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FUTURE TRUST PARTNERS WITH USAID TO ADDRESS DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES IN PAKISTAN

Future Trust and USAID have signed a memorandum of understanding to address development challenges in Pakistan. Both partners seek to provide collective opportunities and support to people of Pakistan through their ongoing and upcoming projects on science, technology and innovation for promoting youth employment and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the partnership intends to foster linkages with US institutions for innovation & technology transfers.

Speaking at the occasion, Ali Raza Siddiqui, Chairman Future Trust, said “Our partnership with USAID will provide a great opportunity to the youth of Pakistan in acquiring progressive education and career guidance”

John Groarke, Mission Director USAID Pakistan, said “Through this partnership, both the partners are coming together with the shared goal of empowering Pakistan by promoting technology and innovation for advancing employment and entrepreneurship for the youth of Pakistan.”

USAID is an independent Federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. Their mission in Pakistan is focusing on energy, economic growth including agriculture, resilience and education and health sectors.

Future Trust is a non-profit benevolent philanthropic organization, a charitable trust, set up by JS Group for the promotion, advancement and encouragement of technology and innovation against poverty and general improvement of socio economic conditions and living standards of the people of Pakistan. It supports youth in acquiring progressive education, vocational and career guidance and entrepreneurship. JS Group is one of Pakistan’s largest and most prominent business entities.

UBER CONFIRMS $500M INVESTMENT IN PAKISTAN

Uber is committing US$500m investment to growing its operations in Pakistan. This financial backing is supported and accelerated by the arrival of Uber’s Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty this week.

The Uber team and Gore-Coty met with the Chairman Federal Board of Investment Dr. Miftah Ismail, on Thursday in Islamabad to discuss expansion of Uber in Pakistan and to reinforce the company’s dedication to the market through their additional investment of $500m by 2020.

Talking about Uber’s investment plans for Pakistan, Gore-Coty said, “We will continue to work closely with the government as Pakistanis benefit from reliable, affordable and safe transportation like Uber. We are committed to not only providing the best solution of convenient reliable transport but also want to contribute to the economy of Pakistan by creating thousands of work opportunities and overall economic empowerment for the people and state of Pakistan. Pakistan is a key market for Uber which is why we are channeling significant investment to the country.”

Pakistan continues to be a thriving, high-growth market for the company. Uber is operational in five cities across the country – Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Hyderabad. Tens of thousands of drivers use the app, which directly translates into the economic opportunities required to address unemployment. The additional investment will assist in growing the driver partner network, expanding in more cities, creating more economic opportunities, and the enhancement of Uber’s customer services program.

Dr. Ismail, Chairman Federal Board of Investment commented, “We are pleased to meet Uber’s management and welcome their proposal for significant investment that aims to create over 250,000 economic opportunities for Pakistanis. Pakistan has a strong economy and a rising middle class that can benefit tremendously from Uber’s innovative technology. Since March 2016, Uber has been operating in Pakistan, providing affordable and reliable transportation while creating tens of thousands of economic opportunities for Pakistanis”.

Riders in Pakistan currently have three options available to them: UberGO, UberX and UberAUTO. This ensures that riders in Pakistan have multiple options at different price points, which generates a wider breadth of economic opportunities for driver-partners.

A positive regulatory framework would allow us to create economic opportunities for over 250,000 Pakistanis. In addition to partnering with government on regulation, Uber will also work with organizations to provide ongoing training through initiatives such as the partnership with Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF).

During his visit to Lahore, Gore-Coty also signed an MoU with PSDF cementing a partnership to provide training and economic opportunities to underprivileged youth in Punjab.

Gore-Coty concludes, “Uber has been committed to growing its footprint in Pakistan since its launch last year, creating thousands of economic opportunities in the process. This latest investment, as well as other MoUs we have signed recently, illustrates that Uber is dedicated to expanding into Pakistan in a way that is relevant and beneficial to the local economy. I look forward to continuing to work with the government, business and local driver-partners to grow Uber to have an ongoing, positive and sustainable impact in Pakistan”.

PAKISTAN’S LIQUID FOREIGN RESERVES POSITION

The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at US$20,678.6 million on 12 May 2017.

The break-up of the foreign reserves position is as under:-

i) Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan: US$15,895.9 million
ii) Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks: US$4,782.7 million
iii) Total liquid foreign reserves: US$ 20,678.6 million

During the week ending 12 May 2017, SBP’s reserves decreased by US$17 million to US$15,896 million.

