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Standard Chartered celebrates International Women’s Day in collaboration with British Deputy High Commission

Standard Chartered under its Diversity & Inclusion platform joined hands with British Deputy High Commission and celebrated International Women’s Day.

The Bank along with British Deputy High Commission organised short master classes which were conducted by leading women and men who were specialists in their areas. These master classes were attended by 100 girls from O and A levels of leading schools in Karachi. The concept was to enlighten the girls and give them access to successful professionals who can talk about their leadership and professional development journey to them.

As the Bank aspires to be a leader in gender diversity, supporting women in the workplace, as customers and in the community, Standard Chartered remains committed to be ’Here for good’ in the markets where it operates, and is determined to make a difference not only to help women fulfil their potential as leaders in the Bank, but to also play a critical role with its clients and communities in supporting and furthering the role of women in every society, including Pakistan.

Commenting on the discussion, Mr. Shazad Dada, Chief Executive, Standard Chartered Pakistan said, “At Standard Chartered, we strive to be a market leader in the Diversity & Inclusion space by helping women realise their full potential through personal development initiatives and supportive workplace practices. We have 26% women population in our Bank which is not just best in our industry but one of the best across the private sector employers in Pakistan and with our initiatives we continue to strive for its growth.

2018 is a year for #Pressforprogress and our vision it to create an environment, for women, be it at work or in our communities, where talents and individuality are valued and respected.

Our gender agenda aims to ensure women are given the same opportunities to excel and progress as men, that the gender balance is better represented, particularly at senior levels, and that we encourage initiatives such as flexible working and improved parental leave benefits to better support our female colleagues. We are committed to work to ensure we have an industry where women feel included and where they can contribute their best.”

Elin Burns, British Deputy High Commissioner, Karachi said – “The UK is proud to be an international leader on gender equality. This year’s HMG theme for International Women’s Day is Women in Public Life with an international focus on Women Changing the World, and our Foreign Secretary’s top priority is on Girls Education, which is the top priority for us in Pakistan. We are very pleased to partner with Standard Chartered to give these young girls, who will be coming in the work force soon, access to successful professionals who can guide them to reach their true potential.”

Siemens secures major service contract for Pakistan power plant.

Highlighting its commitment to supporting Pakistan in meeting its growing power needs, Siemens has announced the signing of a long-term service agreement with Punjab Thermal Power (Private) Limited to provide comprehensive maintenance, parts and repair services for Punjab Power Plant Jhang for the next 12 years. The agreement includes Siemens’ Power Diagnostics, part of the company’s “Digital Services for Energy” portfolio of data-driven solutions.

With the fifth-largest population in the world, Pakistan is working to spur socio-economic development by delivering reliable and efficient power supply to industries and homes. Located in Haveli Bahadur Shah, Punjab Power Plant Jhang, is expected to add 1.3 gigawatts (GW) to Pakistan’s grid, making it one of the largest gas-fired, combined cycle power plants in the country. It will also see the first deployment of Siemens’ SGT5-8000H gas turbines in the country, selected for their high power output and record-breaking efficiency. Anticipated benefits of the agreement include increasing the availability of the power plant and reducing the maintenance costs. The agreement covers all the scheduled and un-scheduled outage services for two, SGT5-8000H, gas turbines, generators, and related auxiliaries as well as the supply of spare parts and field services.

“With Pakistan’s increasing energy demand, the country is looking at innovative technologies to strengthen the electricity infrastructure,” said Helmut von Struve, CEO of Siemens in Pakistan. “Together with our partners and customers, we are working to address the country’s needs, with projects that set new standards in efficiency, reliability and innovation. Today, are proud to contribute to this important power plant, which will provide a much-needed boost to the national grid to meet the evolving energy needs of the Pakistani people and industrial sectors.”

Siemens’ Power Diagnostics use advanced data analytics to help predict and eliminate unplanned downtime, and improve power plant productivity by identifying operational challenges in advance. It will also allow the power plant’s team to manage outages more efficiently. The current agreement builds on Siemens’ contributions towards strengthening Pakistan’s power sector. It comes three months after the company signed the largest ever power generation contract in the country to provide a complete power island solution for Punjab Power Plant Jhang.

PMEX Offers MetaTrader 5

The Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMEX), country’s first and only multi-commodity futures Exchange, has provided MetaTrader 5 to all its market participants. Now all PMEX members will be able to benefit from advanced features of MetaTrader 5 and offer efficient trading and investment facilities to their clients.

The cutting-edge functionality of the popular platform is now available to Pakistani traders, including the most powerful automated trading possibilities through the desktop application, mobile applications for iOS and Android devices and the full-featured web platform.

