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With KSA inclusion in CPEC bilateral ties will strengthen; regional trade will flourish: Mian Zahid Hussain

Investments from KSA and UAE will help Pakistan in curbing poverty and unemployment.

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 Monday said according to the press briefing of information minister Fawad Chaudhry, Prime Minister Imran Khan has conducted successful visits of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates wherein KSA and UAE have intended to boost mutual relations and investment in Pakistan. Saudi Arabia is all set to participate in multi billion CPEC project and willing to construct an oil city in Gwader which will definitely help Pakistan in curbing poverty and unemployment.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that in the two months of current fiscal year, foreign remittances to the country stood at $ 4 billion which has increased by 13.5 percent compared to the same duration of last fiscal year while remittances from KSA has declined by 9 percent. Trade deficit has increased by 1 percent standing at $ 6 billion while current account deficit after declining by 10 percent is still at $ 3 billion. Foreign investment has increased by 24 percent while foreign exchange reserves are still under pressure due to increased trade deficit and growing imports than that of exports. Pakistan is in dire need of foreign investment due to pressure on foreign exchange reserves.

The former minister said that Saudi delegation is likely to visit Pakistan in October to sign different agreements. Inclusion of Saudi Arabia in CPEC will bring positive change on regional peace and regional trade will enhance to new heights. During the visit Prime Minister Imran Khan has discussed various matters of the mutual interest including defence, politics, economics, trade and cultural cooperation while important issues pertaining to Pakistani labours in KSA and trade visas. Both countries have agreed to enhance to bilateral cooperation and resolve the issue on early basis. $ 920 million received in term of remittances from Saudi Arabia while $ 775 million has been received from UAE. Pakistan’s exports including rice, meat, fruits, chemicals, textile and leather products to Saudi Arabia have declined from $ 500 million in 2014 to $ 300 million in 2017. For increasing exports to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan needs to take concrete measures.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistani imports from Saudi Arabia is comprised of crude oil up to 90 percent. Import bill stood at $ 130 billion in 2016, if KSA offers one year loan on bill payment, the pressure on balance on payment may be decreased. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia shares brotherly relations and has always stood firm with each other in time of need. The former COAS General Raheel Sharif is leading the 39 nations’ Islamic force and more than 1500 Pakistan Army officials are serving in KSA. 1.5 million of Pakistani workforce serving in Saudi Arabia are playing vital role in its economic development and providing foreign exchange reserves to Pakistan.

Samsung Galaxy A7 ’Triple Camera Phone’ & J4+, J6+ Series Launched

Samsung the global leader in technology and electronics – recently launched its highly-anticipated A7, J4+ and J6+ series of mobile phones. Samsung has always put innovative technologies in the hands of consumers. The all new A and J series have surpassed industry expectations.

The Galaxy A7 2018 will also be Samsungs first phone to come with a triple camera setup on its back. The triple camera (24MP-8MP-5MP) will be aligned vertically on the top left rear corner and will include a 24MP main sensor with f/1.7 which will improve the quality of the image by combining four pixels in one in low light conditions. The third lens will be an 8MP ultra-wide sensor in order to capture photos with 120 degrees field of view. Furthermore there is 128 GB of internal storage and an innovative side fingerprint scanner. A grand media ceremony was held at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi where the President of Samsung Pakistan – Mr. Y.J. Kim was the chief-guest.

In the A series, the phone launched was the Galaxy A7, and in the Galaxy J series, the phones launched were Galaxy J6+ and Galaxy J4+. The phones feature Samsung’s Infinity Display and have thin bezels at the top and bottom ends, due to the swapping of the physical home button with software powered in-display home button. Additionally, there is a new ‘Chat over Video’ feature that facilitates, chat over any video for an uninterrupted viewing experience. The devices will have a premium glass design and sport a 6-inch ’infinity display’, octa-core processors. The J4+ features include a 13 MP Rear Camera and a 5 MP front camera with adjustable LED flash. While the J6+ has a dual rear camera 13MP+5MP. Both phones feature the innovative side fingerprint scanner.

The president of Samsung Pakistan, Mr. Y.J. Kim stated that: “The Galaxy A & J series has always been our showcase for premium technology and industry-defining innovation. The phones are designed for a level of performance, power and intelligence that today’s power users want and need. Galaxy A & J fans are Samsung’s most loyal; we know they want it all, to get the most out of work and play, and this line up of phones can keep up with their busy lives. Samsung Pakistan is overjoyed in introducing these power-packed devices to its loyal consumer base in Pakistan, these exciting new device promise a whole new world of information and entertainment while multi-tasking, with powerful global connectivity, for consumers aspiring to excel in today’s highly competitive and fast-paced world.’

