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Aug 27 - Sep 02 , 2001

Malaysia to set up meat processing plant in EPZ

Malaysia will set up a processing plant in export processing zone (EPZ) to export meat from Pakistan, besides a palm oil processing plant for quality oil production for local consumption.

A 16-high level Malaysian delegation led by deputy chief minister of Penagn state, Dr. Hilmi Bin Haji Yahya is currently here for talks on the establishment of joint ventures in the field of tourism, gems and jewellry processing and deep sea fishing. Pakistani authorities were told that Malaysia was interested in setting up an edible oil plant so that raw material was processed within two days after the arrival of raw material from Malaysia.

The transportation of edible oil by sea from Malaysia to Pakistan was currently taking around 8 weeks, which makes it difficult to maintain the quality of edible oil. Hilmi said that setting up of processing plant here would ensure quality edible oil.

The visiting delegation also intends to set up a hallal meat processing plant in EPZ for the export of meat to Saudi Arabia and other regional countries. During a meeting at the board of investment, the delegation leader emphasized that Tuna fish, available in abundance in Pakistan, could be exported to Japan after processing.

The Malaysian deputy chief minister suggested that Pakistan should shift labour force from agriculture to manufacturing sector. The annual exports from Pakistan to Malaysia stand in the region of $200 million against imports of around $700 million imports. To improve this trade imbalance, Malaysia offered to arrange a Pakistani fair in Malaysia in November this year to introduce and create awareness about Pakistani goods in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Dr. Hilmi said that given the high labour cost in his country as compared to Pakistan great scope exists for joint ventures in various labour intensive areas. Chairman BoI Waseem Haqqi said that last year visit of the Pakistani president and commerce minister to Malaysia has promoted the trade and economic ties between the two countries. He said that Renan group of Malaysia has invited Pakistani businessmen for discussion to expand cooperation and the trade links in different areas.

French co enters into joint venture

A leading textile company of France has entered into a joint venture with a Pakistani company to manufacture bedwears and other textile made-ups under its brand name established in Europe for over a century, official sources said on Thursday.

The sources said that Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz is going to launch the new company at a ceremony being held in the first week of next month. This will be the first direct foreign investment in textile industry as the French company has agreed to transfer technology and bring latest plant and machinery to Pakistan.

The French company, established in 1867, is one of the largest European companies involved in production of bedwears. Under the agreement, the French company will also allow existing European markets to access the newly established company under Pakistan-France joint venture.

New strategies

Minister for petroleum and natural resources Usman Aminuddin on Wednesday underlined the need to develop new strategies with innovative technologies in order to jack up success rate in the oil and gas exploration in Pakistan.

Exploration licence granted

The government on Wednesday granted a petroleum exploration licence to the Joint Venture of Polish Oil & Gas Company (95 per cent) and Government Holdings (Pvt) Limited, (5 per cent) over Block No 2869-10 (Sabzal South).

Plan to drill 100 wells yearly

Petroleum minister Usman Aminuddin on Tuesday said the government had chalked out a comprehensive plan to drill up to 100 wells a year to bridge the yawning gap between supply and demand for oil and gas using state-of-the-art technology.

The demand for oil in the country is expected to grow from the present 19 million tons per year to about 27 million tons by 2010.

"If there are no significant discoveries, most of it will have to be imported for economic development, causing a major drain on our limited foreign exchange resources," he told experts at an oil and gas conference.

The minister said natural gas demand is expected to double from 2.4 billion cubic feet now to 5 billion cubic feet by 2010. He indicated a shortfall of supply ranging between 0.5 to 1 billion cubic feet per day, "if the supply does not keep pace with the demand."

Musharraf launches RBOD project

President Gen Pervez Musharraf said on Monday that the government was giving priority to those areas where poor people were living and which had never figured in previous governments' development plans. He was speaking at a gathering of Nazims, Naib Nazims and councillors held at the Karampur village after the ground-breaking of the Right Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD) project. Earlier, the president arrived at the village in taluka Sehwan Sharif and performed the ground-breaking of the project.

Work on Makran Highway begins

President Gen Pervez Musharraf has said that the government has given priority to development of this backward area and will connect it with other parts of the country through road and railways links. He was speaking on the occasion of ground-breaking ceremony of the Makran Coastal Highway Project phase-II (Gwadar-Pasni section) on Friday.

Project for additional gas supply

The Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGC) is implementing a project at a cost of Rs4.63 billion that will add an additional 350 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of gas to its supply by the year 2002-03.

The project is part of an overall programme of the present government to develop the downstream gas sector, official sources told APP on Saturday. The additional gas will be utilized to meet the requirement of power generation plants, replacing imported furnace oil, and other consumer sectors.