulted in complete halt in exports. “We have lost

marBle exports Decline By 6pc ISLAMABAD: With another setback to the country’s exports, marble industry, one of the ever growing sector, has started showing declining trend in exports. Marble export has been declined by 6 percent during July to October, 2013, owing to what exporters say, the poor law and order situation and electricity crisis in the country. This is an alarming situation for the industry which has shown remarkable increasing trend of exports. exports were increased by 71 percent, 30 percent and 38 percent during the financial year 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively, said Sanaullah Khan, Chairman All Pakistan Marble Mining Processing Industry & exporter Association (APMMPIeA) while talking to Pakistan Today. According to him, marble and granite of Pakistan has been showing growth in exports continuously despite facing troublesome period but now it seems that growth averted issues are soon going to overpower this growth trend. Marble and granite exports for the period from July to October, 2013, had experienced a decline of 6 percent in comparison with the corresponding period of the last year. The country has exported marble and granites worth $17.44 million during the three months as compared to $ 18.0 million recorded during the same duration last year. This has happened due to the same issues - deplorable law and order situation and unannounced electricity load shedding (6-10 hrs) which have been highlighted by the exporters for years now. electricity situation has to improve by scheduling load shedding time period and by providing maximum working time to industrial units in order to ensure timely execution of export orders. The TDAP approach towards this sector is so inconsiderable that it only subsidizes two exhibitions on annual basis which is not yielding proper results. The TDAP should offer subsidy on minimum four international exhibitions including Marmomac, Verona Italy - 24-27 Sept, 2014, Project Qatar, Doha, Qatar - 12-15 May, 2014, Saudi Build/ Saudi Stone-Tech, Riyadh - 10-13 Nov, 2014, and expo Stone, Moscow, Russia - 24-27 June, 2014, in their yearly calendar along with delegations to different potential markets. GHUlAM ABBAS

at least $ 250 million during the past two months since the SRO was implemented by the government. According to him, the understanding to go for a deal with Thai firms was made during the recently-held expo Pakistan. It was agreed that a formal signing of the agreement would be made during the visit of prime minister of Pakistan to Thailand. However, now the exporters were not in the position to go for the said agreement under the present restrictive environment in the country, he said. According to him, the new rules

are much restrictive that no exporter/importer is able to go for the business thus causing a total closure of trade in the sector. The new SRO 760(I)/2013 for import of gold and export of jewellery issued on September 2, 2013 by MoC has introduced many amendments and changes in the set rules to restrict gold business. According to the SRO, imports must be turned around into jewellery and exported within 120 days and has more or less doubled the amount of value that must be added in manufacture. Sales must be officially recognised by legal authorities in importing countries and Pakistan missions there. Besides, only 25 kilograms of precious metals including gold, silver and platinum can be imported on a revolving basis and cannot be used in the domestic market.

Prospects of US companies in Pakistan discussed WASHINGTON APP

The US-Pakistan energy trade mission met international oil companies and service companies in Houston to discuss exploration and production, and Liquified Natural Gas business opportunities, the State Department said on Friday. Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson addressed a gathering of over 100 energy sector representatives as part of the mission, organized by the US Embassy in Islamabad. The Pakistani minister and the US envoy highlighted potential opportuni-

ties for American companies in Pakistan, including offshore gas exploration, equipment provision, and LNG supply, a readout provided by the State Department said. The Houston Mayor's office, which helped organize the reception, highlighted the robust business and trade relationship between Pakistan and Houston (around $275 million annually) and the Houston-Karachi sister city relationship. Minister Abbasi noted the importance of trade not just aid in the bilateral US-Pakistan relationship and urged American companies to invest in Pakistan. The trade mission will continue Friday with additional meetings and site visits that would display cutting edge technology and equip-

ment. This is the first trade mission organized by the United States since the re-launch of the Strategic Dialogue and builds on the US-Pakistan business opportunities conference in Dubai in June, the department said. Earlier this week, the two countries discussed prospects for cooperation in energy areas at the fifth meeting of the US-Pakistan Energy Working Group held in Washington under the Strategic Dialogue Framework. The Working Group in Washington was co-chaired by Minister Abbasi as well as Federal Minister of Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif, and by Ambassador Carlos Pascual, US Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs.

