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Centre specific companies are vital for sustainable growth in 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 on Wednesday said that worsen economic situation, huge current account deficits, declining foreign reserves and decision to avail another bailout package from IMF has resulted in appreciation of USD by 8 percent. USD is expected to be further appreciated by 9 percent given to availing IMF loan. The decision has also badly affected the stock exchange. On October 8, the PSX-100 index has declined by 1328 point exposing investors to losses of millions of rupees.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that recent measures of Government will further worsen the difficult economic situation going on in the country. The cost of doing business has highly increased, adversely affecting the industrial production and business activities. Exports can be increased but for a limited time. The depreciation of PKR will lost its effect on exports in long run. To attract foreign investment, currency stability is vital; else foreign investors will be compelled to take out their money from local businesses. To encourage investors, it is largely required to form long run positive policies, in support of investment, industrialization and currency stability.

The former minister said that to improve the Country’s export on sustainable basis, centre specific companies need to be established under the leadership of internationally recognized experts. Each Company will be responsible for increasing its respective share in the international markets and accessing new markets available in its specific field. The Companies will be responsible for branding, value addition, research, processing, certification, financing and quality control of their respective products.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that economic growth is not possible without attaining political stability; the ongoing political instability should be curbed for the betterment of economic situation. Eradicating corruption is a must but Government should take apposition and political parties in confidence before going into major decisions. According to the State Bank, the foreign reserves has declined by $ 1.2 billion during September, 2018, despite increase 13 percent increase in foreign remittances in the first two months of current fiscal year.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the Government itself stated several times against the foreign aids and loans. For sustainable economic growth in the Country, forming long term policies in support of expanding economy and exports development are mandatory.

Shell Tameer awards energy & water innovators helping transform ideas into reality

Shell Tameer, in collaboration with NED University and the DICE Foundation USA, held a business plan competition, ’Tameer DICE Shark’ at NED University, Karachi. The objective of the event is to encourage young innovators to develop a cleaner and greener energy future for Pakistan.

The two-day event held at NED University showcased 35 young innovators from eight engineering universities from across Pakistan.

In the final round held, 15 student finalists pitched their innovations in front of a panel of six judges comprising Dr. Mohammad Kamran Mumtaz, Chairperson Management, IBA, Dr Najam Anjum, Assistant Professor, IBA, Mr. Mukesh Kumar, Provincial Chief, SMEDA Sindh, Mr. Sarosh Haider, Founder and CTO mrigroup. net, Mr. Muhammad Ali Sheikh, Shell Pakistan Limited and Mr. Daniyal Naiyer, Shell Pakistan Limited

The top five business ideas received seed capital through the competition and will be further developed, with the support of Shell Tameer to help them transform into commercially viable enterprises.

“It is inspiring to see so many young engineers here today, enthusiastic to help Pakistan work towards solving energy and water issues that challenge our country”, said Chief Guest, Mr. Habib Haider, External Relations Manager, Shell Pakistan Limited. “The Tameer Dice Shark competition is a wonderful platform bringing together bright engineering minds, professionals from academia and Shell Tameer to work together to build innovative solutions into real sustainable businesses.”

Prior to the final competition, Tameer DICE Shark contestants were trained through a day-long Shell Tameer workshop, ’How to Pitch Your Ideas’, to help them prepare for their presentations in the final round.

Shell Tameer focuses on enterprise development and provides budding young entrepreneurs with access to essential business knowledge and customized support to transform their ideas into a viable and sustainable business. The program also contributes to national economic growth by promoting entrepreneurship development in Pakistan.

