Mar 11 - 17, 2002
SBP chief for more exports to eurozone
The State Bank Governor Dr Ishrat Husain warned
exporters on Thursday that too much focus on the US market even after
the launch of the euro might lower export growth in future.
"There is an inherent bias (in US favour)...our
exporters want to focus on the US market," he told a seminar on
Thursday. Export Promotion Bureau and Institute of Bankers Pakistan
had jointly arranged the seminar titled: "Single European
currency and its impact on Pakistan."
"You have to have a basket (of trade zones)
that includes the eurozone...the USA and Japan and also the developing
markets," he advised the exporters. He said Pakistan's exports to
the eurozone currently stands at 22 per cent down from 25 per cent in
early 90s adding that the US is the biggest export market for
Pakistani goods at the moment.
"If we are not able to increase our share in
the eurozone and the euro economy performs better than that of the US
in coming years than our exports (as a whole) would go down," the
governor said. He said he could not predict whether the US economy
would outperform the euro economy or the euro economy would do better
than the US in future but showed the exporters how world trade pattern
would change if the eurozone economic fundamentals might improve.
"My advice to the exporters is that we should not be caught by
surprise," said Dr. Husain meaning that they must keep on trying
to increase exports to the eurozone "even if there are some
Husain asked exporters to learn lesson from Korea
and Japan — the two nations whose exporters marketed their products
in the world markets in 1960s and 70s at prices cheaper than at home
"to penetrate into the world markets."
He said he was fully aware that penetrating into
the EU market is difficult for exporters at a time when euro has been
on the fall yet he urged them to increase their exports to eurozone as
part of export diversification strategy.
Gas sale pact signed with BHP
Pakistan on Wednesday signed a gas pricing
agreement with an Australian petroleum company for supply of up to 320
mmcfd of gas for 20 years.
Subsequently two separate gas sales and purchase
agreements were signed by Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL)
and Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL) with BHP-Billiton
Petroleum of Australia.
The agreement cover the supply of up to 320 mmcfd
of gas over the expected field life of 20 years, starting in 2003. The
core areas of the Zamzama field to be developed has estimated proven
and probable gross reserves of 1.7 trillion cubic feet (tcf).
The capital expenditure for commercialization of
gas resources would cost $100 million. BHP's share would be around $40
million. The joint venture partners Lasmo and Premier would sign the
gas pricing, gas sales and gas purchase agreement later.
Success of Saarc hinges on peace
President Gen Pervez Musharraf said on Thursday
that without achieving peace and harmony in the region no objective of
Saarc could be achieved. "Have we made any progress to achieve
peace and harmony in the region? The honest answer is No," he
Inaugurating the 2nd Saarc Information Ministers'
Conference, the president called upon the participants to use their
energies for removing various conflicts in the region with a view to
having certain, meaningful co-operation among the member states of the
South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation. "I am sorry to
say that there is restricted scope for co-operation ... and there is a
need to have the spirit of equality for the collective good of our
Nisar sworn in as information minister
Information Minister Nisar A. Memon said on Tuesday
that Pakistan and the well being of the people would be his
"We will strive to promote the cause of truth
and conviction and to effectively counter the propaganda carried out
by our enemy," he said talking to journalists after being sworn
in at the Aiwan-i-Sadr as the information and media development
minister. The oath was administered by President Gen Pervez Musharraf.
The Privatization Commission on Tuesday announced
April 19, 2002 as the last date for the submission of Statements of
Qualification (SoQs) for the privatization of Pakistan
Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL).
LCCI seeks incentives
Pakistan's exports have stagnated at the present
level due to heavy taxation with a few incentives for the exporters.
This was stated by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on
Tuesday while speaking to a delegation of NIPA.
The WAPDA chairman, Lt-Gen Zulfikar Ali Khan on
Tuesday announced special package for industrialists seeking
reconnection. The package offered to restore electricity after deposit
of outstanding dues in 12 equal soft instalments.
Addressing local businessmen he said that
Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO) and Gujranwala Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (GCCI) should constitute a committee to settle
all disputes at local level.
The defence officials of Pakistan and Thailand on
Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding for extending logistic
cooperation between the two countries, a Foreign Office official said.
IDBP to be corporatized
The government has decided to corporatize Pakistan
Industrial Development Bank (IDBP) to prepare it for privatization.
Badr-ud-din Khan, head of the bank, told that the Manila-based Asian
Development Bank has been approached by the government for assistance
to restructure the IDBP, and some positive discussions were held with
the visiting ADB officials. ADB officials have indicated that they
would support the bank's restructuring for privatization.