Feb 05 -
Pakistan, Saudi Arabia agree to boost trade
The sixth Pak-Saudi Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC)
has stressed on improving the role of private sector in enhancing the
trade relations between the two countries.
The JMC ended its meeting on Wednesday on a
positive note stressing the need and the desire of both the countries
to bring their economic relations at par with the excellent political
relations between the two states.
It decided to intensify their economic relations
and take special measures to strengthen this relationship.
Pakistan Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz and Saudi
Commerce Minister Osama Jaffer Faqeeh, later signed the minutes of the
At the end of the JMC, it was announced that
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to renew the existing agreement
on protection and promotion of investments in each of the two states.
Emphasis was also laid on more regular visits by private sector
entrepreneurs of the two states. In this regard, the Saudi authorities
agreed to look at the problems of the Pakistani businessmen in
obtaining visas for Saudi Arabia. It was also decided to give a
greater and more enhanced role to the Pak-Saudi Joint Business
Council, which was established last year in the private sector.
The JMC decided to explore possibilities of further
cooperation in a number of fields, including investments in petroleum,
gas and other related energy sectors, food and agro-based industry,
banking, information technology, cement industry, textile goods and
readymade garments, leather industry and fertilizer.
The possibilities presented by the ongoing process
of privatization in both the states also came under review. Already 26
joint venture projects exist between the two countries.
After the initial session, the JMC was divided into
four sub-committees on commerce and investment, science and
technology, education and culture and a separate panel of businessmen
to promote interaction between private sector of the two states.
US rejects request
The United States has rejected Pakistan's request
for revising or modifying F-16 payment settlement agreement saying it
is too late to accommodate such a request, official sources told.
Under the agreement signed in September 2000, the
United States had agreed to return Pakistan's $140 million, which
Islamabad had deposited a decade ago for the purchase of F-16 fighter
planes that were never delivered.
Washington forcibly deducted $60 million from this
money for 300,000 tons of wheat which it had earlier provided to
Pakistan as aid.
It asked Pakistan to buy soya bean oil and oilseed
for the remaining $80 million and that too at exorbitant rates.
Islamabad had recently asked the United States to
allow it to import wheat instead of 165,000 tons of soya bean seed and
50,000 metric tons of oil as their import will hurt the local oilseed
Flight to carry aid to Iraq
A special goodwill-cum-humanitarian flight carrying
Rs10 million consignment of medicines, medical supplies and surgical
instruments, as a gift for the people of Iraq from the people of
Pakistan, departed on Friday (Feb 2) for Baghdad on a brief visit.
Health Minister Dr Abdul Malik Kasi led the
25-member delegation which includes doctors and paramedics, officials,
representatives of media and NGOs.
"The delegation is going to Baghdad on the
request of the Iraqi embassy in Islamabad," official sources
While in Baghdad, the team of doctors will also
assess the future requirements of medicines.
Pakistan sends more aid
Pakistan sent relief assistance for the third
consecutive day for the quake-affected people of Gujarat in India,
officials said on Thursday. A Pakistan air force C-130 plane loaded
with 200 tents and 2,500 blankets left for Ahmedabad in the morning.
Audit of companies
Companies with a paid-up capital of less than Rs3
million but having turnover and total assets exceeding Rs21 million
will be required to have their accounts "audited by a Chartered
Accountant as defined in the Chartered Accountants Ordinance,
RECP, CEC merge into TCP
The long awaited merger of Rice Export Corporation
of Pakistan (RECP) and Cotton Export Corporation (CEC) into Trading
Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) has taken place.
A senior official of the trading corporation said
on Thursday that after the permission of Sindh High Court through its
order of January 19, 2001, the rice export and cotton export
corporation now stood amalgamated with the trading corporation.
Romania's 11-member delegation of businessmen, led
by President of the Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, George
Cojocaru, will arrive in Karachi on February 5 on a six day visit to
Pakistan. During stay in Pakistan, the delegation will also visit
Islamabad and Lahore.
Incentive package for 9 sectors
The federal government on Tuesday announced a
10-year package for promoting exports of more than 300 products in
nine major sectors by allowing duty exemption from import of
machinery, if the manufacturers achieve 40 per cent value addition and
export 50 per cent of the total production.
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Prof
Atta-ur-Rehman Tuesday asked IBM to join hands with the government in
setting up of a virtual university for the spread of IT education in
He was addressing an IBM ACE event in connection
with IT education in Pakistan.
The minister said virtual university will broadcast
its programmes from television and, tuition centres will be set up
throughout the country.