 

MAHVASH & JAHANGIR SIDDIQUI FOUNDATION PARTNERS WITH USAID

Mahvash & Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation (MJSF) and USAID have signed a memorandum of understanding to address development challenges in Pakistan. Both partners seek to provide collective opportunities and support to people of Pakistan through their ongoing and upcoming projects in the areas of education, healthcare, social enterprise, disaster relief and women empowerment. Furthermore, the partnership intends to foster linkages with US institutions in the mutually agreed areas.

Speaking at the occasion, Suleman Lalani, Director MJSF, said “Our partnership with USAID reflects our commitment of working for the betterment of Pakistani society”

John Groarke, Mission Director USAID Pakistan, said “The partnership agreements we are signing today will address social development challenges of Pakistan. I’m excited by the possibilities of what we can accomplish through our creative collaboration and sharing of expertise, knowledge and resources to empower Pakistan”.

USAID is an independent Federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. Their mission in Pakistan is focusing on energy, economic growth including agriculture, resilience and education and health sectors.

The Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been working towards healthcare, education and social enterprise through sustainable development to underprivileged members of society with a special focus on women, minorities, children and disabled individuals. Foundation goal is to promote economic development and to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals, families and communities by eliminating barriers to opportunity and helping people in need reach their fullest potential. MJSF is one the charitable arms of JS Group.

JAZZ AWARDED FOR EXCELLENCE IN SERVICE DELIVERY

In recognition of its customer centric approach to business, Jazz has been awarded with the Service Appreciation Award at this years’ Service Punch: The Service Conference organized by Active8. It provides a unique learning event and knowledge sharing platform dedicated to excellence in service and the customer experience.

The awards were based on a survey by rozee.pk for best service providers in different sectors. The ceremony was attended by a large number of CEOs, businessmen and delegates along with members of the Pakistani business community.

While receiving this honor, Nauman Fakhar, Head of Customer Care and CEM – Jazz, stated, “This award is a testament to Jazz’s customer obsessive approach. From planning to new service initiation to customer support, we believe it is imperative to think from the customers’ point of view. Offering innovative and reliable solutions to everyday needs and ensuring 24/7 support throughout this process is our way of ensuring high level of satisfaction amongst our customers.”

At the conference, Nauman Fakhar also presented the working behind Jazz’s customer obsessed business approach and how constant innovation along with service reliability is key to increased customer retention and growth.

TABINDA CHINOY’S REEL ARTWORK AT IBA KARACHI

The Outreach Committee of the Karachi Biennale 2017 organized the inauguration ceremony of Tabinda Chiony’s reel artwork “Peace and Harmony – The Yellow Flower” for Reel On Hai at IBA Main Campus. Dean and Director IBA, Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, art critic and Chief Guest, Ms. Marjorie Hussain, along with Ms. Masuma Halai Khawaja-Chairperson Public Outreach Committee Karachi Biennale 2017, Dr. Tiago Lopes – Patron IBA Arts Society, Dr. Aliya Naqvi – Professor Department of Social Science IBA, Dr. Faiza Mushtaq – Chair Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts IBA and Mr. Jami Moiz were also present at the auspicious occasion.

The event started with the recitation of Holy Quran, followed by an introduction to the project “Reel On Hai” and the “Public Outreach Committee”. Reel On Hai is an ambitious public art project, aiming to rescue and transform discarded cable reels into works of art. The Public Outreach Committee of “Reel On Hai” aims to make Karachi city look beautiful by creatively transforming the discarded cable reels into pieces of colorful art. The cable reel was specifically chosen by Karachi Biennale as it happens to be a symbol of Karachi’s industry. Pakistan Cables and Karachi Biennale Trust signed an MoU earlier in July 2016 for Reel On Hai, scheduled for completion in 2017. Reel on Hai has invited artists, designers and architects to paint the cable reels, which will be installed in public spaces throughout Karachi. The organizers for this event were the Reel On Hai Project committee and the reel artwork has been supported by Millat tractors limited.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Ms. Tabinda Chinoy briefed the audience about the initiative. She highlighted the issue of lack of visual representation of the city and how this results in a lack of representation of the root culture and traditions. She analyzed the whole scenario by comparing Karachi with other cities of Pakistan in terms of cultural representation. She mentioned that Lahore, Islamabad, etc. have a better representation of culture then Karachi and this is the area where the city lacks. She also stressed over the positive impact art creates on young minds and thanked the IBA students including, Waleed Paracha, Hammad Ali and Muhammad Arsalan, who helped her complete this artwork.

