There is a growing concern among the developing
countries that the process of phasing out of apparel and textile quota
by developed nations is much slower than it was originally anticipated.
A message received from Geneva indicates that
representatives from developing countries Bangladesh, India, Indonesia,
Mexico and Pakistan — will take strong position and press upon the
European Union and the United States to speed up the phasing out process
of textile quota to meet the deadline of Dec 31, 2004.
This will be the first meeting where textile and
apparel industry leaders from the developed and developing nations will
sit face-to-face and try to remove each others apprehensions about trade
issues related to quota-free era beginning from the year 2005.
Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood, accompanied by
secretary commerce Mirza Qamar Baig, is expected to represent Pakistan
where textile industry leaders from over 25 countries will be attending
These negotiations will be taking place against the
backdrop of the on-going global trade talks among 144 World Trade
Organization member nations. The WTO member nations dealing in textile
and apparel trade are expected to discuss and negotiate issues such as
tariff reductions and quota phase out, and try to find "common
Director of economic affairs at Euratex, an alliance
of all of the national textile and apparel groups in the European Union,
Francesco Marchi was quoted to have said: "This is the first
meeting to allow everybody to exchange their real problems and threats.
It will not be easy but we hope that industries are less dogmatic than
governments and that some breakthrough will be realized or that at least
people leaving the conference will have the feeling of a better
understanding of each others' positions."
CARS, BIKES SALES RISE IN JULY-AUG
The entire auto sector managed to sell higher number
of units and earned good sales in July-August 2002, marked by the rise
in sales of cars and bikes by 15 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively.
Sales of trucks, buses and LCVs also jumped by 94, 35, 39 and eight per
cent, respectively, during the same period.
Consumers bought 15 per cent more cars in the first
two months of the new fiscal with a total sales of 7,897 units as
compared to 6,852 units in July-August 2001. As a result of boom in
sales, manufacturers had to gear up the production to 8,114 units in the
last two months as compared to 6,37 units in the same period of 2001, up
by 28 per cent.
The increase in production is also attributed to the
government's instruction to expedite assembly of sedans and delivery to
the consumers in two months instead of three months to cope with the
A total of 1,684 units of Toyota Corolla were
produced as compared to 1,093 units, while sales peaked to 1,572 units
as against 1,234 units. Despite expanding the production, customers are
still facing delays in delivery. Indus Motors Company (IMC) has recently
informed their buyers that it would pay mark-up to all those customers
who have booked vehicles after August 16, 2002, in case vehicle is not
delivered in 60 days.
TURKMEN GAS PROJECT LIFTS HOPE OF PROSPERITY
Once, it was envisioned as a pipeline of peace in
central and south Asia.
Then the idea was shattered by war in Afghanistan.
Now it's back, with dreams of boosting prosperity for some of the
world's poorest countries.
The project is a gas pipeline from the vast
Dauletabad-Donmez fields of Turkmenistan that would cross the mountains
and deserts of Afghanistan to a terminus in Pakistan.
And maybe, if traditional enmities are overcome, it
could even extend to energy-parched India.
Ministers from the three countries were meeting this
week in Kabul to discuss a feasibility study to be financed by the Asian
Development Bank (ADB).
BOARD TO SET CLEAN COTTON STANDARDS
The government has appointed a permanent high powered
Pakistan Standard Cotton Board (PSCB) to set clean cotton standards and
later certify its quality acceptable to international markets like
Liverpool Cotton market.
A senior commerce ministry official told on Wednesday
that a decision to this effect was taken in principle by the federal
cabinet and formal announcement would be made jointly by ministers for
commerce and agriculture Abdul Razak Dawood and Khair Mohammad Junejo
respectively on Thursday and explain salient features of the Cotton
The board would comprise three ministers of finance,
commerce and agriculture, besides representatives of Balochistan, Punjab
and Sindh, Trading Corporation of Pakistan, Pakistan Cotton Committee,
Pakistan Standard Cotton Institute, All Pakistan Textile Mills
Association and three growers one each from Balochistan, Punjab and
US ASSURES SOFT LOANS, INCREASED INVESTMENT: SHAUKAT
The Bush administration has assured Pakistan of
concessional lending and increased American investment.
"The US Import and Export (EXIM) Bank has
initially decided to make available $120 million for National Bank of
Pakistan, United Bank Limited (UBL) and Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) to
help open letter of credits for exporters." This was stated by
Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz on Monday.
The US Chamber of Commerce will be extending all the
support to set up this business council. Similarly, he said, matters
pertaining to signing of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and
the US will also be discussed. However, he said, the talks would take
about a year.
The issue of $317 million to be paid by the US
government in connection with logistics will also come under discussion
with the US authorities.