PTCL Inducts Top 100 Young Engineers & Business Graduates Under Summit Programme 2018

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has welcomed the 4th batch of its Summit Programme 2018 acquiring 100 top talented young engineers and business graduates from various institutions at a special ceremony organized in their honour at the PTCL Headquarters in Islamabad.

This year over 50,000 applications were registered online. The candidates went through a digital assessment center, followed by competency-based interviews. Finally, 100 most talented youngsters have been selected.

The 4th Batch of PTCL Summit Programme 2018 will attend a four-week long rigorous classroom training and development programme at Telecom Staff College in Haripur. After this training, the summiteers will be placed in their respective functions for on-job training program, the duration of which will be four and a half months. During this time, PTCL senior management will be an integral part of their grooming, coaching and mentoring process for their professional guidance and motivation.

On this occasion, Syed Mazhar Hussain, Chief Human Resource Officer, PTCL, said “With 64% of youth in Pakistan being under the age of 30 years, we have a great potential and responsibility to harness this youth and new talent for preparing them to be future leaders based on their competence. We take a lot of pride in our PTCL Summit Programme, which is a testimony to our commitment and high standards to recruit top talent across Pakistan through a transparent and open process. We hope that these young management trainees will bring new ideas, energy and passion, which will contribute towards innovation and transformation within PTCL.”

PTCL Summit Programme aims at building sustainable leadership to fulfill its future HR requirements by recruiting top talent from engineering and business institutes across Pakistan and abroad. The company endeavors to bring the best young talent through various induction programs as part of its cultural transformation to make PTCL more progressive and agile organization with special focus on service excellence.

Every year this youth development initiative of PTCL receives overwhelming response from fresh graduates nationwide. PTCL on boarded around 350 summiteers last year from high ranking universities of Pakistan. This year, PTCL Human Resource department has shortlisted 100 candidates out of more than 50,000 applications through a rigorous process. These candidates will be deployed in various departments as Assistant Managers (AMs) at PTCL offices and regions across Pakistan.

PTCL hopes to develop and nurture this fresh talent as part of its progressive culture enabling them to take on future leadership roles.

PTCL and WWF-Pakistan conducts spellathon in less-privileged schools

PTCL, in collaboration with WWF-Pakistan, conducted a Spellathon for 1,000 primary school students from Mashal Model School and Pehli Kiran School, located on the outskirts of Islamabad. A total of 50 students were selected from the spelling competition and were awarded with High Achievers awards.

The prize distribution ceremony was attended by Imran Sardar, GM Organizational Development PTCL and Raza Sarwar, GM Talent Acquisition PTCL, along with Rab Nawaz, Senior Director Programmes, WWF-Pakistan.

The students were recognized at school-level ceremonies, whereby gifts and certificates were distributed for their encouragement and confidence-building. They appreciated the activity and participated enthusiastically. Teachers were also present to support their students and considered this event valuable in terms of confidence building and making young minds aware of environmental conservation challenges.

Speaking on the occasion, Imran Sardar, GM Organizational Development PTCL, said, “We are proud to create learning opportunities for children from displaced communities studying at these schools. The potential and promise in these young minds is remarkable and we will continue to invest in causes that will help such children to be a part of the mainstream society.”

Expressing his views, Rab Nawaz, Senior Director Programmes, WWF-Pakistan, said, “It’s a privilege to see a Spellathon generation in Pakistan; students who participated and got to know about the environment through this campaign. With the support of PTCL, we have been able to spread the message of nature conservation amongst the students at primary level. We hope that this knowledge will be carried forward into action once they become adults and start contributing to the society.”

Over 45 teachers were also recognized for their contribution in preparing students on the school-wide Spellathon and the chief guests commended their efforts on playing an integral part in educating young minds from less-affluent communities. Spellathon is now a nationwide spelling competition for schools, through which a series of written quizzes, promotes contemporary knowledge of the environment, amongst the youth, in a fun and exciting way.

WWF-Pakistan launched the Spellathon campaign in 1997, which is an environmentally driven educational initiative, targeting the youth of Pakistan. The objective of the campaign is to raise awareness and understanding for the need to conserve, protect and manage Pakistan’s natural resources and also improve their comprehension skills through competition. PTCL is a socially responsible organization that strives to contribute to the field of education as a primary focus area of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.

Government needs to encourage women to participate in economic activities.: 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 on Wednesday said 49 percent of Pakistan’s population is comprised on women only 25 percent of which is a part of workforce. Majority of women, about 60 percent are working in agriculture sector, 10 percent in services sector while in the rest of important economic sectors women’s participation is negligible. According to recent surveys, 40 percent of the Country population is comprised of youth; 8 percent of which is working while in female the situation is worse. The prime objective of planning commission’s vision 2025 is to develop human; to serve the purpose, the commission has made huge investment and established centre for social entrepreneurship.

