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Shaheen Air signs agreement to offer discount for Silk Bank customers

In line with its commitment of facilitating passengers, the second national carrier of Pakistan Shaheen Air International (SAI) has signed an agreement with Silk Bank to provide 9% discount to bank’s credit card holders on online purchase of tickets.

The signing ceremony was held at Silk Bank head office in Karachi where the Chief Marketing Officers of Shaheen Air Mr. Zohaib Hassan and Mr. Asim Hafeez Qureshi, Head of Cards Product, Silkbank, signed the agreement in the presence of Mr. Nouman Butt, Head of Alliances, Loyalty and New Initiatives, Silkbank along with the Credit Card & Alliances Team.

Shaheen Air, with this collaboration, has achieved yet another milestone by adding Silk Bank who have a substantial market share of the Credit Cards, as their 3rd alliance with any bank in the country. The agreement will put both the institutions in strategic alliance where SAI will offer exclusive 9% discount to Silk Bank credit card holders which will be available through online purchases. The airline has set a benchmark for being a pioneer in the nation’s aviation industry to collaborate with financial institutions of the county and facilitate passengers by giving them exclusive discounts.

The CMO SAI, Mr. Zohaib Hassan addressing at the signing ceremony said, “Our journey in Pakistan has been defined by progressive investments, partnerships and growth. We constantly try to improve and innovate our product and services. This partnership with Silk Bank will go a long way in further enhancing the travel experience of Silk Bank credit card holders”.

Earlier, the airline on its 25th anniversary also announced the launch of “Shine Miles”, SAI’s loyalty card, along with its revamped website and web application to enable its flyers with a smoother experience. Shaheen Air also introduced the mobile app where in the valued passengers can check flight schedules, book online and view their booking on their mobile device. In future Shaheen Air further plans to create valuable collaborations with more financial institutions to create easy modes of payment for its valued clients.

Reon announces solar partnership with QICT DP World

Reon Energy Limited announced its latest project at QICT DP World. The 185 kW solar carport installation is one of the fastest growing trends in the photovoltaic market. The energy system will provide considerable savings in energy-costs, along with an expected reduction of 108 tonnes in annual carbon-emissions.

“DP World has invested in this technology not only to conserve energy but more importantly to protect the environment in which we operate. As corporate citizens, we believe it is our responsibility to reduce carbon footprint in our daily operations and enhance the communities where we work and live,” said Junaid Zamir, CEO, DP World Pakistan.

Solar carports are a wonderful opportunity for business exploring solar options without adequate roof space. “The solar carports are done in a manner to add to the aesthetics of the roof space whilst benefitting both the business and the environment. This is a noteworthy initiative by QICT’s management and employees to become a part of a change process that is so essential to us as a nation,” said Mujtaba Haider Khan, CEO, Reon Energy Limited.

Reon Energy Limited, part of the DH Co, is the leading industrial solar solutions provider in Pakistan. Reon brings with it unparalleled partnership stories from local and international groups such as Unilever, Coca Cola, Abbott, and Servis coupled with a dedicated team that provides the best possible solution as per customer’s needs.

PTA approves investment in Telecom Tower-Sharing Services Company

Today, edotco Pakistan Private Limited (edotco PK), obtained the approval of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on the change of shareholding in edotco PK by way of subscription by Dawood Hercules Corporation Limited (DH Corp) of 45% of the share capital of edotco PK, an end-to-end telecom infrastructure services company. This positive decision of the Government and the Regulator is a welcome promotion of the digital agenda making Pakistan an attractive destination for foreign investment.

The above marks one of the approvals related to the transaction steps on the acquisition by edotco PK of Jazz’s portfolio of 13,000 tower assets currently under Deodar Private Limited (Deodar). Further regulatory approvals are in process of being granted by PTA on the change of shareholding structure in Deodar, and by State Bank of Pakistan on the funding of the acquisition.

