Nov 19 - 25, 2001
Pakistan likely to suffer $2 billion loss
The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) chairman Tariq
Ikram on Tuesday said that the country was likely to suffer up to $2
billion losses on account of post-Sept 11 adverse developments which
are taking heavy toll.
Addressing the members of All Pakistan Textile
Mills Association at the Aptma House, the EPB chief brushed aside the
general notion that these developments would result in economic
bonanza for the country.
"I would say that economic concessions being
given by the Western world to Pakistan may only be sufficient to cover
our losses sustained in post-Sept 11 situation and in no way would be
a bonanza," he stressed.
Tariq Ikram admitted that a mistake had been
committed at the official level for projecting that 'business as
usual' was going on in Pakistan during post-Sept 11 incident.
He said this sent a wrong message to the US
government which made its decisions on merit based on ground
realities. But the country is likely to suffer up to $2bn on account
of various negative developments which surfaced after September 11.
"Though our share in total US trade volume is
of very negligible amount but still it matters a lot when it comes to
textiles which is a main stay of our economy and contributes over 60
per cent in exports," he added.
Consequently, a one per cent fall in textile
exports in October, he said, was enough to alarm "us even if
entire exports have registered two per cent growth over the last
He said only time would tell how much impact would
be on total exports of the orders received or cancelled during Sept to
Nov, but the least one could do was keep trying to match the pace of
exports with those of last year.
The EPB chief said in the post-Sept 11 there had
been a dip in consumers' buying and spending which was one of the
factors for lower demand from the West.
UN okays plan for broad-based Afghan govt
The UN Security Council on Wednesday approved a UN
plan to establish a "broad-based, multi-ethnic, and fully
representative" government in Afghanistan following the fall of Taliban.
The resolution adopted with a vote of 15-0
reaffirmed that the UN should play a "central role" in
supporting attempts of the Afghan people to establish a new
transitional administration and government.
It also asked the council to give its full support
for the efforts of UN secretary-general Kofi Annan's special
representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, in leading such
Musharraf emphasizes liaison with Iran
Iran and Pakistan agreed on Thursday to immediately
hold foreign ministers' level talks to discuss the situation in
The understanding was reached at meetings held
between the interior ministers of both the countries over the past two
days. The Iranian foreign minister is likely to visit Pakistan for
holding the talks, an announcement said.
Iranian Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi-Lari
also called on President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Thursday.
The President at the meeting said that Pakistan and
Iran must work in close coordination for bringing durable peace and
stability to Afghanistan, said a press release.
On Pakistan-Iran relations, the President said that
both the countries enjoyed cordial, brotherly and close relations
based on mutual interest. He called for further strengthening of the
$131m UNDP loan for 24 projects
The United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) on
Thursday committed $131 million for 24 new and on-going projects in
The amount is almost twice than the existing UNDP
commitment, UNDP assistant administrator Dr Hafeez Pasha announced at
He said out of 24 projects, some 13 were new and 11
were on-going. Disbursement shall be over the next three years.
The total project outlay for the entire portfolio
is $166.22 million. After the commitment of $131 million, the funding
gap remains $35.22 million, which shall be bridged through other
donors, including bilateral and multilateral agencies, the official
Norway doubles annual assistance
Norway has doubled its annual assistance programme
to Pakistan from Norwegian Kronnas 33 million to 66 million.
This was disclosed by Ms Hilde Frafjord Johnson,
minister for international development of Norway in a meeting with
Shaukat Aziz, minister for finance on Wednesday.
Musharraf vows to check influence of extremists
President Gen Pervez Musharraf has said that a tiny
minority of "unenlightened, obscurantist and
backward-looking" religious extremists will not be allowed to
hold Pakistan back from becoming the most powerful moderate Islamic
country in the world.
"We are a people of 140 million people. We are
a nuclear power. If our economy is stabilized, we will become the most
powerful moderate Islamic country," President Musharraf told a
news conference on Monday.
No fund for cane research
No fund has been provided for research and
development of sugarcane despite repeated assurances by the federal
government to allocate 15 per cent of the total sugarcane cess
collection for this purpose.
According to an estimate, the collection of
sugarcane development cess on annual basis comes to Rs367.6 million,
which is charged at varying rates in all the three sugarcane producing
provinces Sindh, Punjab and NWFP.
OPIC investment linked with tax exemption
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
of the United States has agreed to bring in Pakistan major investment
in the insurance and debt equity sectors, but in turn demanded blanket
The US and Pakistan governments have in principle
agreed to enter into 'Investment Incentive Agreement' (IIA) to boost
American investment in the country, a high official in the commerce