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Apr 30 - May 06, 2001

New Public Relations Manager at the Karachi Sheraton

Ms. Samra Muslim has recently been appointed as the new Public Relations Manager at the Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers. Ms. Muslim has been with the Karachi Sheraton for more than one year and takes over from Miss Sajida Bandukwala who has left the industry to pursue other interests.

As the PR Manager at the Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Ms. Muslim will be responsible for planning, directing, controlling, and participating in all advertising and public relations activities as well as supporting the hotel's overall sales and marketing program. She will also be responsible for effectively and accurately maintaining the prestigious image of the hotel.

PACRA maintains entity ratings of KASB

The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has maintained entity ratings of Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari & Co. Limited at "A" (single A) for long-term and "A1" (A one) for short-term. The assigned ratings denote a high credit quality with low expectation of credit risk and a strong capacity for timely payment of financial obligations. These ratings are applicable to the senior unsecured creditors of the company.

While assigning the ratings, PACRA has taken due note of the substantial expansion of equity base that has resulted in increased risk absorption capacity of the company and enhanced the cushion for unsecured creditors.

Asif Sheikh Javaid nominated on FPCCI committee

Asif Sheikh Javaid, Director Export Processing Zones Investors' Council (EPZIC) and Chief Executive M/S. East West Enterprises has been nominated as Member of Export Processing & Free Zones Committee (EP&FZ) of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI). This standing committee has been recently constituted by FPCCI to prepare proposals and recommendations for the betterment of existing and new zones in the country. The said committee will also find out the reasons due to which Karachi Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) could not emerge as a model zone even after passing more than two decades of its launching.

Asif urged upon the concerned authorities to put KEPZ on top of their priority list. He said that concrete steps be taken immediately to rectify the problems being faced by KEPZ investors and to make it a model zone for the world of investment. KEPZ has failed to retain its investors especially in the last couple of years and could not compete with other zones in the region including Sri Lanka, Jordan and even Bangladesh Zones, he added. Withdrawal of Sales Tax on KEPZ investors and establishment of Cash Counters within KEPZ banks will help minimize the anxiety amongst investors, he was confident. He said that investors are now hopeful that the new chairman will give his maximum time to KEPZ and will be available to them.

Asif who is a young business entrepreneur, is also an amateur flyer. He actively takes part in Trade Body activities. He is also a member of Taxation sub-committee of KCCI. Asif had been serving as Director National Shipping Council beside other social forums.

ASJ hoped that EP&FZ committee will make effective proposals for the good of the only existing and new zones in the country and will go a long way in helping concerned government institutions and agencies in developing viable new EP & FZs.

MOBILINK third Customer Service Center in Karachi

Mr. Al F. Barry, President & CEO Mobilink GSM, inaugurated Mobilink's owned & operated state of the art Customer Service Center located at Awami Markaz-Karachi. The new Customer Service Center offers one window operation to Mobilink customers, i.e. Rapid Action Counters for new connections, Bill payments, handset sale & Club-300 benefits.

Mr. Al F. Barry speaking at the occasion said, "Mobilink GSM today, due to the overwhelming support of its customers, is the foremost & most preferred cellular company in Pakistan with 250,000 of customers & maximum number of Customer Service Centers nationwide. The inauguration of this center at Awami Markaz is a continuation of our to stay-close-to-our-customers policy and you will see many more such centers coming up in near future to ensure that our customers' needs are fulfilled at their doorsteps". Talking about the future strategy & company plans he said, "Mobilink GSM has recently invested 60 Million US Dollars for, system up-grade, increased capacity, better voice quality & clarity and an unprecedented wider coverage all aimed at creating greater conveniences for our largest family of cellular users in Pakistan. I am confident that we are all set to maintain and further strengthen our leadership and attain a customer base of one Million by the end of the year.

Mobilink has recently turned a new leaf at the Management level & now has become strongly bonded with ORASCOM Telecom Company. ORASCOM Telecom operates 20 GSM licenses in the Middle-East, Africa & Asia.

Mobilink is launching a major Sales & Marketing initiative in Karachi. The major focus of this activity is to acknowledge Karachi as the biggest consumer market of Pakistan, reward the loyalties of Mobilink GSM customer base in Karachi. Mobilink will be coming up with very special offers for the Karachi customers.