Difficulties of commercial importers will increase after new federal budget, says 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 last Wednesday said that commercial importers have been neglected in the Federal Budget 2018-19 and tax rate has further increased despite reduction in that.

The veteran business leader while talking to the commercial importers and business community said that export based industries are of high significance in economic and industrial development of the country and commercial importers being the raw material providers to the export oriented industries are truly considered as the backbone of the industry. The difference in taxation for industrial and commercial importers is unjust and this difference should be removed at earliest in order to provide equal opportunities to the commercial importers.

The 2 percent further tax for commercial importers has been increased to 3 percent stating it as a minimum tax which deprived commercial importers from the fruits and benefits for FTR. Moreover no exemption of taxes has been given on the import of industrial machinery, which the business community considers of high importance in the industrial development of the Country. The recent Federal Budget has given relief to several sectors of economy which we have praised on every forum, however the negligence of commercial importers which needs early consideration of the concerned authorities.

The former minister said that high duties on import of industrial machinery is a major reason behind lacking of our industry regarding latest technology and equipment. The developed countries impose minimal duties on machinery import which bring industrial development while we are increasing taxes which is adversely effect the installation of new or better machinery in our industrial sector causing less productivity and slow economic growth.

Mian Zahid Hussain demanded an immediate resolution of the issues pertaining to the commercial importers so that they can equally get benefits of trade as provided to the industrial importers and the industrial sector may further flourish with installation of new and latest equipment and machinery.

Business Community and NAVTTC need to build mutual relationships: 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 last week said under the strategy of TVET, various programs have been launched to produce fine and skilled work force in all developing and developed countries of the World. National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) serves the very purpose in Pakistan and playing important role in eradicating unemployment from the Country through free technical trainings, on job trainings and job placement centres.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said NAVTTC had recently organized an international conference where delegations from different countries including China, UK, Australia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Malaysia have shared their experiences regarding TVET programs in their respective countries. NAVTTC under the leadership of its executive director Zulfiqar Ahmed Cheema is working effectively in achieving its defined targets.

The former minister said 227 federal institutions are serving thousands of youth in more than 1300 programs while in provinces 1275 public and 2523 private institutions under TVET strategy are producing more than 4 lacs skilled workforce per annum for the industry. Job placement centres are playing the role of bridge between skilled work force and employers. Through this platform, more than 4.5 lacs skilled workmen have been employed in more than 42 thousand industries.

Mian Zahid Hussain said NAVTTC is playing significant role in providing skilled work force to the industry in accordance to the need of industry. He suggested increased business community involvement in projects working under TVET for more effectiveness.

Industrialization in the Country is expected to grow further in view of the huge investment took place under CPEC and improved situation of Gas and Electricity supply. Therefore, more skilled work force will be required to facilitate the new industrial units. NAVTTC and provincial TVET institutions can play significant role in meeting the industries’ need of increased workforce in the days to come.

Engro Foods participates in the Dutch Festivities of King’s Day celebrations

Engro Foods Limited attracted investment from a Dutch Dairy giant called Royal Friesland Campina, the 6th largest dairy company of the world. To celebrate the Dutch festivities in Pakistan Engro Foods Limited actively participated in the King’s Day’ celebrations, hosted by the Netherland’s Ambassador in Pakistan – Mrs. Ardi Stoios Braken, at Serene Hotel in Islamabad.

Dutch companies have invested generously in Pakistan’s economy and Netherland as a country has played its role to strengthen bilateral trade relations. The investment made by Royal Friesland Campina into Engro Foods Limited has made it a 51% shareholder of the Pakistan’s 2nd largest dairy company. Hence, Engro Foods played its role in celebrating the cultural heritage of RFC in Pakistan.

