Jan-14 - 20, 2002
Egypt eyes oil, gas sector for investment
A leading Egyptian businessman said on Thursday
that trans-national projects like oil and gas pipelines could be very
interesting investment projects provided stability returned to the
But business opportunities could emerge only when
factors of tension in Afghanistan, Pak-India tension and Middle East
were removed, said Shafik Gabr, chairman and managing director of
Artoc group for investment and Development at a press conference after
holding a meeting with President General Pervez Musharraf.
In Pakistan, he said, economic environment had
improved recently and situation was stable both in terms of security
and policies. He said that it was his first exploratory visit to
Pakistan after being invited by President Gen Pervez Musharraf during
his last visit to Cairo, and that his visit would be followed by a
team of experts by mid of this year.
He said that Pakistan had a lot of potential but a
lot of work needed to be done for its integration with the world which
was very competitive at the moment. Pakistan had all the ingredients
to be competitive, he said, adding that Egypt had gone through all
this restructuring process.
He said his meetings with four ministers and
leading businessmen besides the president were very encouraging and
both sides discussed how Egypt and Pakistan could use their leverage
for economic and commercial relations.
He said his team identified three areas for
investment- oil and gas, infrastructure and trade both in terms of
direct investments through joint ventures and strategic investments
He said Pakistan could take advantage of Egypt
because it was gateway to Arab, Middle East and African regions
besides member of the 22-member African cooperation forum.
Pakistan allows trade in rupee
Pakistan has asked the interim authority in
Afghanistan to set up its embassy in Islamabad as soon as possible and
has allowed Pakistan-Afghanistan trade in Pakistani Rupee on advance
payment besides adding 18 exportable items.
But this is not a quid pro quo to the opening of
Pakistan embassy in Kabul and consulate in Jalalabad next week,
Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood told a news conference on
Pakistan has faced over $500 million worth of
export loss during first six months of the current fiscal year, he
said, and went to explain that total target for July-December 2001 was
$4.956 billion but it amounted to $4.449 billion due to Afghan crisis.
Similarly, during the month of December exports amounted to $714
million as against a target of $933 million.
Poverty due to failure of governance: ADB
The widespread poverty in Pakistan is due to the
failure of governance, believes country director of the Asian
Development Bank, M. Ali Shah.
In his detailed presentation at the National
Defence College on Monday, he said that the major causes of poverty in
Pakistan include (i) lack of employment opportunities, which in the
rural setting is caused by the absence of rural-urban linkages; (ii) a
slowdown in the pace of economic growth in the 1990s; and (iii) with
the burgeoning debt obligations, a decline in the public sector
Asia FDI conference next month
After a lapse of 42 years, the International
Chamber of Commerce (ICC) will hold its second regional foreign direct
investment (FDI) conference in Pakistan.
The ICC Asia Regional FDI conference, planned for
February 17-18, 2002 in Karachi, will be hosted by the Pakistan
National Committee (PNC) of ICC and, according to its organizers,
300-350 delegates, including 60-70 foreigners are expected to
NKC set up
President Gen Pervez Musharraf has constituted the
National Kashmir Committee (NKC) presided over by Azad Kashmir Muslim
Conference chief Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan.
The president will preside over the first meeting
of the committee on Jan 15.
Donors for Afghanistan to meet on 21st
More than 50 countries, almost all multilateral
donors, the United Nations, and Afghanistan's interim government, will
participate in the ministerial-level conference on the Reconstruction
of Afghanistan to be held on January 21 and 22 in Tokyo, its learnt
from UN officials.
Sources said that the conference is not intended to
be a "pledging" conference but to give a political message
to the people of Afghanistan and the world that the international
community was not backing away from the issues facing Afghanistan.
Duty relief for pharma raw material
The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has exempted
customs duty, an excess of 10 per cent ad valorem, on import of three
raw materials to be used in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical
CBR had already allowed import of maximum raw
materials and packing materials to be used in manufacturing of
medicines at 10 per cent ad valorem.
The raw materials to be exempted are: cefpodoxime,
sarafloxacin and spectinomycine base (as dihydro chloride pentahydrate).
Official sources said that the partial duty
exemption on the items had the recommendation of the health ministry.
Blair urges talks on Kashmir
British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Monday said
Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was willing to have
"meaningful" and "comprehensive" dialogue with
Pakistan exclusively on the basis of peaceful means.
"In the meantime I emphasised, to President
Musharraf as I did to Prime Minister Vajpayee, the desire of the UK
and the international community to see the current tensions
The government has sought details from the Sui
Southern Gas Company (SSGC) as to what role it can play in the gas
infrastructure and rehabilitation programmes in Afghanistan.