Dec 03 - 09, 2001
PBBF — emerging challenges
The Pakistan - Belgium Business Forum (PBBF) in
association with Pakistan Italy Business Forum (PIBF) and Pakistan
German Business Forum (PGBF) recently organized a talk on PAKISTAN -
EMERGING CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES at Karachi Marriott Hotel.
The speakers were Mr. Aziz Memon, Chairman, Kings
Group of Companies, Mr. Sultan Ahmed, Contributing Editor, DAWN and
Mr. Mahdi Masud, Ambassador (Retired). The aim of the talk was to
derive a clearer understanding of Pakistan's prospects in the post
September 11th world by bringing together the expertise of three
different speakers, each with a unique forte viz commerce, economics
Mr. Aziz Memon informed the audience of the recent
negotiations with the United States and European Union for greater
market access and clarified that it was not restricted to textile
products only but also to Information Technology, Leather Goods, etc.
He opined that the prospects for Pakistan's exports to Western markets
were bright but cautioned that Pakistani manufacturers would have to
invest a lot and play by WTO rules to avail there benefits.
Mr. Sultan Ahmed explained that the substantial
pledges of aid and assistance would still need structural reforms of
our economy and some Western Governments would even expect matching
investment by the Pakistani Government. He stated that the advantages
for Pakistan would be of a medium term nature and the fiscal space
gained would have to be utilised judiciously in order to have any
impact. He also cautioned that continuation of the current favourable
Western dispensation towards Pakistan would depend upon our future
handing of the Kashmir issue.
Mr. Mahdi Masud opined that the decision by the
Pakistan government to join the international coalition against
terrorism was justified both on grounds of principles and national
interests. The wheel of global events presented Pakistan with an
unexpected opportunity of ending its near isolation in the
international community and of significantly improving its economic
prospects through lifting of sanctions and new aid commitments.
He went on to say it is unlikely that the Western
powers would turn their backs on the economic pledges made which
Pakistan must avail to embark on the path of economic and social
development and good governance.
The event was well attended by local and foreign
businessmen and diplomats including Mr. Razak H.M. Bengali, President,
Pakistan German Business Forum, Mr. Saeed Ahmad, President, Pakistan
Italy Business Forum, Mr. Giorgio Biscari, Deputy Chief of Mission of
Consulate General of Italy along with its Trade Commissioner Dr.Emilio
De Matteis and Commercial Attache Mr.Ugo Falciola.
In keeping with the occasion of Belgian's King's
Day a commemorative cake was cut jointly by Mr. Mahdi Masud, Former
Pakistani Ambassador to Belgium, Mr. Mohammed A Rajpar, President,
Pakistan - Belgium Business Forum and Mr. Takreem ul Haque, Hon. Vice
Consul of Belgium in Karachi.
Xenith PR goes online
Xenith Public Relations (Pvt.) Ltd., announces the
launch of its official website www.xenithpr.com.
The comprehensive website contains various
categories that include what Public Relations is all about;
Communications Counseling, Government Relations, Technology
Promotions, Online Application Center, etc.
The website also provides details of the unrivaled
Media Training Service offered by Xenith PR which includes training of
CEOs and top tier management on how to be an effective spokespersons
for their organizations.
Karachi Sheraton Appoints New Director Of Food
Mr. Vincent Rodrigues has recently been appointed
as the new Director of Food & Beverage at the Karachi Sheraton
Hotel & Towers and will now be directly responsible for
maintaining the efficient service of Food & Beverages in Karachi
Sheraton's upscale Gourmet Shop and its popular restaurants, namely
Spices, La Mamma, Al-Bustan, The Pakistani and Fanoos. In his capacity
as the Director of Food & Beverage, Mr. Rodrigues will be
overseeing all the hotel's sought after catering services and be
responsible for the smooth operations and communications between the
restaurants, banquet operations and outside catering.
Zia Ul Qadir, Country Sales Manager-Gerry's
Softlogic (Pvt) Ltd., Distributor of Dell Computers in Pakistan.