PTCL group posts 6pc YoY revenue growth, PTCL assigned long term rating of AAA

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), the Country’s leading telecom and ICT services provider has announced its financial results for the nine months’ period ended September 30, 2018 at its Board of Directors meeting held in Islamabad on October 11, 2018

PTCL Group’s revenue for the nine months’ period of 2018 has grown YoY by 6% to Rs. 93.21 billion as a result of positive contribution by all group companies. QoQ PTCL Group’s revenue has also grown by 11% during the third quarter of 2018. Ufone revenue has increased by 10% YoY, UBank, a microfinance banking subsidiary of PTCL, has shown significant growth of 65% in its revenue over same period of 2017. PTCL Group’s operating profit for the period improved by 65%, however its net profit declined by 26% mainly due to adverse impact of currency devaluation of Rs. 1.4 billion during current year and positive one-offs of Rs. 2.3 billion in last year. Like-for-like net profit of PTCL Group would have been higher by 27% compared to last year.

PTCL revenue for the nine months’ period has been stable overall at Rs 52.6 B YOY. PTCL’s flagship Fixed Broadband DSL service posted revenue growth of 7% over nine months of 2017. This includes the 31 exchanges fully transformed to date where DSL growth YOY was even higher at 15%. Corporate business continues to perform strongly and has shown significant growth of 14% over same period last year by signing new customers in Managed Services, Cloud Infrastructure Services, IT and Security Solutions. Conversion of EVO customers to Charji/LTE have yielded positive results with YoY revenue growth in double digits, however also resulted in higher subscriber acquisition cost as compared to same period last year. There is continued decline in domestic and international voice revenues due to increase in illegal/grey traffic termination, continued conversion of subscribers to OTT and cellular services resulting in declining voice traffic volumes. PTCL’s operating profit for the nine months’ period is lower by 17%, compared to the same period of 2017 mainly due to higher subscriber acquisition cost and Cable & Satellite/Network maintenance on account of currency devaluation. Further, non-operating income has also declined due to reduced funds as compared to last year. Net Profit for the period is Rs 4.8 B which is 26% lower compared to same period last year as reported (and 13% lower if adjusted for one-offs), driven by lower operating profit and lower non-operating income.

The financial strength of PTCL has recently been acknowledged through an independent rating exercise as a result of which JCR-VIS has assigned PTCL a long-term rating of AAA which will enhance stakeholders’ confidence.

During the 3rd quarter PTCL entered into a partnership with WWF Pakistan and committed to support plantation of 200,000 mangrove seeds in Balochistan. PTCL has also inducted top 100 young engineers and business graduates under Summit Programme 2018 from top institutions & universities across Pakistan which would help to develop future leadership.

Being a national carrier, PTCL also proudly launched a special Brand Campaign ’Hum hain PTCL, hum hain Pakistan’ on Independence Day, which invoked patriotic emotions.

Mian Mansha Cardiac Surgery ICU to enhance pediatric care at Children’s Hospital, Lahore

Mian Mohammad Mansha, Chairman Nishat Group, recently inaugurated a state of the art Intensive Care Unit at the Children’s Hospital & The Institute of Child Health in Lahore. The formal inauguration ceremony was conducted by Dr. Masood Sadiq, Dean Professor Children’s Hospital and featured Chief Guest Mian Mohammad Mansha, former Dean Professor Doctor Sajid Maqbool, Professor Doctor Shehryar Khan, members of faculty and other private sector donors.

The Mian Mansha Cardiac Surgery ICU was sponsored by Mr. Mansha and is equipped with 8 motorized beds and the latest medical equipment including an Echocardiography machine, ECMO Heart Lung Machine, Near Infra-Red Spectroscopy and other technologically advanced equipment that will help in diagnosis and treatment of infants. The ICU has already commenced operations and is regularly accommodating pediatric patients for cardiac surgery and other medical procedures on a charitable basis.

This is a new state of the art Cardiac Surgery ICU in a new building of the Institution. The equipment for the previous 5 bedded Cardiac Surgery ICU in the Emergency medical services building was also donated by Mr. Mansha in 2004. In the last 10 years, over 3,000 cardiac surgeries have been performed on children of all ages there.