The veteran business leader while talking to the delegation of Attock women chamber of commerce lead by the chamber’s patron in chief Hina Mansab Khan said that Attock is famous for traditional crafts including embroidered shoes, painted and lacquered wood work, calico printing, handmade cloths, blankets, printed bed sheets and table covers all over the Country. According to pre-investment study of the Government of Punjab, there lies huge investment potential in the city in various sectors including handicrafts, fashion designing, beauty products, photography, bakery and confectionary. Skilled and educated women can play significant role in the economic development of the country.

The former minister said that encouraging women entrepreneurs is need of time. Women can avail financial assistance through State Bank of Pakistan, First women Bank, Akhuwat Foundation and other micro-financing institution to spread existing or start new businesses. Inclusion of women in the economic activities in the developing countries like Pakistan is vital. Only 16 percent women were part of workforce back in 1992 while according to current gender inequality index of the UNDP 25 person women are working which shows only 9 percent increase in women workforce in the last 26 years, which is worth consideration. India ranked 130 on the World’s gender inequality index while Pakistan ranked 150, the least in the South Asia.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that people of Pakistan are blessed with countless capabilities and our women are no lesser than men in any aspect. Government need to take measures for capacity building of women and curbing problems to women workforce with the help of 15 women chambers of commerce given to several changes coming because of automation Worldwide. The laws available to protect women rights need to be observed in its true spirit and challenges faced by working women, including harassment at work places need to be curbed.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that there are advanced and professional institutions in Attock, Chakwal and nearby districts, which is a major hurdle in higher education of women in the area. Though universities are there in Wah but there are no boarding facilities therefore women from other areas are not inclined towards them. Government need to establish higher education and capacity building institutions in the area to polish the skills of local women.

IBA – CICT hosts conference in 18th ITCN Asia IT & Telecom Show 2018 Karachi

The Institute of Business Administration Centre for Information & Communication Technology IBA – CICT organized a conference titled ’Social Media Threat Protection’ in a three-day “18th ITCN Asia IT & Telecom Show” at the Expo Centre Karachi.

The objective of the conference was to create awareness about the online threats by identifying threats that social media platforms are facing and strategies to mitigate them.

Delivering the welcome address of the conference, Director IBA – ICT & CICT Mr. Imran Batada, talked about the need of policies addressing the usage of social media at the workplace. He also highlighted the issue of harassment and protection of passwords in order to secure individuals privacy online.

The panel discussion at the conference was moderated by CEO VCAST Online Mr. Mansoor Ali while the panelists included CEO Vsh News Mr. Ahmed Baloch, Executive Director iEARN-Pakistan Ms. Farah Kamal, CEO Bolo Bhi Ms. Fareiha Aziz and Senior Reporter The News International Mr. Waqar Bhatti.

During the discussion Ms. Aziz highlighted the importance of the issue and said, “This is a sheer irony that we live in a society where victim is always blamed. Therefore, change in attitude is required to combat the adverse online bullying.”

She also shared information about how to secure social media accounts and what are the practical steps one should take in order to be safe online. “It’s important to have different passwords for different accounts. These passwords must be of 13 random characters not dictionary words,” she added.

Executive Director iEarn-Pakistan Ms. Farah Kamal discussed the scope of social media. She said, “There’s a difference between misinformation and disinformation. We are living in the era in which we are bombarded with information through social media and we need to be very careful when using this information.”

CEO Vsh News Mr. Ahmed Baloch also elaborated the role of social media and said, “social media has been playing tremendous role in making people politically active by making them aware of their surroundings. And in doing so, one needs to be careful while sharing information online.”

The panel discussion was followed by a question and answer session. The session ended with a MoU signing ceremony between Director IBA – ICT & CICT Mr. Imran Batada and Vice President Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan Mr. Umair Nizam to retain IBA’s status of knowledge partner to ITCN Asia 2019. IBA Karachi has been playing a significant role in ITCN Asia Conferences as a Knowledge Partner for the past 3 years.

Provincial Law Advisor Mr. Murtaza Wahab paid visit to the event. Mr. Imran Batada briefed him on the projects designed by IBA – CICT and the Centre has been engaged with several public sector departments in building the capacity of Sindh government employees.

FWBL to finance for solar panels to women & transgenders at the subsidized rates

While addressing the awareness session organized to create awareness about the solar energy concepts benefits and products Ms. Tahira Raza President & CEO First Women Bank Limited said that the installation of Solar panels is a cheap and self sufficient clean renewable process which produces no harmful emanation to hurt the environment.

The importance of solar energy is sure to play a big role in helping people socially and economically and creating jobs and research. Pakistan’s economy is currently facing the dual challenge of energy shortage and climate change. The inadequate supply of energy has severely impacted the growth of industries/businesses and the welfare of the public in general. In order to overcome these challenges, SBP is promoting green banking model to ensure sustainable banking and development.

