INDUSTRY

 

Oct 28 - Nov 03 , 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

$100M ADB ASSISTANCE FOR FARM SECTOR

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is working out $100m financial assistance plan for Pakistan agribusiness development project to be launched in 2004, an official source told.

 

For the proper utilization of the financial assistance for agriculture diversification and agribusiness development, the official said a fact-finding mission of the ADB was currently holding a series of meetings with the government agencies and private sector to formulate a comprehensive technical assistance paper in this connection.

The mission would stay in Pakistan up to November 7, the official said adding during the period, the mission was scheduled to visit Lahore, Multan and Karachi to study various areas under technical assistance for its subsequent financial assistance.

Elaborating, the official said the technical assistance paper was aimed at assisting the Pakistani government in formulating a project to commercialize agriculture, develop agribusiness and promote agriculture exports.

The mission was led by Senior Project Economist at the South Asia Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resource Division, ADB headquarter, Ms Al Tee Loh. This technical assistance, the official said, was a part of ADB's operational programme for Pakistan for 2002.

The mission during the stay would undertake in-depth consultations with government agencies and private sector institutions to finally come up with a technical assistance paper.

According to the official, the possible indicative areas for study under technical assistance and subsequent financial assistance would be fruits and vegetables to be utilized for its quality control, disease control, grading, waxing, packing facilities, training, mango-sand fly testing and treatment facility and cold chains for mango, apple and strawberries.

PNSC SIGNS CONTRACT WITH 3 REFINERIES

Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) signed a "ten-year contract of affreightment" with three local refineries for the transportation of crude oil to them.

Chairman, PNSC, Vice Admiral Tauqir Hassan Naqvi; chief executive, Pak Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO), Dr Shahid K. Haq; managing director, National Refinery Limited (NRL), Qaiser Jamal; and general manager and chief executive, Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL), Syed Viqar Salahuddin, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective companies.

Tauqir Naqvi told newsmen that PNSC was in the process of acquiring two second-hand oil tankers and these tankers would join the fleet within three months. PNSC will invest money for its own tankers ensuring safe and timely transportation.

Under the agreement, PNSC tankers will bring around seven million tons of crude oil for these three refineries in which the share of NRL stands at 4.1m tons followed by 2.75m tons for PARCO and 0.5m tons for PRL.

HIGH RATE, LOW GROWTH MAY LEAD TO DEBT HIKE

Pakistan's high debt, low growth and high real interest rate payments of eight per cent are a volatile mix that could lead to explosive debt increases in near future, warns the World Bank.

A World Bank's draft report, "Poverty in Pakistan, vulnerabilities, gaps and rural dynamics", obtained by Dawn, believes that Pakistan's fiscal crisis has captured most of the attention of economic policymakers. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the emerging debt and growth crisis was disguised by substantial external flows.

These flows from international lenders and remittances, dropped off long ago: official remittances from migrant workers declined from over 10 per cent of GDP at their peak in 1983 to 2.3 per cent by 1996, creating the crisis atmosphere now surrounding the national debt. However, the newly emergent crisis atmosphere surrounding debt is matched by the chronic, but more silent crisis of the growing social gap.

INDIAN TATA EXPLORING ENTRY IN PAKISTAN

Indian tea giant Tata is exploring entry in Pakistan market through Tetley Tea, a UK-based tea company acquired by Tata Limited India about two years ago.

A report of Invest Capital and Securities, a local brokerage house, released quotes a news report of Dow Jones according to which the Tetley's discussions for a joint venture investment with a big business group in Pakistan is in final stages.

Dow Jones quote senior officials of Tata Group who disclosed that the investment would be through a joint venture with a Pakistani local consumer giant Colgate Palmolive Pakistan, a strong arm of Lakson Group.

ECONOMY PUT ON RIGHT TRACK: SHAUKAT

Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz said that the country's economy had been put on the right track, and this fact was also being acknowledged by the international monetary institutions and other countries.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of a three-day convention of regional managers of Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP), the minister said Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad during his recent visit also acknowledged the fact.

STRATEGY FOR DOMESTIC DRIVEN ECONOMIC GROWTH

A key concern of elected representative is job creation to reduce poverty which can be possible only by speeding up investment and industrialization.

The environment for investment is expected to improve with the phased withdrawal of troops on the Indo-Pakistan border. Soaring home remittances would raise purchasing power of a section of the population and expand market for goods and services. Still, law and order will be an impediment.

TEXTILE SECTOR

Pakistani and Chinese businessmen have entered into several agreements to enhance cooperation in the textile sector. This was stated by Anjum Saleem, chairman, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) in an interview.