Taking it forward Ms. Tabinda Chinoy explained the Reel art she made, “It has two sides with two different abstract painting concepts. One is named “Peace and Harmony” and the other “The Yellow Flower”. The side, which is named as peace and harmony was a conceptual art about gathering the citizens of the city at a single platform and providing them with opportunities. This also showcased the concept of acceptance of religion and equality amongst citizens of the city. The other side talked about the dilemma of women in our society and how a Pakistani woman goes through daily life problems but still manages to smile. The problems she spoke about included domestic violence, gender based harassment, etc. The art critic, Ms. Marjorie Hussain also spoke at the occasion. During her speech she expressed gratitude and appreciation towards the efforts of IBA students, Tabinda Chinoy and IBA for facilitating this initiative.

Addressing the audience, Dr. Farrukh Iqbal also mentioned the importance of art in the society. He talked about the diversity of art and how it affects the mind of the newer generation. He also stated that Karachi is the hub of diversified people with different ethnic backgrounds, race and culture so there should be more visual representation of this melting pot of cultures.

Ms. Masuma Halai Khawaja – Chairperson Public Outreach Committee Karachi Biennale 2017, said, “We are working very hard at making art visible and accessible to people of Karachi through Reel On Hai and hope that the art installations inspire both the old and young residents of the city”. She also briefed the audience on how the idea of turning cable reels into works of art began; the first reel art was done in Orangi Town because it was a microcosm of Karachi. She thanked all the organizations for their support towards the project.

Dr. Tiago Lopes stated that, art is the best way to address issues and problems and therefore art should be used to address the issues and problems of the city.

DIGITAL YOUTH SUMMIT

The 2017 Digital Youth Summit (DYS), a joint initiative of the KPITB and the World Bank and powered by Jazz, kicked off in Peshawar today. KP’s Digital Strategy was also unveiled to provide a roadmap for KP to equip young people with the skills, access, and markets they need to secure and create jobs in the knowledge economy. Around 4000 people are expected to attend the discussions and workshops to discuss a wide range of topics from e-commerce to digital security in Pakistan. The weekend of tech will culminate in a Startup Cup for young entrepreneurs to showcase their business ideas to investors.

“KP takes digital opportunities for our people very seriously and wants to be a leader in technology. This strategy through sound policies and reforms will set a road map for us and we shall announce initiatives to support this over the next few days,” said Dr. Shahbaz Khan, Managing Director of the KP IT Board. “We’ve already launched programs to attract investment such as the CPEC corridor and other infrastructure and private sector initiatives and hope to build on these foundations with our private sector and development partners.”

“The digital strategy encompasses inputs from a wide range of groups including government departments, the private sector, and organizations such as the World Bank, making it as relevant and robust as possible,” said Khan. “As we implement it, we will continue to refine it based on feedback and experience to keep it relevant and cutting edge.”

Ms. Aniqa Afzal Sandhu, Chief Digital Oficer, Jazz said that not only the local populace, but the country at large benefits from such positive endeavors: “Our country is ripe with talent and has a remarkable pool of digital innovators who are looking for opportunities like these to present their ideas. This partnership is a testimony to Jazz’s commitment of fostering a conducive environment where the digital ecosystem can thrive in Pakistan.”

The World Bank has been providing technical assistance to the Government of KP and has assisted in the development of the strategy and has also developed a trust fund for the KPIT to implement projects. The relationship is in its third year and Mr. Patchamuthu Illangovan, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan said, ‘Digital economy is the future. It’s a driver of innovation and entrepreneurship than can boost inclusive and smart development in Pakistan. Over 80 percent of Pakistan’s population is offline. Closing this gap will create new job opportunities for the millions entering the labour force.’ said

This year’s summit is organized by the KP IT Board and the World Bank Group and is powered by Jazz, supported by USAID, and sponsored by the Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, UNDP, Bank of Khyber, Gloria Jeans Coffee, March Designs, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for KP, FATA and Balochistan, Codematics, and Animation Republic.

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