On the occasion, Chief Corporate & Regulatory affairs Director – Naveed Saeed, said that; “Being a subsidiary of the Dutch Dairy giant in the global industry – Royal Friesland Campina, we are proud to nurture and promote the rich heritage of Netherlands. Over the recent years, Engro Foods has grown in terms of market-share, operations and financial strength – acquiring greater knowledge and expertise in the dairy industry and also becoming a part of the global family of Royal Friesland Campina. It is a matter of pride for Engro Foods Limited to represent Pakistan in front of the global dairy industry, and Netherlands in front of the national dairy industry. We believe that the deep insights of Royal Friesland Campina, Engro Foods Limited will continue to spearhead Pakistan’s dairy industry, driving it towards advanced technologies, higher productivity and better product quality.”

JS Bank with Royal Danish embassy bring Karachi a fusion of east and west music event

Striving to promote arts and culture, JS Bank joined hands with the Royal Danish Embassy to bring to Pakistan, a first-of-its-kind collaboration of Eastern and Western musicians. The grand musical evening featured the famous Danish performing group, Hun Solo and renowned Pakistani band, Aaroh. The event was attended by H.E. Rolf Michael Holmboe – Danish Ambassador to Pakistan, Basir Shamsie – Deputy CEO JS Bank along with corporate leaders, industrialists and key clientele of the Bank.

The event was organized around the premise of building Pakistan’s international image through the field of arts, music and literature. This effort was reflected when the entire Danish group stated that despite media perception, Pakistan is an amazing country filled with loving people and they looked forward to future performances within the country.

Welcoming the distinguished guests as well as the performing artists, Basir Shamsie – Deputy CEO, JS Bank stated, “At JS Bank our goal is to give back to the people of Pakistan. We continually undertake efforts to go beyond just business by adding value to the lives of our fellow citizens. As responsible corporate citizens, JS Group has also established the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation, a non-profit trust which works to serve the underprivileged in the fields of healthcare, education and social development and which also recently sponsored the first Art Biennale in Pakistan”

Speaking at the occasion, the Danish Ambassador – Rolf Michael Holmboe stated, “Through music, we have further strengthened the bond between the people of Pakistan and Denmark. We heard some great music with fantastic diversity, but the big moment was when it all came together in a brilliant explosion of musical fusion! I praise JS Bank for taking the initiative to hold this musical fusion event and look forward to being a part of similar activities in the future building bridges between our people and cultures.”

This celebration was the latest in a long-running series of social initiatives undertaken by JS Bank over the course of the past few years to help strengthen the cultural ethos of our great nation on both domestic and international platforms.


’Iqbal as History, Iqbal as Commodity’ – IBA Distinguished Lecture Series by Dr. Noman ul Haq

Institute of Business Administration, Karachi organized a distinguished lecture series by Dr. Noman ul Haq, Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, IBA on ’Iqbal as History, Iqbal as Commodity’ at the IBA City Campus. The welcome note was delivered by Mrs. Malahat Awan, Head of Alumni Relations, IBA, followed by the recitation of the holy Quran.

Eighty years after the death of Allama Iqbal, the lecture aimed at assessing the literary, philosophical, and political status of Dr. Allama Iqbal. Dr. Haq’s assessments were based essentially on primary sources, particularly Iqbal’s Urdu and Persian poetry as well as his private letters. He commented on how the irony lies in the fact that despite their ideological rejection of Iqbal’s ’philosophy’, Pakistan’s leftist groups still appeared to be utterly charmed by Iqbal’s verse in their private moments.

Before delving into Iqbal’s poetry, Dr. Haq expressed how Urdu as a national language is undergoing a process of getting lost. This language vacuum, he argued, appears regardless of numerous Urdu electronic media channels, Urdu print media publications, and emerging Pakistani film industry, which uses Urdu as its underlying carrier. And this happens primarily due to the lack of proper cultivation of language in schools and colleges that fail to teach how to articulate speech.

Dr. Haq linked this apparent language blackout with blocked access to Iqbal’s poetry. He stressed that Iqbal’s poetry is not aimed for ’declamation in a performance assembly to display the poet’s virtuosity’. Instead, it is poetry for reading.

