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BUSINESS Monday, 21 October, 2013
eurozone countries talk growth, wield rigour in budgets to eU
Spend a lot of time talking to customers face to face. You'd be amazed how many companies don't listen to their customers. â€” Ross Perot
FPCCI CRItICIzes 2-day weekly holIdays SAYS HOLIDAYS HURTING ECONOMIC GROWTH, CALLS FOR REVERSAL ISLAMABAD
PARIS: While growth and recovery are back as buzzwords in European budgets for next year, rigour and austerity still remain hard at work in several countries. Eurozone finance ministries had until last Tuesday to send the European Commission in Brussels their draft budgets for 2014 and show that they respect the new rules known as the "Two Pack". One of the reforms in response to the eurozone debt crisis, is greatly increased policing of EU rules to contain public deficits to 3.0 percent of gross domestic product. The public deficit covers the budgets of governments, welfare programmes and local authorities. And for the first time, the European Commission can demand that a government change its budget if it appears lax or unrealistic. APP
shipping activity at Port Qasim
KARACHI: One ship arrived at the Port to offload furnace oil at FOTCO on October 19, 2013, port sources said here Sunday. Berth occupancy was maintained at 50% at the port on Saturday where a total of seven ships namely MV KPS-I Alican Bey - Powership, MT Gulf Oasis, MT Chemroad Sun, MT Quetta, MT Norgas Chellenger, MV Lady Amna, MV ILC Friendship are currently occupying berths to load/offload, chemical, palm oil, furnace oil, fertiliser, wheat. Cargo handling operations were carried out smoothly at the port where a cargo volume 55,412 tonnes comprising 54,882 tonnes import, 530 tonnes export was handled at the port during the last 24 hours. MT Norgas Challenger sailed on Saturday afternoon. APP
HE Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Sunday criticised the decision to observe two weekly holidays for conserving energy and called for a reversal of the policy in the larger national interest. Six-day closure on the occasion of Eidul Azha proved that government continues to prefer politics and publicity over economic recovery disregarding of the cost, it said. President FPCCI Zubair Ahmed Malik said that conservation of energy is only acceptable when it does not hurt the business activities and the economic growth. In a statement issued here on Sunday, he said that long weekend or moving clocks one hour ahead or back has very little to do with mitigating energy crisis, it requires serious effort which is lacking. Replicating the practices of the developed or rich nations without considering the consequences will not guarantee development but a downturn, he said. Calling for a national policy about holidays, the FPCCI chief said that every political government has been increasing the number of holidays to gain political mileage while strikes have become the order of the day having a crippling effect on the weakening economy. Rejecting the unilateral and incor-
FPCCI PRESIDENT LEAVES FOR EFN ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN THAILAND ISLAMABAD: President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Zubair Ahmed Malik on Sunday left for Bangkok to attend three-day annual conference of the Economic Freedom Network (EFN) Asia. It should be mentioned that experts, business leaders and individuals from twenty-eight countries are scheduled to participate in the conference representing USA, Canada, Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and China etc. The Network releases the Economic Index of the World every year in which all the states are ranked according to their economic performance. This is done in collaboration with the Fraser Institute of Canada and Atlas Foundation of USA. The Economic Freedom Network is scheduled to bring out its latest report on the world economy on October 22. President FPCCI Zubair Ahmed Malik has headed the Economic Freedom Network Pakistan since its inception in 2006. EFN Pakistan has many research publications to its credit and its subjects have also been selected for MBA course by the administration of the Universities of Sindh. The Network comprising leading economic experts and entrepreneurs who believes in the free market economy and promotes it accordingly, has been actively supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation of Germany. It has been working for promoting open and free markets, stronger property rights for the less powerful, deregulation, privatization, human development, economic growth, political dialogue, public education and academic exchange. According to Mr Malik, economic freedom is the key to the opportunities and an improved life. It is the freedom to choose how to produce, sell, and use resources owned by an individual or a group, while respecting others rights to do the same. INP
rect decisions, Zubair Ahmed Malik said that all must work six days in a calendar week with hectic schedules to ensure progress, adding that businessmen, importers and exporters are feeling the pinch of the inordinate decisions. Those businessmen who deal with the Middle Eastern countries have to face three day closure while the closure
of banks for two days has taken a toll on the trading community and the corporate sector while hurting governmentâ€™s revenue, he said. Business community finds it extremely difficult to deposit money on Saturdays which provides an opportunity for criminals, Bhatta mafia and police, he observed.
