July 23 -
Australia offers to invest $1 bn
Australia has offered to invest $1 billion for
development and commercial exploitation of copper deposits near
Saindak in Balochistan.
Cabinet sources told that BHP, a petroleum and
mineral exploration company of Australia, "has shown interest in
developing Rekodek copper deposits near Saindak" in Chaghi
President Gen Pervez Musharraf had told the cabinet
recently that Rekodek deposits would produce 40,000 tons of copper
The Australian company had earlier done exploratory
work in the area, partly in consultation with the Balochistan
government, the sources said.
The area is adjacent to Saindak copper-gold project
that was given, under a lease agreement, to a Chinese company during
Prime Minister Zhu Rongji's visit to Islamabad in May this year.
The Australian company believes, say the sources,
that the Saindak agreement has created a tilt towards China in
mineral-rich Balochistan that could lead to its disadvantage and
China's monopoly over precious natural zones.
The sources said that foreign companies, mainly the
Australian and Chinese mining firms, were competing with each other in
getting hold of Balochistan's vast mineral deposits of copper, gold
and other precious metals.
A number of multinational companies are currently
engaged in examining prospects of exploration and developments of
precious and base metals in Pakistan, particularly Balochistan. BHP,
Lake Resources and Pasminco of Australia, Ornamore of Ireland and
Minorco of Holland have spent around $29 million on mineral
The foreign direct investment in the mineral and
quarrying sector peaked at 26 per cent in 2000-01 as against 13.6 per
cent in the previous year. Pasminco is busy exploring lead and zinc in
Steps to attract investment
Various steps to attract foreign investment to the
province came under discussion at a meeting between Provincial
Industries Minister Dewan Mohammed Yousuf Farooqui and Chairman Board
of Investment Waseem Haqqi on Tuesday.
Dewan Yousuf said the steps taken by the Sindh
government, especially the setting up of Provincial Committee on
Investment and Privatization Commission, are aimed at attracting
He said that Nooriabad and Nawabshah Industrial
Estates have been upgraded and provided water, gas and other
infrastructure facilities. He said that new industrial units have been
set up in Nooriabad and Nawabshah industrial estates and more were in
the pipeline for the next year.
IT revolution in five years
Speakers at a talk show on 'e-talk 2001' were
divided over 'IT revolution in Pakistan', as some predicted slight
chances, while others forecast at least five years.
Around a dozen IT specialists including software
exporters, internet service providers, head of government task force
on e- commerce and marketing chiefs, participated in the talk show:
"e- business: will IT be imperative to economic fate",
organized by Iqra University in collaboration with Sindh IT Board on
The compere of the show also sought the opinion of
students and audience over the chances of an IT revolution in the
country, but hardly 10 students showed their support. However, many
students were highly concerned about their future job prospects in the
IT sector, and they asked various queries from the speakers on this
sensitive issue, but speakers could not give cogent and satisfactory
G8 group backs talks resumption
Foreign ministers from the world's most powerful
nations welcomed on Thursday the Pakistan-India summit and expressed
hope that dialogue would continue between the two countries.
"We welcome the Agra Summit between India and
Pakistan and strongly support their intention to continue the
high-level dialogue in order to make progress on their
relationship," the ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized
nations said in a statement.
"We call on both countries to continue their
policy of restraint and call on them to refrain from any action which
could adversely affect their relations and regional stability,"
the statement said.
EU wants dialogue to continue
European Union governments on Thursday called for
continuing contacts between India and Pakistan, saying the
normalization of relations between the world's two newest nuclear
powers was vital for world peace and stability.
In a statement welcoming the resumption of an
India-Pakistan dialogue at the highest level, the 15 EU governments
said it was crucial that Delhi and Islamabad continued to build
goodwill generated by the summit talks in Agra between the Indian
Prime Minister and the Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.
PIA seeks loan
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), suffering
severe financial woes, said on Tuesday it was negotiating with a
consortium of state-run banks for a bridging loan of Rs6 billion
ADB offers $150m facility
The Asian Development Bank is offering a facility
of $150 million political risk guarantee for the Pakistani importers
for confirmation of their letters of credits for imports that are
required for export production.
UK firm to acquire CGU business
Old Mutual plc, a London-based listed financial
services company, has struck a deal with CGU International Insurance
plc (CGU) to acquire all its existing business in Pakistan, including
the 51 per cent stake in the listed Commercial Union Life Assurance
Company (Pakistan) Limited.
A separate public company would be incorporated in
Pakistan, with Old Mutual (OML) as its principal shareholder, which
would take over the assets and liabilities of Commercial Union's
general business operations.