First Women Bank is also offering solar products to meet the demand of commercial and personal users including men, women and transgender but the facility is available to women and transgender customers at the more subsidized rates, she said.

Later Mr. Osama an expert from Nizam Energy discussed the models available in the market for commercial and retail use.

The awareness session was organized for potential customers and employees of the Bank as well as employees of the various other offices located in the STSM Foundation Building, Karachi.

French Ambassador Dr. Marc Baréty Visits IBA Karachi

A session with the French Ambassador Dr. Marc Baréty and his team was held at the IBA main campus. The primary objective of the session was to bridge the gap between the two countries and to establish collaborative relations between the French and Pakistani educational institutions. Various avenues of attaining higher education in France, along with scholarships opportunities were discussed in detail.

The French embassy team consisted of Higher Education Attaché Mr. Sebastien Cartier and Consul General Mr. Didier Talpain. From the IBA attendees included, Associate Dean Dr. Huma Baqai, Chairperson Social Sciences and Liberal Arts Dr. Faiza Mushtaq, heads of centres, faculty members and students.

The session commenced with Dr. Baréty presenting the audience with a brief history of France and its political, social and economic dynamics that make France one of the biggest economic zones in the world. Dr. Baréty communicated that the current top priorities in maintaining diplomatic relations with Pakistan comprised of focusing on higher education and green sustainable development. He also mentioned that Prime Minister Imran Khan was invited to attend the Paris Peace Forum later in the year, the agenda of which will be climate change and global warming.

The session was then proceeded by Mr. Cartier, who highlighted the educational opportunities, eligibility criteria, job opportunities, linguistic challenges and scholarships available in France. Touching upon the diversity and quality of education in France, Mr. Cartier mentioned that France has 85 public universities, 220 business schools, 290 PhD schools and 1,200 research labs available for students at a very low tuition fee. 42% of PhD students are foreign students, which shows France’s willingness in terms of making higher education accessible for everyone. Additionally, he also pointed out that the low fee structure does not equate with substandard education.

Mr. Cartier emphasized that France is actively working on higher education exchange programs between countries and wants to engage the Pakistani students in multiple higher education opportunities available. He also elaborated that studying in France was possible even if one did not speak French as an option of enrolling in a program in English was available. He also explained that students could work for a certain number of hours per week to support themselves monetarily.

An interactive Q & A session ensued the informative session. Concluding the event, Dr. Baqai presented mementos to Dr. Baréty and his team.

CEJ-IBA, KPC host Investigative Journalism workshop

The Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) – Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi, in collaboration with the Karachi Press Club (KPC), conducted a one-day workshop on Investigative Journalism at the KPC.

The workshop aimed to improve standards of investigative reporting and to inform participants of the different ways in which they can carry out Investigative Journalism. The workshop started off with a session by former KPC Secretary, Senior Journalist Mr. Aamir Lateef. He advised the participants and said, “Every beat can have an investigative angle as long as journalists keep their eyes and ears open.”

The second session on the difference between conventional and Investigative Journalism was conducted by Senior Journalist Mr. Ashraf Khan. He cited examples of major investigative stories, such as the US forces’ advancement towards Afghanistan through the Pakistani territory and said, “No Investigative Journalism is being practiced today. Only conventional reporting takes place in the local media.”

The workshop wrapped up with an informative session on the Right to Information (RTI) law by RTI expert, Dr. Raza Gardezi, who discussed the basic components of law and how it can be used by Investigative Journalists to gain access to public information. He briefed the participants and said, “The Right to Information open doors for one to know better about what is going on, instead of passing judgment without knowing.”

KPC President, Mr. Ahmed Khan Malik, commended the partnership with CEJ-IBA and hoped to continue the monthly workshop series.

ACCA’s 75 Years of Thought Leadership

This year marks a very important milestone – ACCA’s 75th anniversary of thought leadership. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) was established in 1943 as a Technical advisory committee (now called Technical research committee) – publishing their first report a mere four years later – and over the years transforming into the expert thought leadership team that Professional Insights is today. A bold innovator in the accountancy profession for over 110 years, ACCA’s Royal Charter has as the first of its principal objects and purposes the advancement of ‘the science of accounting and financial management’. Over the last 75 years, the outputs of the technical and research teams at ACCA have contributed increasingly to its mission to be a global leader in the profession.

ACCA’s research has pushed forward the state of debate on topics from accounting for water resources to the effect of tax havens on the taxation of corporate income. ACCA has also been at the forefront of the integrated reporting movement, as the first international professional body to examine integrated reporting in the ACCA Qualification and the first to produce an integrated report on its own corporate performance.

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