Rwanda rolls out free wireless in bid for business boom KIGALI APP
It's a scene any visitor would be surprised to see deep in central Africa: a tech-savvy consumer sitting in a restaurant and surfing a broadband connection with a smartphone, tablet and laptop. But in a region long associated with war and genocide, Rwanda is busy trying to reinvent itself as a regional high tech hub by rolling out free citywide and eventually nationwide wireless connectivity. "I came to use the Internet. Sometimes I download video and books," said South Korean development worker Lee Il-mo, aged 31 and a resident of the Rwandan capital Kigali for the past two years. "Before I went to restaurants or coffee bars and I had to buy a drink, but here it's a free area," he said, sitting in Kigali City Tower -- a zone slated as the city's new tech hub and the one of the first steps of the so-called 'Smart Kigali' project.
Brazil defends offshore oil auction BRASILIA APP
Brazil's energy minister Saturday defended an auction of concessions in a vast offshore oil field, saying it did not mean the country's oil reserves were being privatized. He spoke as workers from state-owned oil giant Petrobras struck for a third day to protest the auction of the coveted Libra oil field, which opens Monday amid heavy security. Eleven oil companies, including some of the world's largest, are participating in the auction, the first involving the huge so-called "pre-salt" oil deposits found six years ago in deep water off Brazil's Atlantic coast. The army was called in to boost security ahead of the auction, which is to be held at a hotel to the west of Rio de Janeiro. Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao insisted that "we are not privatizing pre-salt oil."
PMNH, IWCCI to sign MoU for development of women entrepreneurs ISLAMABAD APP
The Islamabad Women Chambers of Commerce and Industry (WCCI) and Pakistan Museum of Natural History (PMNH) will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly organize training programmes and other activities for socio-economic development of women enterpreuners. This was agreed on the occasion of training workshop titled "Gemstone Grading, Treatment and Evaluation" here at PMNH. The workshop was organized by PMNH (a subsidiary of Pakistan Science Foundation), International Gemological Laboratory, Gems and Gemological Institute of Pakistan (GGIP), Pakistan Association of Petroleum Geologists and Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Speaking on the occasion, WCCI President Samina
Fazil said the workshop would help boost potential of the participants to develop gems and jewellery industry. She said Pakistan's gems and jewellery jndustry had immense potential to play its role in economic development and create job opportunities. Fazil stressed the need for adding value to precious stones in order to get their real price. She said the knowledge gained by the participants would help them increase their professional capabilities and start the business of gems and jewellery. PMNH Director General Dr. Atta Ul Mohsin highlighted the importance of natural history as the heritage of the past, present and future generations. Dr Mohsin said, " During the workshop they learned that the gems and jewellery industry is far behind in terms of technology use due to the absence of a vibrant system." He called upon the stakeholders to actively play their role so that the technology might reach the users.
He said 40 persons participated in the workshop and hoped that they would fully utilize the knowledge they got during these three days. On the occasion, recommendations were formulated to make a strategy for uplifting this important sector of revenue generation and economic development. During the workshop, the participants were imparted practical training on grading, evaluation and pricing of gemstones as well as their cutting, polishing, faceting and carving. Experienced gem stone experts from relevant fields shared their professional experience with the participants regarding gemstones, their type, value, identification, classification, gradation, cutting, polishing and pricing. The workshop also highlighted salient features of the gemstone trade including certain pitfalls as well as the assessment criteria for various gemstones and outline a general pricing strategy for different marketing conditions.
GOVT SWITCHING THREE POWER PLANTS TO COAL TO SAVE TWO-THIRD COST ISLAMABAD APP
The federal government is switching three power plant units through working on a proposal to convert the existing furnace oil based steam power plants including Muzaffargarh, Jamshoro and Guddu which are being converted to coal firing to save two-third cost. The 1350 megawatts thermal power station (TPS) Muzaffargarh (Unit1-6), 850 megawatts TPS JamshoroUnits(1-4),640 megawatts TPS Guddu is now being converted on coal with multilateral financial assistance. According to a 'Concept Paper' which was developed by Planning Commission of Pakistan Conversion of Existing Thermal Power Stations on Cheaper Fuels - for example, had estimated in 2011 that conversion of 12 steam power plants fired by furnace oil on imported coal could save more than $8 billion or almost four per cent of gross domestic product annually. The savings estimate is based on the prices of furnace oil and coal and exchange rate at that time. The paper was developed by Planning Commission of Pakistan. The project will help save two-third cost of the ongoing power generation through the conversion to
coal medium, the paper said. "The generation proposed to be converted on coal constitutes almost a quarter of the country's total derated, dependable capacity. It, therefore, can substantially cut the overall electricity production costs, bringing relief to both the domestic and industrial consumers," argues a senior executive of a gas fired independent power producer (IPP) put up under the 2002 power policy during a recent briefing on power sector. "Another substantial amount of $1.5-1.6 billion a year on fuel can be saved by providing gas and oil to the power producers according to their position on the order of merit based on their fuel efficiency," contends the executive who does not want to give his name. If his argument is accepted, then the government should prefer eight IPPs with a cumulative generation capacity of 1,700 megawatts set up under the 2002 policy in the supply of gas and oil for generation. Further, he says, the savings in fuel costs should help the government eliminate power subsidies, considerably cut its inflationary borrowings from banks, bridge the budget gap, spare funds for new investment in hydropower projects and lift some pressure off the country's weakening balance-of-payments position.