Mr. Mansha is a committed philanthropist and provides regular support to numerous Pakistani charities and social causes. In the past he has lent personal support to Saleem Memorial Trust Hospital, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust, Nawaz Sharif Kidney Hospital, Swat, Human Rights Society of Pakistan, Kidney Care Centre, The Citizens Foundation (TCF), Friends of Pakistan Institute of Cardiology Trust, Care Foundation and SOS Village among many others.

The Children’s Hospital is the world’s largest pediatric hospital with over 1,100 beds and 1,500 patients on a daily basis. The Hospital provides a wide range of inpatient and outpatient services with full backup of diagnostic services at no cost to its patients. The Institute of Child Health provides post graduate training to doctors in multiple disciplines, encompasses the school of Nursing, the school of allied health science as well as conducting research projects.

Nestle and UVAS to work on agricultural water efficiency project

As part of their Caring for Water Initiative, Nestlé Pakistan in collaboration with University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) inaugurated their latest Agricultural Water Efficiency Project at UVAS Ravi Campus, Pattoki. This initiative is aimed at strengthening Nestlé’s vision of improving the agricultural yield in Pakistan and has the potential to save 14.87 million liters of water annually.

One of the major threats Pakistan faces today is water scarcity, with our current per capita annual water availability 1,017 cubic meters. The agriculture sector remains one of the largest and most inefficient users of water hence it is important to focus on increasing the overall efficiency of water use by this sector.

Nestlé Pakistan has established a site that demonstrates best practices which enhances crop production with minimum use of water. The site will serve as a knowledge hub for students and farmers on scientifically proven irrigation management techniques, including drip systems and a delivery line network on a 6.91 acre crop site having citrus and guava crops of 3.51 and 3.40 acres respectively.

Freda Duplin, CEO, Nestlé Pakistan, said, “Water is a resource which is fast depleting. Nestlé is devoted to working towards helping address the issue adopting collective action, as is envisioned in our Caring for Water initiative. Our collaboration with UVAS is another step towards that. Agricultural Water Efficiency Project will encourage the preservation of water resources in the long term. By the end of 2019, we want to help save 400 million litres of water in Agriculture with the help of our partners: Punjab Agriculture Department, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council and now UVAS.”

Speaking on the occasion, Talat Naseer Pasha, Vice Chancellor, UVAS, said: “This collaboration with Nestlé Pakistan is an excellent initiative to address the water challenges being faced by Pakistan. More than 90% of water usage is for Agriculture and in order to successfully tackle the impending water shortage, we need to encourage farmers to become mindful of how they use water. We are hopeful that this collaboration will serve as a knowledge sharing platform and be a model of how sustainable agricultural production can be achieved while improving crop yield”.

NBP wins ADB award of leading partner bank in Pakistan

National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) won the “Leading Partner Bank in Pakistan Award for 2018” in the Asian Development Bank’s annual Trade Finance Program (TFP) Awards. This award was presented to National Bank of Pakistan for the highest number of transactions with TFP in Pakistan during the period 01st July 2017 to June 30th, 2018.

Mr. Shaikh Tariq Abdullah- Head Financial Institutions, International Banking Group, National Bank of Pakistan received this prestigious award on behalf of the bank in the Trade Finance Program (TFP) Awards and Partners Dinner held in Singapore on 04 September 2018. It is pertinent to mention that National Bank of Pakistan also received “Trade Deal of the Year award” in last year’s ADB TFP Awards. Later, Nasir Hussain, Group Head-International, presented the award to Mr. Tariq Jamali, President/CEO(A), National Bank of Pakistan.