UBL to set up Booths in Post Offices

United Bank Limited (UBL) will open its counters at selected branches of the Pakistan Post Office to provide basic financial services to the "un-banked" areas of the country, which will be manned by UBL staff under its exclusive supervision.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in this regard was signed jointly by UBL President, Amar Zafar Khan and Director General, Pakistan Post Office, Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Agha Masood Hasan.

Speaking on the occasion, Amar Zafar Khan said, "By opening these booths in remote areas, we will able to provide basic financial services besides generating employment opportunities in the rural areas. Post office is one of the unrecognized jewels in the government sector. It has 48,000 employees delivering millions of letters at no burden to the tax-payer, as the post office is a profitable institution." He also said that UBL has placed high priority on this project and it has demonstrated the greatest desire amongst the Nationalized Commercial Banks (NCBs) to turnaround and to commercialize the bank which is evident from improving customer service, by developing technology and communication vision as well as generating a profit of Rs. 1.4 billion in the year 2000.

Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Agha Masood Hasan, while expressing his views on this unique arrangement said, "We have signed this MOU with the vision of providing banking services to the bank-less people of our country. Initially this facility will be available at over 350 post offices and our goal is to extend it to every post office in Pakistan".

New PAS Council elected at the 4th AGM

The Pakistan Advertisers Society elected its new ten member Council at its fourth Annual General Meeting held on 6th April 2001. Leading professionals representing a wide range of national and multi-national companies and various levels of corporate hierarchy were present. Minister of State Mr. Tariq Ikram, Chairman Export Promotion Bureau, and the founder Chairman of the Pakistan Advertisers Society, chaired the session as the outgoing Chairman.

The new Council convened immediately after the AGM to announce the names of the office bearers. The following (along-with their positions in the Council) were elected to the new Council:

Mr. Haroon Basheer who looks after the consumer business of Citibank NA was elected as the new Chairman of the Society. Mr. Basheer had served as the Secretary of the PAS in the last term.

Mr. Naeem Khokhar who heads the Tea and Beverages SBU at Levers was elected to continue as one of the Vice Chairmen of the Society. Mr. Tariq Kirmani, the Deputy Managing Director of Pakistan State Oil was also elected as the Vice Chairman. PSO incidentally, is the first public sector member of PAS.

Mr. Ayaz Bokhari who has just been assigned a regional responsibility of Auto solutions at Shell was elected as the new Secretary.

Mr. Tahir Hussain, who looks after marketing at English Biscuits, was assigned the responsibilities of the new Treasurer by the Society.

Mr. Mohd. Amin, CEO Gillette, Mr. Sabir Sami, CEO Reckitt Benckiser, Mr. Ali Aamir, Marketing Manager-Tapal, Mr. Amer Pasha Director Marketing-Coke and Mr. Hanspeter Heissen General Manager Procter & Gamble were all elected un-opposed to the Council.

Earlier at the AGM, the members were also briefed on the progress on projects of Establishment/Media Habits/SEC Survey of Rural Pakistan and the Television Audience Measurement Service. The evaluation to select the most appropriate bidder for rural survey is underway and the contract would be awarded in the next few days. This would be the second major research project initiated by PAS after the Establishment/Media Habits/SEC Survey of Urban Pakistan.

UBL launches Help line service

UBL has announced the launch of a speical Help Line Service at the UBL Head Office to facilitate the Customers in getting necessary information about products and services.

The customers calling on the Help Line will be able to obtain information about forex and deposit rates and various services being offered by the bank. The service enables the customers to obtain information without having to presonally appear at the UBL Head Office or branches.

Help Line Service is also available to the bank employees who need assistance in any way. The Help Line Service is presently available at the UBL Head Office in Karachi and would soon be available country-wide through a toll free number to facilitate outstation customers and employees without the extra burden of NWD call charges. Help Line facility is also available on the web-site www.ubl.com.pak.

Vision 2011-National Economic Revival Seminar Inaugurated

Pakistan Vision 2011, a National Economic Revival Seminar was inaugurated by the Governor Sindh Mr. Mohammedmian Soomro. Prominent speakers from the government and private sector organizations deliberated upon current issues facing the country and the revival of economic, social and political sectors in the next ten years. Delegates from banking & finance, agriculture, social development, commercial organization, educational institutions attended the seminar in great numbers.