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The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away. — Ronald Reagan
BUSINESS B Monday, 21 October, 2013
CHINIOT: Farmer busy in preparing land for potato cultivation. INP
7,331 Female woRkeRs sent aBRoad In last FIve yeaRs ISLAMABAD
S many as 7,331 women workers have been sent abroad for employment in different cadres in last five years, said a document of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource placed in the National Assembly. According to the document, a total of 2.7 million workers have proceeded abroad for employment in 40 cate-
gories in last five years. As many as 30,681 workers belonged to Balochistan. A total of 420,788 workers have proceeded abroad during the current calendar year (up to August, 2013). The workers proceeded abroad either through overseas Employment Promoter (OEPs) or through Direct Employment and the selection of worker is the prerogative of employer which is based on criteria of right man for the right job. Giving the year wise breakup, the document said
431,764 workers have been sent abroad in 2008, 404,988 in 2009, 364,822 in 2010, 457,608 in 2011, 639,895 in 2012, 420,788 workers have gone abroad during current year (up to Aug). During 2013, out of 420788 workers sent abroad are including 3,047 Engineers, 698 doctors, 197 nurses,568 teachers, 2,011 Accountants, 2,306 Managers, 8,670 welders,178 secretaries/steno graphers, 991 Storekeepers, 11,074 Agriculturists, 3,747 clerks, 3,969 Foremen, 31,295 Mason, 20,842
Carpenters, 18,498 Electricians, 4,181 Cooks, 11,776 Plumbers, 3,049 Waiters, 16,949 Steel Fixers, 9,444 Painters, 147253 Labourers, 20,918 Technicians, 10,358 Mechanics, 204 Cable Jointers, 54,027 Drivers, 8,437 Operators, 3,670 Tailors, 1,306 Surveyors, 7,469 Fitters, 2,065 Denters, 1,665 Computer/Prog/ Analysts, 416 Designers, 100 Goldsmiths, 128 Pharmacists, 502 Riggers,8,126 Salesmen, 245 Draftsmen, 168 Blacksmiths 92 Photographers, and 149 Artists.
s koRea, malaysIa sIgn $4.7B CURRenCy swaP deal SEOUL: South Korea and Malaysia on Sunday signed a currency swap agreement worth $4.7 billion, Seoul's central bank said, in a move to encourage bilateral trade and help curb currency swings. The latest agreement allows the two Asian nations to purchase and repurchase each other's currency of up to 5 trillion won ($4.7 billion), or 15 billion ringgit, the central Bank of Korea said in a statement. The deal -- valid for three years and renewable upon agreement -- will allow greater flexibility for businesses to use local currencies for trades that have been commonly settled in US dollars, the two countries' central banks said in a joint statement. The latest agreement is the third currency swap deal South Korea has signed this month in a move to guard against financial turmoil and encourage trade with other emerging markets. Asia's fourth-largest economy earlier this month struck currency swap deals worth $10 billion and $5.4 billion with Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates, respectively. APP
Pak BUsInessmen to PaRtICIPate In ‘woRld tRade BRIdge 2013’
HYDERABAD: A blacksmith busy in making ‘Tava’ at his workplace. INP
LAHORE: Pakistani businessmen will participate in the "World Trade Bridge 2013" to be held in Istanbul, Turkey from November 22 to 28 next. Director (Projects) Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT), Dr Suhail Saleem told APP here on Sunday. He said that the event would help transfer technology and also help improving efficiency of local firms and reducing cost of their production. He said that Pak-Turk Business Association (PTBA) and the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON) would facilitate the Pakistani companies and delegates recommended by PBIT regarding free visas and travelling arrangements to participate in the business event. Representatives from the local companies related to food, agriculture, manufacture of machinery and various other businesses would participate in the event. He said that PBIT is ready to provide all out assistance to the intending participants of the event from Pakistan. The PBIT will keep on facilitating local companies to participate in such a fruitful events as part of its efforts to promote investment and trade, he added. APP