Safe City Project in Karachi initiative taken by AIG Dr. Amir Shaikh are cooperative towards rule of law in Karachi.: 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 Friday said that Karachi has vital role in the economy of Pakistan and contributes in collecting 70 percent of the national exchequer. Pakistan Army, Rangers and Sindh Police have sacrificed a lot to restore the lights of the city and improve the trade and industry environment.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that despite being the economic and industrial hub of the Country, Karachi has been deprived of the safe city project. According to CPLC statistics, 20 thousands incidents of street crimes have taken place in just last three months in which 394 four wheelers, 8 thousand motorcycles and 10 thousand mobile phones have been snatched from the citizens. In counter actions from LEAs 38 percent four wheelers, 18 percent motorcycles and only 5 percent mobile phones have been recovered. The previous govt. has completed Lahore safe city project with the cost of Rs. 12 billion and approved the same for 6 mega cities in Punjab including Rawalpindi, Multan, Faisalabad, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala and Sargodha, where construction is under process. Safe city project has initiated in Karachi but on the charges of Rs. 550 million corruptions NAB intervened and the project has been stopped before its inauguration. In all mega cities across globe, safe city projects are playing effective role in the security of citizens, curbing criminal activities and traffic management, but unfortunately Karachi is still deprived of such important project for the security of its citizens. Government of Sindh should take immediate measures to reinitiate Karachi safe city project in addition to other mega cities in the province.

The former minister said that the safe city project will not only enhance the security of citizens in the City but will also play significant role in improving the City’s economy. With reduction in crime rate in the city, investors will get attract thus existing trade will boost and new investment opportunities of will open in the City.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that safe city project will also help in traffic management of the Mega City. Annually, 35,000 traffic accidents take place in Karachi causing loss of hundreds of valued lives and body parts of many. Violation of traffic rules is amongst the basic causes of these accidents including over speeding, violation of one-way and driving without license. Safe city project will ensure the implementation of traffic rules through modern surveillance techniques.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that rate of recovery of lost or snatched valuables will also be improved with safe city project; sense of accountability will be increased amongst the law enforcement agencies personnel, counter terrorism will get faster and busting criminal elements will get improved. Initiatives taken by AIG Sindh Dr. Munir Shaikh are supportive towards rule of law in the City.

Haball, 1LINK and Meezan Bank sign an agreement to accelerate digitization of B2B payments in Pakistan

An agreement was signed amongst Haball, 1LINK (Pvt) Limited (1LINK) and Meezan Bank Limited (Meezan Bank) to introduce a fast, secure and simple payment solution to accelerate digital payments in the Pakistani B2B space. The signing ceremony was held at 1LINK head office, Karachi.

This arrangement will ease B2B payment by enabling businesses of all sizes to make inter-entity digital payments, that fulfill their existing bookkeeping, reconciliation and reporting processes using Haball’s Context Driven Payment solution. This solution introduces new standards, providing a one-window B2B payment aggregation solution for consolidated information across all omni-channel end-points. While Haball’s role will be of an aggregator, Meezan Bank will perform the settlement function. 1LINK’s largest and state of the art infrastructure will ensure seamless processing of the transactions.

“Businesses can now benefit from our context driven payment solution, automating the most fundamental business processes” said Mr. Omer Bin Ahsan, CEO, Haball. “Haball provides businesses a convenient way to pay digitally and instantly, bringing efficiencies in existing business processes by streamlining existing workflows and improving productivity”.

Mr. Najeeb Agrawalla, CEO 1LINK commented “1LINK is at the forefront in bringing innovation in digital payments sphere, resulting in convenience and secure payment methods. Haball’s solution for B2B payments will create the ease of doing business in Pakistan and also positively add towards its economy”.

Mr. Ariful Islam, Deputy CEO, Meezan Bank said “Meezan Bank has a clear and focused Digital strategy and this collaboration is one of the various Fintech alliances that we have been working on. We are very excited to be the first bank to partner with Haball and 1LINK, bringing digital payment automation solutions in the B2B landscape in Pakistan. We admire Haball’s dedication to revolutionize commercial payments, and through this partnership we plan to address the challenges in the Pakistani B2B payment space effectively”.

Fatima group is the first business conglomerate in Pakistan to adopt Haball’s B2B payment automation solution. “We look forward to using Haball’s solution as the platform to integrate all types of payments,” said Mr. Sardar Naufil Mahmud, CIO, Fatima Group, “optimizing Order-to- Cash and subsequently Procure-to-Pay cycles with full integration to our existing ERP systems.