Inaugurating the seminar, the Governor stressed upon the value of planning the future course of the country and appreciated the efforts by IBA and UBL in creating a forum for generation of ideas and visions for a better tomorrow by a wide cross section of people. "National economic revival is critical to the future of the country. It is a long-term objective. An economy must be strong and vibrant if it is to sustain and thrive. When we talk about our economy, we are not just referring to one particular subjeet of our national environment. It is a concern covering all sectors wherein dynamic performance is critical to our national well-being." said the Governor.

"There is no dearth of policymakers and economists in this country, however cohesive and diligent brainstorming has been ignored. I consider this event to be an opportunity to bring our minds together to address critical economic issues and discuss their proposed solutions and initiate their ultimate implementation all in the best national interest. It is but a small step towards the achievement of our greater national goals of economic growth and development ultimately leadig to complete economic independence," the Governor further added.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Amar Zafar Khan, President UBL, the major sponsor of the seminar said that we are the trustees of our children and as such it is our responsibility to hand over a more economically, socially and politically stable country to them. "Now is the time for all of us in our sun-set years, to reflect upon and determine our vision, a vision based not on other's ideals, values and histories but on our own. Economic prosperity is essential to this vision" said Amar. "The Pakistan Vision 2011" should aim to achieve development, not as "catching up" but as "making things work" with a primary, though not exclusive, emphasis on social and human capital. The main areas that we need to look at improving in the next decade consist of sound system of governance with political stability and a reasonably competent and honest public service; High investmennt in education and research; A culture of high savings, investment and exports; The ability to take advantage of emerging international opportunities.

Responsible economic and financial institutions; Collaborative partnership between the government, the private sector, and the citizen." Amar further added.

Pakistanis ability to progress in the next decade will depend critically on a proper understanding of the opportunities and constraints offered by the changing international situation. "The major focus of the economic strategy must be on export led industrialization, especially technology based industries, both small and large scale. The goal should be to create an entrepreneurial culture, a culture of investment, in which people with managerial and technical skills team up with those which access to financial resources to invest and produce goods and services for the market, "said President UBL." The vision can only turn to reality if the programs devised would be beneficial and authentic if, with its implementation there would be a new society emerging in Pakistan where people are safe and secure and there is a tolerance of differences of opinion, a system of justice protecting the weak against the strong, where all public decisions are made at the lowest possible level, where all government decisions are transparent, where all appointments to public offices are made on merit, where people pay taxes. Voluntarily with confidence that their money would not be wasted and in return they would be provided all the relevant facilities by the government, where every child has access to school and where every sick person gets quality medical care," he concluded.

Vision 2011 a two days conference organized jointly by UBL and IBA. The other prominent speakers who spoke on the first day included Mr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Finance Minister Sindh, Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali, Education Minister Sindh, Mr. Afaq Tiwana, Ministry of Agriculture Punjab, Mr. Javed Jabbar, Mr. Mehtab Karim, Faculty Head Aga Khan Medical College, Mr. Munir Kamal, President Union Bank and others.


Standard Chartered unfolded yet another milestone, "100,000 credit card members" at a reception held for representatives from the media, and the Bank's business and strategic partners. Also present at the celebration were key members of the Bank's management.

To commemorate this achievement, Standard Chartered announced a month long celebration for existing and new credit card members in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Beginning with a Lucky Draw (with attractive prizes ranging from a TV, a microwave and tickets for 2 to Dubai) and other exciting promotions were announced. Promotions include: Apply 'n' Fly and exciting gift vouchers for new card members and Shopping at the Park, exclusive film sneak previews, Hollywood nights and cash discounts for existing card members. The celebratory month would conclude with a lavish carnival planned for all Standard Chartered credit card members.

"We have come a long way since we entered the Credit Card industry. In the 4 years since inception, we have consistently delivered customer friendly, technologically superior and convenient products and services. Our credit cards promise to put more within customers' reach, by offering value-added privileges with a varied yet, distinctive group of strategic partners. Today, we are proud to offer our customers benefits in car rental, courier services, entertainment, hotels, insurance, restaurants, sportswear and travel", stated Azhar Hamid, Group Senior Representative, Standard Chartered Pakistan at the reception.