Mr. Ejaz Ali Shah, Managing Director, PMEX, said, “PMEX is proud to announce the availability of MT5 for all its Market Participants. The offering of MT5 by the Exchange is in line with its technology overhaul strategy. The Exchange has always remained proactive in identifying and exploring ways for improving its existing technology infrastructure so our members & clients can have an enriched trading experience.”

“In early 2015, we announced the MetaTrader 5 integration with PMEX, and a month later one of Pakistani brokers started offering the new platform to their clients,” says Renat Fatkhullin, CEO of MetaQuotes Software. “Now, after three years, PMEX completely switches to our software. This is definitely a beneficial step for all members of the exchange. Operating on MetaTrader 5, PMEX will be able to smoothly connect institutional clients, while brokers will be able to provide their traders fast and reliable access to the exchange. As for traders, they will certainly appreciate the comfort of trading through the advanced ecosystem of the fifth generation platform. Our wish is for other exchanges to follow the example of PMEX.”

‘Increase Fruits and Vegetables’ share in Country’s export is need of time’

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said Pakistan is the sixth largest producer of citrus fruit. Kinnow is the most exported fruit of Pakistan. 33 percent of total export is to the Middle East alone. It is also exported to Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka. Mango is exported to neighbouring and European countries, i.e., Afghanistan, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, France, Malaysia and Singapore.

The veteran business leader said that the annual production of dates in Pakistan is estimated at around 535 thousand tonnes of which 86 thousand tonnes are exported. Pine nuts are 21.6 % of total fruit exports. Pakistan has been ranked second biggest pine nuts exporter after China. Germany is the main buyer followed by France and Middle East. Pakistani exports can grab their share from the fresh markets including Russia, where US imposed ban on exports to Russia.

The former minister said Demand for Pakistani fruits and vegetables is very high in many countries including Japan, Middle Eastern countries and many others. If the local production is increased then a huge portion of international market can be grabbed. Pakistani fruit and vegetables are being demanded in almost all over the world. Presently Pakistan is exporting fruits and vegetables to the USA, the Europe, Middle East, Far East, India and Sri Lanka. Exports can be exported further if government take measures to enhance fruits and vegetables production in many ways. The fertile land may be increased and the uncultivable land can be brought under cultivation.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the production of fruit and vegetable in Pakistan comes from approximately 5-8 pc of the country’s cultivated areas, which can be further enhanced, if government supports. Government should take suggestion of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Association into account and help local traders in accessing fresh international market, new cold storage and packaging facilities and effective branding. The high rise and fall in prices of fruits and vegetables can be avoided if proper cold storage facilities are there, he added.


Energy Crisis resolved, Sahiwal should be given its due right in the national economy: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said Manufacturing units in the Sahiwal are comprised of Agricultural Implements, Aluminum Products, Auto Parts, Confectionery, Cotton Ginning & Pressing, Dairy Products, Foundry Products, Leather Garments, Rice Mills, and Motorcycle. Trees grown in the area include Kikar, Shisham, and Mulberry, etc., increasing the beauty and attraction of the city.

The veteran business leader said that As per Punjab Development Statistics there are 300 broiler and 85 layer poultry farms in Sahiwal having rearing capacity of about 15000 thousand birds respectively. The main Peshawar – Karachi railway line passes through Sahiwal District connecting the city to the rest of the Country, he added.

The first project under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – the Sahiwal coal-fired power plant is up and running. The 1320 MW Sahiwal coal-fired power is inaugurated in 2017. It was built by a joint venture of two Chinese firms; the Huaneng Shandong Company and Shandong Ruyi Science & Technology Group. Raw materials required for the plant’s construction like cement, sand, crush, wood, and other building material was carried in from local markets of Pakistan while Sahiwal provided the furniture required for the project, which benefited the entire country.

The former minister said in view of production of various crops and fruits, there exists large potential for textile spinning, weaving and processing mills, textile made-ups i.e. hosiery, terry towel, surgical bandages, etc, starch, glucose from maize, furfural from corn (maize) cobs, rice bran oil, fruit juice, jams, jellies and pickles. Good potential for automobile silencers, fibreglass water tanks, capacitors, insulators, gas appliances, geometry boxes for school children, detergent powder, plastic flush tanks, high density shopping bags, PVC Pipes, etc., lies in the city.

Mian Zahid Hussain said the University of Sahiwal should make proper research for the betterment of economic development of the country. The local MNAs and MPAs should take measures for the betterment of the city in accordance to the recommendations of Sahiwal Chamber of commerce and industry and should establish new technical institutes to fulfil human resource demand of the industries.

