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Business and investment activities look favoured under CPEC and other projects

Business and investment activities look favoured under CPEC and other projects

Interview with Syed Farhan Karim — Vice President, Capital Market Arif Habib Limited

PROFILE:

Syed Farhan Karim carries a proven track record of establishing client relationship, dealing and executing brokerage deals in Capital Market of Pakistan. He has over twenty years of experience in the fields of Research and Equity Sales. He has been serving Arif Habib Limited since 1997 and currently holds a position of Vice President, Capital Market. He holds an MBA (Finance) degree from The International University (Missouri) as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and Economics. He was awarded as third Runner up for the Best Trader of the Industry in the year 2012 at CFA Excellence Award. He is engaged in dealing with Mutual Funds, banks, DFIs and High Net worth Individuals in providing thorough analysis of market, portfolio management and recommendations for execution of business in Equity Capital Market of Pakistan.

PAGE: WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON INVESTMENT IN 2018?

SYED FARHAN KARIM: The domestic manufacturing will get boost going forward as power outages are expected to ease off along with protection government is providing to the local industry to curb imports and increase domestic production and exports. Furthermore, technology including e-commerce is swiftly penetrating in the local market on account of wide internet availability along with increasing number of internet enabled cellular phones. Next big industry would be online retail and wholesale websites providing ease of doing business, higher customer satisfaction and one window shopping solution to wide population of country.

PAGE: YOUR VIEWS ABOUT 2018 IN TERMS OF BUSINESS ACTIVITIES IN PAKISTAN:

SYED FARHAN KARIM: Business activities in year 2018 will remain strong as power shortage in the country is expected to ease off amid commencement of different CPEC/Non-CPEC power projects. Moreover 2018 being an election year, it is expected that government focus will remain on key infrastructure development projects. Additionally, demand for steel, cement, automobile and FMCGs is expected to remain robust.

PAGE: KINDLY GIVE US YOUR BRIEF ANALYSIS OF THE ECONOMY:

SYED FARHAN KARIM: Textile sector is struggling on account of higher input cost along with uncompetitive electricity and gas tariff, which ultimately increases cost of production for textile sector whereas cement, fertilizer and steel manufacturing sectors are expected to remain on positive side as the demand of these sectors is directly correlated with economic and development activities.

PAGE: HOW DOES THE WORLD PERCEIVE PAKISTAN?

SYED FARHAN KARIM: Perception of Pakistan is improving as security situation has improved during last 2 to 3 years. Furthermore, with the help to CPEC, the country is capitalizing to build positive image going forward with key focus on power and infrastructure sectors. Additionally, the trade of China with Pakistan through CPEC via road/rail network and Gwadar port will give entirely new exposure towards European markets.

PAGE: WHAT MUST BE DONE FOR A BETTER ECONOMY?

SYED FARHAN KARIM: It is essential to have rationalization of electricity and gas tariff to remain competitive in the international export market. It is time to protect local industry with the imposition of import duties to boost local production and curtail imports. Tax credits to new investment ventures along with lower import duties on specific machinery imports must be considered.

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