Aug 20 -
26 , 2001
FCAs won't be frozen, assures President
Urging exporters to bring their foreign exchange
earnings back to the country and honestly declare them to the central
bank, President Gen Pervez Musharraf has reassured them that the
foreign currency accounts (FCAs) will never be frozen in future.
The President was speaking at the inauguration of a
software technology park at the Aiwan-i-Iqbal on Thursday morning. He
said the government would provide all facilities to the software
exporters and support their endeavours to increase their exports.
He said the government had already announced
several incentives for the software exporters so that they could push
up their exports to $1 billion in the shortest possible time. He said
Pakistan had quality human resources and infrastructure whose full
potential needed to be exploited and exports increased. He said the
promotion of information technology (IT) and the economic recovery of
the country were two top priorities of his government. He said major
initiatives had been taken to expand computer literacy, develop human
resources and make the facility of Internet available to all people
throughout the country.
He was of the view that IT could be exploited to
alleviate poverty in the rural areas where 60 to 70 per cent of the
country's population resided and to create jobs for the educated
unemployed in the urban areas. He said his administration had already
embarked upon an e- government programme to make the public sector
more efficient and transparent. He said software parks were being set
up to promote software exports. One such park, he said, had already
been established in Islamabad. He said the private sector would also
be supported in its efforts to set up such parks.
The President expressed the hope that the
government's efforts for the development of the IT sector would
integrate well with its devolution of power scheme. He directed the
Nazim of the Lahore City District to make efforts for making the city
a hub of IT.
Saudi-POF joint venture starts production
Production at the first joint venture in defence
production between Pakistan Ordnance Factories and Saudi Arabia has
started at Alkharge facility in the Saudi Kingdom, where arms and
ammunition of different types, including 7.62 calibre machine-guns and
G-3 rifles are being manufactured.
More such joint ventures will be established in a
number of Middle East countries as many of them have expressed
willingness to enter into similar arrangement with the POF, as it was
well-equipped to undertake joint ventures in defence production
POF, with 14 production units, has made its place
in the international market and exporting arms and ammunition to
countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. The units are Weapons Factory,
Small Arms Ammunition Factory, Artillery Ammunition Factory, Tank and
Anti-Tank Ammunition Factories, Heavy Artillery Ammunition Factory,
12.7mm AA Gun Factory, Brass Mills Factory, Clothing Factory, three
Chemical Factories, Explosives Factory, Propellants Factory, Filling
Factory, two Metallurgy Factories, Tungsten Carbide Factory and
Tungsten Alloy Factory.
US adopts delaying tactics
The US government has adopted delaying tactics for
lifting of quota restrictions imposed two years back on import of
combed cotton yarn from Pakistan. Although the Textile Monitoring Body
(TMB) twice gave its decision in favour of Pakistan, the US government
did not pay any heed.
The TMB directed the US government to rescind its
unilateral decision of quota restriction imposed on March 1999, but
the same was rejected without assigning any reason, sources close to
the ministry of commerce said. Having left with no choice the
government of Pakistan initiated proceedings with the Dispute
Settlement Body (DSB) requesting the WTO for the examination of the
Even the DSB of WTO earlier this year gave its
decision in favour of Pakistan but still the US government is adamant
to use all possible avenues which may assist in prolonging the
Textile businessmen want the State Bank of Pakistan
(SBP) to release them foreign exchange for setting up textile units in
Inspired by an advertisement recently released by
the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), many textile entrepreneurs are
eager to invest in Kenya to avail duty and quota free imports of
apparel into US from Kenya.
The prospective investors to Kenya have also sought
information from the SBP whether they could get the required foreign
exchange from official channels or 'Hundi.'The US government by virtue
of African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), has allowed duty and
quota free imports of apparel into US from Kenya as the first
beneficiary to this effect.
More than 100,000 persons may lose their jobs and
an investment of Rs20 billion by thousand of vendors may go waste
following the conclusion of an agreement by the government of Pakistan
with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on July 31, 2001.
Pine nuts export from Karachi at standstill
Exports of pine nut (Chilgoza) have come to a
standstill from Karachi as Land Customs Department holds up cargo
during transit within Pakistan. This was revealed by president Karachi
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Zubair Motiwala in a
He said traders and exporters buy this product from
the main markets of Bannu and D.I. Khan where growers of chilgoza from
Gilgit and other mountain regions of the country bring down this
commodity. He added that the Land Department has been holding the
cargo on the ground that it is not a Pakistani product and
pressurising the traders to give them bribes to release the cargo.
Pakistan exported pine nuts worth $17 million in 1999-2000.