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Dec 25 - 31, 2000

Karachi Sheraton celebrates Health & Safety Week

Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers recently celebrated the 3rd Annual Starwood Environment Health & Safety Week, where the hotel had planned a host of different activities for its employees to help enhance their awareness and understanding on various health and safety topics and participate in community service.

"The Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers, a part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., takes pride in organizing events which recognize the contribution of its employees in the excellent health & safety standards of the hotel." said Mr. Thomas van Opstal, General Manager, Karachi Sheraton at the inaugural ceremony of the Environment Health & Safety Week. Mr. van Opstal inaugurated the Safety Week with the traditional tree plantation outside the hotel. All department heads and many other employees of the hotel attended the inaugural.

The events that were featured in the Safety Week this year included three lectures by guest speakers for the hotel staff. The first lecture on Basic First Aid was organized for all the female staff of the hotel. Mrs. Rahat Ali from PITHM presented issues of food poisoning and food hygiene to the kitchen and F&B staff, and Mr. Ata-ur-Rehman, Chief Fire Officer, Karachi conducted a lecture on Fire Security.

Apart from these lectures the safety week also featured a healthy diet day, a no smoking day and safety poster competition for all the hotel staff. Films on preventing burns, cuts, falls, hotel fire alert etc. were also shown at the staff cafeteria during the Safety Week. A cleaning camp in which staff from different departments went to Bagh-e-Jinnah marked the closing of the Annual Staff & Safety Week.


International Lease Finance Corp. (ILFC), a unit of American International Group, has signed the definitive agreement for its purchase of 40 jetliners, the Boeing Company announced.

The agreement includes eight new Boeing Longer-Range 777 models, 25 777-200ERs (extended range) and seven Next-Generation 737s. This brings total 777 orders to 113, a record single year total. The complete order is valued at approximately $5.6 billion at list prices.

The order initially was announced, pending the signing of the definitive agreement, at the Farnborough Air Show earlier this year. The 777s previously had not been included by Boeing in its order totals, however the: 737s were previously included and attributed to an "unidentified" customer.

British High Commission

The British High Commission Islamabad has launched a website where the public can find out all they need to know about applying for visas for the United Kingdom, consular advice (for British nationals only) and details about what Britain can offer the local business community. You will also find information about the United Kingdom and contact details for the office in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore.

The website content will be added to next year. In the meantime it is hoped that the public will find the website helpful and informative. For example, visa application forms can be downloaded as can guidance about the different types of visa. The web address is (http://www.britainonline.org.pk).

e-Pakistan initiative

A meeting under the banner of e-Pakistan Initiative of the Industry Leaders of the Pakistan's Emerging IT Sector was held at Software Designers Private Limited Karachi, to Develop the Participation Strategy in the Forthcoming ITCN 2001 Exhibition and Conference in Karachi, in March 2001. This ITCN 2001 International Event is being organized jointly by the Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST) and Commerce Net Singapore to tap the huge potential that Pakistan has in the Software and related Exports.

While appreciating the MoST's decision for planning to hold the ITCN 2001 in Pakistan but expressed serious reservation in the way the Private Sector and IT Industry is being treated by the Ministry. It strongly criticized and expressed its dismay over the fact that the main Stakeholder — PASHA, Pakistan Software Houses Association was not taken on to the Center Stage of the Event.

Even in the Launching Ceremony, held at the Governor House of Sindh recently was a Show, run entirely by the Government: Federal & Provincial alone, not a Single speakers was from the Industry and the Leadership of PASHA was made to seat on the back-bench throughout the function. So much so for the Oft mentioned Public-Private Partnership!

It was strongly recommended by the participants of this meeting that ITCN 2001 can only be a successful event held under entire-Pakistan participation. And the Ministry of Science and Technology should not hestitate in sharing the limelight with the real stakeholders of the Software Industry. Any attempt to belittle the Industry will not be beneficial in the long term for the Country. Hence it was demanded that Local Software Development Industry Leaders and Representatives should be taken in confidence throughout Event's Planning and Execution.

This meeting was presided by Mr. Khurram P. Rafiq, Chairman, e-Pakistan Initiative and was attended by prominent personalities of the Local Software Industries, like, Engineer A. Haiyee Khan, Asim Zafar/CresSoft, Khurshid Akbar Shah/ITEC, Ashar Navaid/Vice Chairman, PCIA and MD/InfoTrain, Rizwan Jawaid/DataNet, Arif Osmani/Oclits, Dr Saadique Mahmood/ Software Designers Private Limited.

Cathav Pacific Releases November Traffic Figures

Cathay Pacific Airways carried 932,656 passengers in November, a rise of 0.3% compared to the same month last year. For the year to date, the number of passengers has risen by 13.1% compared to the same period in 1999. Cargo saw particularly strong growth in November with a year-on-year increase of 10.5% in terms of tonnes of freight carried.

The November figures reflect the additional capacity Cathay Pacific has been adding to meet rising demand. The number of flights operated by the airline rose by 11% in November against the same month in 1999, while available seat kilometres rose by 7.9%, and available cargo/mail tonne kilometres by 14.8%.

Cathay Pacific's General Manager Network Revenue tan Shiu said: "In November we saw solid demand from both passengers and cargo shippers. We are continuing to add extra capacity to meet this rising demand."