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Apr 30 - May 06, 2001

Pakistan to seek investment in oil and gas sector

Pakistan is arranging two high-profile conferences in London and Houston (US) in June to seek investment in oil and gas sector, official sources told on Thursday.

The government is expected to announce its new energy policy and incentive-oriented onshore petroleum policy at these two events to attract foreign investment.

Official sources said that a new petroleum policy was being prepared in the light of incentives provided by emerging petroleum markets in the region like Bangladesh, India and Iran to compete with those countries.

The first two-day conference on "Pakistan's Oil and Gas Sector: Emerging Investment Opportunities" will be held in London on June 20 and 21, followed by another similar event on June 28 and 29 in Houston. This is part of Pakistan's four-pronged strategy for attracting foreign investment and for economic growth in the areas of oil and gas, information technology and agriculture.

According to the chairman of Board of Investment (BOI), Wasim Haqqie, Pakistan has so far secured investment commitments worth $1.7 billion during the current fiscal year.

In the oil and gas sector, Pakistan plans to attract foreign investors through privatisation of state-owned enterprises, besides fresh investment in the upstream and downstream petroleum activities.

A number of multinationals and financial institutions from the UK, US, Canada, Russia and Mexico, including heads of Lasmo Oil, Gazprom, Gaffney Cline Associates, Wood Mackenzie, British Petroleum, Merill Lynch, Orient Petroleum Inc, Chase Infrastructure, Citibank, OMV of Austria, Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation, Ocean Energy, Occidental Energy, ABN Amro and Marathon Oil, besides a some other multinational petroleum companies are expected to participate in the conferences.

Chief Executive calls for stronger defence ties with Iran

Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf said on Thursday that Islamabad wanted stronger ties with Iran in all fields and said there was good scope for increasing military co-operation between the two countries.

The chief executive was talking to Dr Hassan Rouhani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council and National Security Adviser to the President, who called on him on Thursday.

The chief executive also underscored the need for greater economic co-operation between Pakistan and Iran and observed that the volume of trade between the two countries was far below its potential and needed to be substantially increased, says an official statement.

Referring to the traditionally close relations that have existed between Pakistan and Iran, the chief executive told Dr Rouhani that Pakistan sincerely desired to further strengthen these ties with Iran in all fields.

Gas supply agreement

The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has asked the petroleum ministry to extend gas supply agreement of $380 million Liberty Power Project from 15 years to 25 years.

WAPDA sources told that there was a serious inconsistency between the two agreements signed by Malaysian Liberty Power Project (LPP) with WAPDA and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL). Situated at Dharki, in Ghotki district of Sindh, the 235mw LPP is required under the power purchase agreement to supply electricity to WAPDA for 25 years. The implementation agreement signed by the federal government with the company also supplemented this agreement.

Install power generators

Frequent power breakdowns in city have forced a large number of industrial units to make arrangements for their own electricity generation system, instead of depending on Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC).

According to industrialists, despite a phenomenal hike in generators' prices almost all the export-oriented units in city's main industrial areas have installed power generating units completely, to avoid production losses and meet export commitments on time.

Rice team for Manila to explore markets

A six-member rice delegation led by the Chairman Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP), Syed Masood Alam Rizvi is leaving on Wednesday for Manila on an official visit.

Single day visit is taking place on the invitation of National Food Authority (NFA), Philippines and is arranged by the Pakistani envoy to Manila.

During their stay, the team will explore and look into prospects of entering Philippines rice market, which hitherto remained out of reach for Pakistan.

Expo centre

Punjab Governor, Lt-Gen (rtd) Muhammad Safdar Tuesday said that the government was planning to establish an International Expo Centre in Lahore to display Pakistani products.

"We are co-ordinating with the ministry of commerce and industry in this regard," he said while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the two-day Exhibit USA-2001 at a local hotel.

Memon convention

The first international convention of the Memon Community will be held in Dubai on April 28 and 29 to discuss the future of the community.

The two-day event, entitled Memon International Convention 2001, at Hotel Le Meridien near Dubai International Airport, will be attended by around 200 delegates mainly from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Southern Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and the UAE.

PC puts PTCL on auction block

Privatization Commission on Saturday launched the process of selling 26 per cent management stakes of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) to strategic investor.

Expression of interests (EoIs) from prospective buyers will be invited through advertisements in local and international media, within next few days. The last date for submitting EoIs is June 30, 2001, Secretary Privatization Commission Zafar Ali Khan told a press conference on Saturday. Chairman PTCL Akhter Bajwa was also present.