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 5. TRADE  6. GULF



Jan 21 - 27, 2002

640 units closed down in NWFP

One-third of the industrial units in NWFP have been closed down, whereas 60 per cent of the functional manufacturing units are operating below their capacity due to unfavourable investment climate over the years, according to official sources.

The province has a total number of 1970 industrial units including sugar, beverages, food processing, flour mills, ice and cold storages, cigarette, textile, leather, furniture, cement, steel furnace/rerolling, pharmaceutical, marble, match and several number of plastic manufacturing unit.

However, due to a variety of reasons over 640 units have been closed down whereas there are over 1000 (thousand) units which are operating below their operational capacity.

The closed down units, according to some official documents available, involve a collective investment of over Rs13.1bn out of a total investment of over Rs60bn made in the NWFP industrial sector since Pakistan came into being.

"NWFP is landlocked and is over a thousand miles away from the Karachi sea port. As it is highly dependent on the south for both of its inputs/raw material and markets, higher transportation costs make it difficult for the industries to compete," contained in an official document of the NWFP government.

Withdrawal of incentives previously available to the Gadoonamanzai industrial estate, over capitalization, inefficient management, absence of technical know-how, high production cost, shortage of raw material, depressed market, lack of working capital, drop in internal cash generation and poor cash management have been described, under the official documents, as some of the reasons for the closure of so many industrial units and below-the- capacity operations of a large number of industries.

Act sought for quality cotton production

The official drive to lead the country towards the complete production of contamination-free cotton seems to face cold response next year after the bitter experience of growers and ginners in Rahim Yar Khan district where the government initiated it this year with a lot of enthusiasm.

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma) had long been demanding strict enforcement of cotton control act to ensure the production of either complete contamination-free cotton or less-contaminated cotton.

Recently, a stalwart of Aptma Gohar Ijaz carried out a study that revealed the country is suffering a loss of $1,426 million every year in the export of cotton and its made-ups only due to contamination in raw cotton.

The break-up of the loss for the export of various stages of cotton products is as: Cotton, $308m; yarn, $252m; fabric, $215m; hosiery $255m; readymade garments & made-ups, $392m.

Pakistan ups oil storage capacity

Pakistan has increased its oil storage capacity to offset emergency demand should border tensions with India erupt into a war, an industry official said on Tuesday.

"We have increased the crude storage capacity to 20 days from the normal 15 days," the official at a state-run refinery told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"We have also raised the throughput to 80 per cent from the normal refinery capacity utilization of 70 per cent," he said. "It is being done under a contingency plan in view of the prevailing border tension."

Petroleum exploration licence

The federal government will award on Friday a concession agreement with Canadian Hydrocarbon Corporation (Scimitar) for petroleum exploration in Dera Ghazi Khan.

The concession licence would be granted to Scimitar, first of its business venture in Pakistan, for the exploration activities in Safed Koh.

Gas supply from miano delayed

Reference news published on page 2 in our Dec 31, 2001-Jan 6,2002 issue. The following clarification has been issued by OMV (Pakistan).

"The initial gas supply from Miano gas field has already commenced. OMV (Pakistan) Expatriates employees were evacuated in mid September, however, all these Expatriates had to return to Pakistan within 2 to 4 weeks of evacuation. Since then company is fully represented in Pakistan and all business operations are continuing. The Sawan Gas Field Development agreements were signed in mid November. Though the initial Gas supply from Miano has already commenced, however, the full capacity supply is expected to be delivered during January 2002. This change in schedule resulted from the reasons that services personnel from a USA based company were prevented from traveling to Pakistan. Also after September 11, air freight consignment of some essential equipment could not be brought into the country".

Dewan Farooque Motors

Dewan Farooque Motors the producers of Hyundai and KIA vehicles in Pakistan said the company planned to introduce KIA Sportage Wagon, powered by a two-litre turbo-charged inter-cooled diesel engine.

Inflation rises in six months

The Inflation rate based on sensitive price indicator (SPI), consumer price index (CPI) and wholesale price index (WPI) during the first six months of this fiscal surged by 2.1 per cent, 2.57 per cent and 3.03 per cent respectively in comparison to the same period last year.

Official figures released by Federal Bureau of Statistics, showed that the inflation during the July-December period of 2000-01 increased by 5.17 per cent, 4.91 per cent and 6.28 per cent over the corresponding span of 1999-2000.

Quarterly report on GDP

A quarterly report on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be compiled from next fiscal by the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) and would be available for policy-makers and the private sector to take decisions on updated economic data in a rapidly changing environment.

ICI seeking partner

ICI Pakistan is looking for a senior or junior partner for its PTA business, hit by one of the worst recessions in this line of business, says a top ICI official.

It could be a joint venture partner with equity holding of around 37 per cent at par with ICI Pakistan, or one or two partners acquiring majority stakes. The paid-up capital of the Pakistan PTA Ltd is Rs5 billion.