After acquiring basic academic education from St.
Patrick's School, Karachi Zia Ul Qadir graduated in Electrical
Engineering in 1965. He joined IBM Pakistan in 1966 in the Service
Bureau Operations. He lead a team of Systems Analyst / Programmer on
1401 Computer System, providing computerized data processing services
During his tenure of 33l/2 years with IBM initially
Zia Ul Qadir worked as Marketing Executive. For achieving the yearly
sales quota he was awarded by IBM 14 x 100% Clubs and a Golden Circle.
Besides, he held Management positions as Personal & Communications
Manager, Programs Manager & Business Partner Manager and Direct
In 1998 Zia opted for Golden Handshake offer from
IBM and retired on June 30, 1999. On July 01, 1999 he joined Gerry's
Softlogic - The Dell Distributor for Asia Pacific in Pakistan.
Zia Ul Qadir organized, inducted and trained the
Sales teams in Gerry's Softlogic with Sales & Support offices in
Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Today Gerry's Softlogic is the leading
Dell Distributor in Asia Pacific region and has won the Dell's Sales
Trophy for the year ending June 2001.
Pakistan France Business Alliance (PFBA), sole
representative forum of eminent Pakistani businessmen engaged in
promoting bilateral economic relations between France and Pakistan,
organized a seminar on "Post September 11 Scenario —
Repercussions On Pakistan's Economy" with Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh,
Minister for Finance, Planning and Development, Government of Sindh,
as the chief guest and keynote speaker and Mr. Gilles Bonnaud, Consul
General of France in Karachi as the guest of honour.
Mr. Naveed A. Khan, President PFBA also the
Honorary Consul General of Iceland in Karachi and Chairman Delta
Shipping delivered the welcome address, introduced the distinguished
speaker, and highlighted the aims, activities and performance of the
PFBA during the last eleven years.
Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh in his keynote address
delved deeply into the negative impact of the September 11 attack on
Pakistan's fragile economy. In this regard, he underlined the decline
in exports, expected shortfall in revenue collection, sharp rise in
the cost of doing business in Pakistan due to war risk insurance and
the sagging confidence of foreign and domestic investors. He lauded
the efforts of the international community and the international
monetary institutions who were striving hard to offset the negative
effects by granting substantial financial aid and rescheduling
existing loans. However, he said, the daunting challenges our economy
faced could only be met by putting our act together. Pakistan was one
of the biggest recipient of foreign aid but due to mismanagement in
the past we were unable to reinvigorate our economy. To jumpstart the
economy, he recommended adequate investments in our huge reservoir of
human resources, speedy privatization, ability to manufacture quality
goods and marketing them effectively, fair treatment to investors who
had already reposed trust in Pakistan. Above all, he emphasized the
need of good governance of the economy. According to him all these
confidence building measures would motivate foreign and local
entrepreneurs to invest massively in Pakistan and rejuvenate our
Suzuki Motorcycles Pakistan Limited has
successfully launched new "SD110 Flash" 4-stroke 110cc
Motorcycle. This 110cc motorcycle is the first of its kind designed
after careful considerations of engine performance, sleek design and
maximum fuel efficiency.
Suzuki SD110 Flash is a highly fuel-efficient
motorcycle with maximum torque and power than any other 4-stroke
motorcycle available in Pakistan. The distinct features of SD110 Flash
are totally new and have given this motorcycle a sporty look. The
accessories fitted onto the new SD110 Flash are Aluminum alloy wheels,
Front disk brake, Front sporty telescopic shock absorbers and Head
HBL INAUGURATES CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT
The management of Habib Bank Limited announced the
setting up of a Central Processing Unit (CPU) at its Foreign Exchange
Branch, Karachi. The Unit's objective is to enhance and improve
service to our valued customers, create a center of excellence and
benefit from economies of scale.