Government need to immediately support declining exports: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said that export cannot meet the projected targets, which is visible from decline in exports till December 2017. Contraction in the world markets and reduction in the global commodity index remained major exogenous factors that affected Pakistan exports. There were many items where Pakistan exported greater volume but overall exports value still declined due to low prices.

Contrary to this, some export items experienced increase in their unit prices but the volumetric decline was more pronounced. These export items included tanned leather, leather gloves, pharmaceuticals, plastic materials, carpets and electric fans. It is an alarming situation for the export sector, he added.

The veteran business leader said that the export growth is achieved either through expansion of existing industries, achieving economies of scale or through new export-oriented industries while product diversification is more an outcome of technology transfers and innovations. Unfortunately, Pakistan has not been successful in making noticeable headway in any of these areas despite several incoherent policies announced to incentivize investments and exports.

The performance of Pakistan’s export industry is evident through its dwindling sectoral progress wherein almost every sector, negative export growth has been recorded in the past few years. However there is increase of 15 percent being recorded in exports in the first two months of 2018, which is evident of the benefit of 180 billion export package and a hope for exports development of Pakistan in future.

The former minister said Pakistani exporters are facing the brunt of high cost of doing business; particularly the elevated utilities’ prices and wages, due to which Pakistan has lost its export competitiveness to a large extent. Pakistan’s exports are suffering from low export diversification in terms of both markets and products. More than half of what Pakistan’s manufactures is sent to just few markets.

It is recommended to implement latest machinery and equipment especially in the export oriented industries and to search new international markets with competitive advantages for the local products. With government support Pakistani industrialists can mark greatest success in the international markets. Taxes and duties on import of machinery should be removed on import of industrial equipment and machinery in order to resolve the industry’s problem with respect to modern equipment and take immediate steps to support the declining exports of the country.

Khushhali Microfinance Bank Becomes 36th Member Bank of 1LINK

Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited signed an agreement with 1LINK (Guarantee) Limited (1LINK), the largest switch in Pakistan to facilitate its customers with digital banking services. The signing ceremony was held at 1LINK’s head office Karachi.

The agreement was signed by Mr. Ghalib Nishter, CEO & President Khushhali Microfinance Bank and Mr. Najeeb Agrawalla, CEO 1LINK. With this collaboration, Khushhali Microfinance Bank becomes the 36th member bank on 1LINK’s network to avail its full suite of products. This agreement will further the vision of the bank to promote financial inclusion and financial literacy in the country while strengthening its outreach to the marginalized communities. This agreement will also enable Khushhali Microfinance Bank to issue PayPak debit cards to its account holders and help promote the domestic payment scheme.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ghalib Nishtar, President & CEO, Khushhali Microfinance Bank, said “Khushhali Microfinance bank is actively investing in a strong technology foundation to enter the arena of digital banking.” He further added that given the future of banking industry is digital transaction channels, Khushhali Microfinance Bank is partnering with top notch service providers with the objective to acquire an all rounded robust and efficient technological infrastructure which is essential to provide innovative products and services to our customers.

Speaking to the occasion Mr. Najeeb Agrawalla, CEO 1LINK stated, “1LINK welcomes Khushhali Microfinance Bank to its network and hopes to move forward jointly in facilitating customers and achieving SBP’s vision 2020. This partnership is surely going to enhance digital transactions in the country”. He further added, “This association will also empower Khushhali Microfinance Bank to issue PayPak debit cards to its customers, which are acceptable on all ATM and POS across Pakistan.”

Company Profile
IGI General insurance Ltd

IGI General insurance Ltd is a flagship enterprise of the Packages Group. Headquartered in Karachi, we have offices in 8 cities nationwide to provide prompt services to the customers. We have been awarded “AA” IFS rating by PACRA for 9 consecutive years authenticating our financial strength and stability.

We offer a wide range of general insurance products including Fire, Motor, Marine, Travel, Health, Personal Accident, Home and Miscellaneous Insurance and have excellent reinsurance arrangements with “A” rated foreign reinsurers.

As the needs of the market have evolved, so has our product portfolio. We also offer a one stop shop for both life and non-life Insurance solutions under the umbrella of the IGI brand. IGI Life brings with it a rich multinational heritage borne from the acquisition of a majority stake in MetLife Alico.

In addition, we now offer Takaful solutions that bring customers a Shariah Compliant way to secure their future with complete peace of mind.

We believe in establishing a long term business relationship with our customers and take pride in serving them.

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