“The loss of languages, together with the retrograde motion of what was rising as a reading culture of Urdu poetry beyond sheer hearing – these two historical accidents go a long way in explaining why Iqbal-the-poet is receding into darkness from the skies of contemporary cultural vogue”, remarked Dr. Haq. However, he also added that there exists another agency that fuels this culture: the tendency to talk about Iqbal’s message and philosophy to an extent that conveniently excludes his poetic expression.

The Professor acknowledged that there are many aspects to Iqbal’s poetry such as philosophy, politics and economy, international relations and community affairs of his time. ’And yet,’ he added, ’It ought to be declared forcefully that whatever else Iqbal happens to be, his primary abode, the loftiest of all, is the abode of poetry’.

The session concluded with Dean & Director Dr. Farrukh Iqbal presenting Dr. Noman ul Haq with a shield and giving a note of thanks. The lecture was attended and appreciated by luminaries from all walks of life, academics, alumni, faculty and students of the IBA.

Engro Foods Sukkur Wins ’Golden Quality Certificate’

Royal Friesland Campina (RFC) – the parent company of Engro Foods Limited (EFL), awarded the Sukkur plant the ’Golden Quality Certificate’. The Golden Quality Certificate is awarded to production facilities and organizations which complete 365 days without a quality incident.

Engro Foods Limited ensures strict compliance to national and international standards of quality at all their production sites. The best-practices adopted by the team were recognized through this accolade from the parent company, Royal Friesland Campina – a global leader in the dairy industry. The food-safety and quality-control systems being followed at the plant were given a high score of 93 percent.

On receiving this award, the Chief Corporate & Regulatory Affairs Director of Engro Foods Limited – Naveed Saeed said, ’We pursue continuous improvements in the quality and safety standards, in accordance with the global benchmarks in the industry. Engro Foods Limited strongly believes in safeguarding the health of its consumers and the public at large. Winning this Golden Quality Certificate is an acknowledgement of the consistent efforts put in by every team-member, and another feather in the cap of Engro Foods. We are committed to live up to this new stature, over the coming years, through a company-wide pledge for quality assurance.’

Engro Foods believes in sustainable growth and social-responsibility, in every endeavor, while giving top priority to safety, quality and innovation, at every phase of production and operations. Being the market leader, the company strives to set the bar higher, for the Pakistani industry, to nurture more competitiveness at national and international levels.

An elegant ceremony was held in Sukkur, where RFC’s Regional Director, Supply Chain – Cathy Mu presented the Golden Quality Certificate to Engro Foods Ltd., on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer of RFC – Hein Schumacher. The prestigious certificate was received by the Technical Director – Imran Ahmed, Corporate Quality Assurance Manager – Adnan Ishtiaq and General Manager Manufacturing – Aamir Muneer who represented Engro Foods Limited during the ceremony.

Eighteen – project goes underway with grand style in Peshawar

EIGHTEEN – Pakistan’s most luxurious and modern, mixed use, residential project in an aim to further enhance its foothold within the country’s real estate industry, launched its operations in the city of hospitality – Peshawar, through a colorful launch event which was organized to engage media and the locals of the city of Peshawar. The guests were briefed on the future programs of Eighteen and the complete product line that they could invest in.

Peshawar is approximately 188 kilometers away from the Federal Capital and its residents have shown considerable interest in the Real Estate Developments of Islamabad. The introduction of Eighteen, sits as an opportunity for the residents of Peshawar to invest the picturesque and beautiful landscapes of Islamabad.

Mr. Anwar Saifullah Khan, Vice Chairman, Eighteen, said, “Today Eighteen is delighted to bring international standards of living for the people of Peshawar, who can now experience this modern, mixed use, residential project just like the way they imagined,”

Speaking about the distinguishing factors that separate Eighteen from other real estate projects in the country, he said, “All the villas and apartments have been designed exclusively in view of the modern ideology of people, and we have tried to add in every bit of this thought process into bringing the dream residential project of people into reality. The privacy measures have been carefully taken care of, with the amenities being second to none, thus delivering a safe, secure and exclusive location designed around the 18-hole golf course” he added.