JS Bank Powers WWF Green Innovation Challenge

Mindful of the growing need to address environmental challenges, JS Bank, one of Pakistan’s leading and fastest growing financial institutions sponsored the ’Green Innovation Challenge (GIC) organized by WWF-Pakistan.

This competition was undertaken in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme’s Clean Seas campaign and aimed to empower social entrepreneurs by providing a platform for initiatives to reduce or eliminate plastic waste in Pakistan. A three-staged start-up competition the focus was on technology-oriented solutions for mitigation of plastic pollution.

The judging panel included, Yawar Herekar, Head of Sustainable Finance- JS Bank; Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General-WWF Pakistan; Sara Taher Khan, CEO- FM91; Najeeb Nayyer, Advisor-NIC Karachi; and Humayun Farooq, Marketing Director- Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan.

Speaking at the occasion, Yawar Herekar said, “A number of wild animals are dying due to plastic pollution in our environment. This is especially true of marine animals such as turtles and whales. Only by working together thorough public-private partnerships can we make an impact to reduce waste and improve the environment.”

JS Bank, one of Pakistan’s leading and fastest growing financial institutions has continually undertaken efforts to drive public welfare and the common good for the people of Pakistan.

Firdous Shamim Naqvi assured the Shipping & Logistics Industry for Government’s full support

The well attended 8th CPEC Sustainable Shipping, Logistics & Supply Chain Management Conference & Exhibition ended with speech by Chief Guest Mr. Firdous Shamim Naqvi (Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly).

In his speech the opposition leader in sindh assembly accepted the deliberations, concerns and recommendations of the conference being shipping and logistics support services in shambles in our country, infra structure in a dilapidated state and supply chain management depends on out sourcing. He not only assured his support on behalf of federal government but also promised to redress the grievances of the business community .He further assured the participants of the conference of his full assistance for the growth and development of warehousing and port in the country. The Conference was also attended by Naheed Memon, Chairperson, Sindh Board of Investment, Junaid Esmail Makda, President KCCI, Dirk Wittkowski, Regional Director China & Pakistan, deugro Projects & Logistics, Malik Naeem Azam, Managing Director, deugro Projects & Logistics Pakistan and many other professionals. They also addressed to the august gathering.

Earlier, in the morning, the conference was inaugurated by Junaid Esmail Makda, President, KCCI and attended by prominent Speakers Ms. Naheed Memon, Chairperson, SBOI, Ziad Chowdhrey, Country CFO, Novartis Pharma, Fahim Sulaiman, Director Jang & Geo Tv, Mohammed Hanif Ajari, Director Supply Chain, Getzs Pharma, Ateeq Ur Rehman, CEO, Coastals Packers and others. President KCCI emphasized to bring the technologies in the trade and get the benefits of digitalization. Naheed Memon briefed the corporate audience about the developments in CPEC and the role of sindh government and SBOI.

Mr. Mehmood Tareen Founder & Ceo, The Professionals Network and the organizer of the conference emphasized on the importance of such Conferences, he thanked for coordination of sponsors, participants and facilitators for their valuable support for making this conference a grand success and result oriented. He promised to continue his efforts for the betterment of supply chain solutions.

Mr. Ateeq Ur Rehman spoke of misplaced priorities and gross negligence in the shipping, logistics and warehousing industry of Pakistan. He requested the government to release the burden of the supply chain management entrepreneurs from imposed indirect and withholding taxes. He suggested reducing the custom duty on the import of pre engineered building (Warehouse) and place it on zero rating, thus this will encourage the growth of warehousing in the country.

At the concluding of the event, eleven companies were awarded with the Executive Green Supply Chain Award by the Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly. Companies include were, deugro Projects, PNSC, World Wide Group, Kerry Freight, Pakistan International Container Terminal, DP World, APL Logistics, Pirani Group, Lucky Tex, and Raaziq International.

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