Entering the credit card industry with the most powerful credit card in Pakistan and a brand which promises " to put more within your reach", Standard Chartered has shown a dramatic increase in its credit card customer base. The overall card base grew by 27% in 2000 (as compared to 1999 levels) and in the first quarter of 2001, the card base has already increased by 7% (as of March 2001). Today, Standard Chartered's credit cards offer auto-debit, dial-a-draft and cash advance facilities (available in over 500,000 ATMs worldwide), global acceptability (with over 10,000 establishments in Pakistan and 17 million worldwide), 24 hour customer service and, a wide array of value-added privileges.

Standard Chartered's VISA card was launched in December 1996 and is available both as a Gold and a Classic card. Standard Chartered's MasterCard was launched in August 1999 and is currently available as a Classic card only.

Union Texas Pakistan renames as BP Pakistan

Union Texas Pakistan Inc., Pakistan's leading oil and gas producing company has announced that it has changed its corporate name to "BP Pakistan Exploration and Production, Inc." in view of its merger with worldwide BP AMOCO Group. All of its corporate particulars such as its office address, phone numbers, office bearers, place of incorporation, management etc. would remain the same. BP Pakistan has petroleum operations in the Badin area of Sindh and offices in Karachi and Islamabad.

Managerial grid seminar

The Management Association of Pakistan has greatly contributed to the growth of managerial talent in Pakistan and its success in the training and development field is unmatched.

This was stated by Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh the other day. He was the Chief Guest at the certificate distribution ceremony of the 5-day Managerial Grid Seminar organized by MAP.

He said that short training courses, like that one, organized by MAP play an important role in improving managerial skills. He advised the participants to practise, what has been taught, in their day to day life.

Earlier, President MAP Mr. Moin M Fudda welcoming the Chief Guest said that MAP always has been on the fore-front in grooming managerial talent through its training courses, seminar and conventions. So far MAP has organized more than 900 seminars and training courses as well as 8 management conventions. These programmes have benefited about 25000 professional managers and entrepreneurs, he said.

Syed Masoud Ali Naqvi, Vice President and Chairman of Programme Subcommittee while thanking the Chief Guest and participants briefly touched upon MAP's programme policy and highlighted future plan of MAP. He urged MAP members to nominate their employees to MAP's seminars and training courses for getting greater benefits of these programmes. Later the Chief Guest gave away certificates to the successful participants of the seminar.

It is worthy to mention here that MAP have had the association of a number of well known persons in Pakistan in the Government as well as in private sector for example, Mr. Abdur Razzak Dawood and Mr. Altaf Saleem have been Chairman of its Advisor Board at Lahore, Mr. Javed Jabbar has been its member of long-standing. During the current year, a number of well known persons like Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh. Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali, Syeda Abida Hussain and Kunwar Idrees and institutions like State Bank of Pakistan and British Deputy High Commission in Pakistan have joined MAP as members.

Case against Hubco withdrawn

The government last Wednesday withdrew a criminal case against Hubco.

This case against Hubco was lodged during the Nawaz Sharif government (1997-1999), accusing the company of making an amendment in the power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), in connivance with the top government hierarchy.

In the absence of a finding in the investigations warranting initiation or continuation of charges or cases on account of corruption and corrupt practices the GOP and Wapda agreed to withdraw all such charges and cases.

"We are all relieved that these allegations have been removed", said a company spokesman. "This is a good day for the government and Hubco, and positive action, which will help improve the investor climate in the country," he said.

FedEx / Gerry's facilitate in Exhibit USA 2001

FedEx Express/Gerry's International were involved in the arranging of the "Exhibit USA 2001" exhibition, held on April 24th and 25th, 2001, at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Lahore.

Organized by The United States Commercial Service, American Embassy, Islamabad, "Exhibit USA 2001" was an event whereby exclusively United States companies were showcasing their products and services to the general public. Being held in Lahore, the second largest commercial center of Pakistan, this event was an excellent crossroad for increasing awareness and encouraging potential businesses.

"Exhibit USA 2001" was inaugurated by Governor Punjab, Lt. General (Retd.) Muhammad Safdar, along with Mr. William B. Milam, Ambassador of the United States of America and Mr. Sheldon Rappoport, Principal Official of the United States Consulate.

At the inauguration, Mr. Milam said, "Similar events in the past have reaped positive results in terms of attracting serious business visitors and "Exhibit USA 2001" is an excellent platform for exchanging of business ideas"