Commenting at the occasion, Mr. Ali Abdel Ghaffar, Chief Commercial Officer, Eighteen said, “It is a sheer honor for us to unveil our grand residential project line in Peshawar. Our offices here will make it very convenient for the locals who are willing to invest and be a part of Eighteen, and the idea of enhancing our foothold to Peshawar comes right after the tremendous response we have received earlier in Islamabad, Lahore and Dubai.”

The event was energized with several cultural mesmerizing musical performances which was later followed by a sumptuous dinner.

Eighteen plans to open a well-equipped booking and sales office in the capital of KPK to improve interaction with the masses of the province, the office will feature miniature models of luxurious villas and the master plan of the project.

The trained agents and volunteers of Eighteen were responsible to guide interested investors and further enlighten them with the details and future prospects of Eighteen.

Eighteen, is ten minutes away from the new Islamabad International Airport and is the ideal development for local and overseas Pakistanis who enjoy luxury living and state of the art amenities. Eighteen will be the benchmark for all future real estate projects in Pakistan.

Ecolean partners with Pakistan’s leading milk brand Prema

Ecolean has entered into an agreement with At-Tahur Ltd. purveyor of Pakistan’s leading milk brand Prema to provide an ultimate packaging solution for the brand’s premium fresh milk offering in the portion-sized segment, with Ecolean® Air 250ml. Ecolean has recently ex-tended its packaging facilities with a huge investment in Pakistan and this recent agreement is in line with its commitment to provide innovative and convenient packaging solutions.

Commenting on the achievement Mr. Kamran Khan, Regional Director, Ecolean Asia South & Middle East and Managing Director, Ecolean Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd. said “After being present on the Pakistan packaging market successfully for several years, this is Ecolean’s first project within portion-sized packages for chilled distribution in the region. We are looking forward to following the Prema brand’s future growth and are proud to be a part of making high quality milk more accessible”.

The convenience features of the Ecolean package, celebrated by consumers around the world, fit the Pakistan market especially well. Being easy to open and easy to pour from, the package is perfectly suited for milk products poured into coffee or tea. The microwave ability adds to the list of unique features for every occasion. Entering a new segment with the smaller 250ml size, Prema will be available to a larger consumer group, buying fresh milk for on-the-go and individual servings.

“Prema’s mission is to provide fresh, pure and healthy dairy products where every drop of milk can be traced back to source, and being able to serve it in a lightweight package with minimal environmental impact adds to our special offer for Pakistan consumers going forward”, according to Prema, “We knew we wanted to team up with Ecolean when first discussing the brand expansion. The package’s premium image, intuitive convenience features and sustainability edge made it an easy choice and a perfect match for our brand’.

The product is available across Pakistan from April 2018.

Jimmy Engineer’s exhibition in Toronto Consul-General pays tribute

Pakistan’s Consul-General in Toronto Mr. Imran Ahmed Siddiqui inaugurated the paintings exhibition of famous Pakistani artist and philanthropist Mr. Jimmy Engineer at the Mindshare Art Center in Toronto.

In his address to the guests attending the exhibition, Mr. Siddiqui paid glowing tributes to the legendary artist and said, “Jimmy Engineer is known not only for his art but also for his humanitarian works.”

He added, “His epic depiction of the tragic cross-border mass migration during the creation of Pakistan, capturing the fear and anguish, as well as happiness on the faces of refugees, is one of the greatest pieces of art by a Pakistani artist. Jimmy is an acclaimed international artist whose other thesis is the amalgamation of architecture flowing from varied traditions of the Western, Islamic and South Asian art.”

A large number of people, dignitaries from the world of art, architecture and numerous cultural backgrounds, families and the youth, inspired by the works and popularity of Jimmy Engineer attended the week-long exhibition.

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