pakwheels to host first ever 2-Day autoshow LAHORE PReSS ReleASe After successfully hosting the Annual Auto Show at the Port Grand in Karachi, PakWheels is set for its next big show. At the heart of Pakistan’s Capital, amidst funfilled activities, PakWheels is organizing a 2-day auto show from 30th November – 1 December 2013. To be held at the Rawal Lake Pakistan, this would be the very first auto show in Pakistan to go on for 2 whole days. The event will comprise of a karting championship, movie screenings and other activities for families. Shell Helix is the platinum sponsor for this autoshow whereas Warid Glow has signed on as the diamond sponsor. PakWheels hopeful that this event will help portray a better image of Pakistan in international media as well as provide for a family entertainment avenue for locals. With over 50,000 expected visitors, PakWheels is committed to provide locals with healthy recreational activities and platforms to express passion for automobiles.

pta finalising consultants’ selection for 3g ISLAMABAD APP The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is in a process of finalising selection of consultants for spectrum auction of next generation mobile services (3G) as it is evaluating technical and financial proposals. The evaluation committee of PTA constituted for evaluation of bids has already opened proposals submitted by various consultants for spectrum auction of next generation services. Official sources on Friday said, "PTA's evaluation committee is engaged to finalize selection of consultants after evaluating the technical and financial proposals as per relevant rules." The sources said the Authority has received very encouraging response from local and international firms for its offer of spectrum auction consultancy. They said PTA, in response to its advertisements for hiring of a consultant of international repute, published in national and international newspapers and on Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) website had received seven bids from various consulting firms. With regard to consultants’ responsibilities, the sources said they would provide professional analysis, input, advice and recommendations on the whole auction process as per PTA's Request for Proposal (RFP) and Terms of References (ToRs), and for successful completion of auction in a transparent manner, averting collusion, ensuring competition and complete transparency.

small enterprises urge sBp to set up exim Bank ISLAMABAD STAFF RePORT

9 Pak companies participate in ATF Expo in Cape Town ISLAMABAD APP As many as nine companies, under the umbrella of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), representing an array of trade sectors will participate in Apparel, Textile, Footwear & Machinery Trade exhibition (ATF) expo, being held in the port city of Cape Town, South Africa, from November, 2022. According to a press release of High Commission of Pakistan South Africa reaching here Friday, ATF is South Africa's only sourcing show for the clothing, textile & footwear industries. The main objective of the event is to offer manufacturers, suppliers & service providers in these industries a truly effective opportunity to reinforce business with South African buyers, establish new contacts in Africa & to explore various other global trade opportunities. It is expected that ATF will attract over 3,300 trade

professionals and more than 120 exhibitors from over 10 countries. Cape Town is the 'Retail Headquarters' of these industries. ATF has been organized regularly for the last 12 years and attracts companies from different countries across the world including competitors of Pakistan like Bangladesh, China and India. In terms of participation by the exhibitors most of the exhibitors are international exhibitors whereas the buyers are mostly from South Africa and neighbouring African countries. South Africa has limited number of buyers however due to their monopoly they are involved in huge buying which sometimes runs in billions. Pakistani exports are on rise in Sub-Saharan African countries including South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana etc. Concurrently, High Commission of Pakistan will be holding a seminar in Cape Town on November 20, on doing business with Pakistan. All the leading chain stores, importers and businessmen will attend the seminar.

The small and medium enterprises in the country have urged the State Bank of Pakistan to establish much needed export Import (exim) Bank for facilitating trade and industry. As it has been claimed in the trade policy of the country, the SBP should initiate and expedite work on setting up of the bank which would boost country’s trade. The small traders/exporters would benefit the most by the proposed bank. According to Zulfiqar Thavar, president of the Union of Small and Medium enterprises (UNISAMe), there is urgent need of exim Bank and the government cannot afford to shelve such an important tool of trade promotion for which provision was made in the budget by the previous coalition government. He reminded the SBP governor of the commitment made in the trade policy to establish exim to promote and support the import of raw material, technology and packing materials and export of goods and services to third world countries.


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