In the initial phase processing of "Foreign
Trade Business" has been centralized at CPU and presently it is
handling advising of Export Letter of Credit and processing of Import
Export Letters of Credits are being advised to
exporters within 48 hours, anywhere in Pakistan. This represents a
marked improvement in this service to exporters and the Management of
the Bank feels that this should have a beneficial impact on processing
of export orders.
Similarly, applications for Import Letters of
Credit on receipt at branches are transmitted electronically to the
CPU on the same day. The CPU establishes the Letters of Credit and
advises by SWIFT the same day to the Bank overseas.
Habib Bank's over 100 branches in Pakistan are
licensed to deal in foreign exchange transaction i.e. Imports,
Exports, Foreign Remittances and Guarantees etc.
The CPU has been equipped with the latest equipment
and software with online connectivity to the designated branches
throughout the country. The staff in the CPU is specialized in
processing foreign trade business and is providing cost of effective
and efficient service to client.
In the next phase we intend to centralize
Guarantees and Global Test Keys at CPU and this process will continue
as technology enables us to take on more services.
President Habib Bank Limited Zakir Mahmood
inaugurating Central Processing Unit at Foreign Exchange Branch on
November 26, 2001
PSO announces 4th consecutive huge reduction in
fuel oil price
PSO has once again announced a huge reduction in
the selling price of its products, High Sulphur Furnace Oil (HSFO) and
Low Sulphur Furnace Oil (LSFO), being supplied ex-Zulfiqarabad Oil
Terminal and Keamari Terminal with effect from December 1, 2001.
The selling price of HSFO will now be Rs. 9,057 per
metric ton, which is Rs 712 per metric ton less than its previous
selling price of Rs. 9,769 per metric ton. In terms of percentage,
this is a decrease of 7.3%.
The selling price of LSFO is being reduced from Rs.
11,369 per metric ton to Rs. 10,703 per metric ton. This is a decrease
of Rs. 666 per metric ton.
In terms of percentage, the selling price of LSFO
has been reduced by 5.9 per cent. These reductions have been possible
due to a decrease in the Fuel Oil prices in the Arabian Gulf from
where this product is being procured and downward revision in the
Rupee/Dollar parity. PSO has very diligently passed on the benefit to
its customers. It may be recalled that this is the 4th consecutive
huge reduction in the selling price of HSFO/LSFO. The total reduction
in the price of HSFO since October 1, 2001, is Rs. 3,374 per metric
ton, which is 27.1% and that in LSFO is Rs. 4,281 per metric ton,
which is 28.6%.
MCB launches Islamic banking
Muslim Commercial Bank Limited — Corporate &
Islamic Banking Group, commenced its Islamic Banking Operations by
signing a Morabaha Facility Agreement with M/s. Usman Enterprises who
are engaged in Ship-breaking business. The Morabaha Facility was
extended subsequent to opening of Sight Letter of Credit for import of
a 57,376 Metric Tons Vessel, namely "AURIGA", beached at Gaddani.
The entire transaction which includes the opening
of L/C is Sharia Compliant and duly approved by the Sharia Advisors.
This transaction will serve as an initial step towards the bank's
vision of serving those clientele, who intend to avail Islamic Banking
facilities. MCB is focusing on development of Islamic Banking Products
as an alternative option to be made available to its clients. This is
on the pattern of Islamic Banking Model in Malaysia where Islamic
Banking Facilities are available alongwith conventional banking
facilities. MCB established its Islamic Banking Group in the year
2000. This group has been working on the development of various
Islamic products and its efforts have now resulted in this substantial
The Morabaha Agreement was signed at MCB Corporate
& Islamic Banking Group's office at Karachi, in the presence of
Mr. Mohammad Aftab Manzoor, President — MCB, by Mr. Muhammad Shoaib
Qureshi, Head of Corporate & Islamic Banking Group — MCB and Mr
Muhammad Ikhlaq, Partner — Usman Enterprises. Also present were Haji
Mohammad Farooq, Mr. Masood Pervez of Usman Enterprises, Dr. Muhammad
Zubair Usmani, Sharia Advisor and other senior team members of MCB.