POLICY

 

Dec 02  - Dec 15 , 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

PM FORMS BODY TO BOOST INVESTMENT

Prime Minister, Zafarullah Khan Jamali, has constituted a 25-member special committee to improve investment climate in the country and rebuild investor-confidence on war-footings.Official sources told that the prime minister would himself be the chairman, and Industries minister Liaqat Ali Khan Jatoi, vice-chairman.

 

The committee comprised four provincial governors and ministers for commerce, finance, petroleum, water and power, information technology, privatization commission, besides chairman of board of investment, and president of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI). Some leading industrialists and private sector professionals would also be part of the special investment committee, these sources said.

The committee would consult all stakeholders for the formation of short, medium and long-term policy recommendations that could revive investor's confidence in the country that has been shattered due to a series of events since 1997.

Pakistan's potential to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) has improved marginally from 141 points in 1990 to 159 points in 2000, but its relative performance to secure FDI has reduced significantly from 6 points to 2 points.

FDI to Pakistan reduced from $530 million in 1999 but declined to $305 million in 2000 and improved to $385 million in 2001. As percentage of gross capital formation, the $530 million FDI was 6.7 per cent which had reduced to 3.9 per cent in 2001.

Pakistan's foreign direct investment (FDI) total stocks since 1980 until now amounted to $6.896 billion in 2000, but reduced to $6.698 in 2001. In the world ranking of 140 countries, Pakistan got 114th position in terms of investment potential and performance.

GOVERNORS TAKE FRESH OATH

All four provincial governors took a fresh oath of their offices under the 1973 Constitution.

In Lahore, Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool was administered the oath by the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court.

In Karachi, Sindh Governor Mohammedmian Soomro was administered the oath by the Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court.

In Peshawar, NWFP Governor Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah was administered the oath by the Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court.

In Quetta, Balochistan Governor Amirul Mulk Mengal was administered the oath by the Chief Justice of the Balochistan High Court.

GAS PRICES MAY GO UP NEXT MONTH

The natural gas prices are likely to be increased by more than 10 per cent during second week of December, the first tough decision of the new civilian government following over 60 per cent raise in energy rates during the last three years of military rule.

The petroleum prices have increased by an average 67 per cent including 130 per cent rise in furnace oil, electricity rates enhanced between 20 and 55 per cent for various consumer groups and gas prices went up between 35 and 88 per cent during October 1999 and October 2002.

ONE DESK FACILITY

Industries and Production Minister Liaquat Ali Jatoi said foreign investors would be provided 'one desk facility' at the Board of Investment (BoI) to help resolve their problems at one place.

Under this facility, the officials of all relevant departments like Wapda, petroleum, water and power, etc., will be available at one place to provide facilities to the investors, the minister told newsmen after a detailed meeting with BoI officers.

HUMAYUN TO VISIT US NEXT MONTH

Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar said he would give top priority to gain increased access for Pakistani products in the international markets. "The stress will be on American and European markets," he told.

The minister would visit the United States next month to meet the US Secretary of State on Commerce and Trade in this respect.

Humayun Akhtar said there had been some lull on this issue mainly due to mid-term United States elections, but now he would vigorously pursue this matter.

'PREVIOUS PETROLEUM POLICIES TO CONTINUE'

Petroleum Minister Noraiz Shakoor said the present government would continue the investment-friendly policies to attract foreign investment in oil and gas sector.

While presiding a high-level briefing, the minister said the country was spending precious foreign exchange of over $3 billion annually on the import of petroleum products.

IRISH NGO GIVES AID FOR QUAKE VICTIMS

An international Irish NGO, Concern Pakistan, has dispatched almost Rs3 million worth of humanitarian aid to Chilas to assist the people affected by the recent earthquakes.

The aid consists of 450 winterized tents, 1,000 quilts and 450 bedding kits, the NGO said.

The NGO said, the government of Pakistan is meeting the cost of transporting the relief items to Chilas and the affected villages.

CDC HAS 500 CORPORATE ENTITIES CLIENTELE

The Central Depository Company of Pakistan Limited (CDC), which completed five years of operation on September 3, said that it had managed clientele of over 500 corporate entities and almost 7000 retail investors.

PAKISTAN, YEMEN JMC NEXT MONTH

A high-level official delegation will leave for Yemen next month to explore the potential for further expansion of trade between the two countries.

A senior official in the Ministry of Commerce told that the delegation would leave for Sana to take part in the Pak-Yemen Joint Ministerial Commission meeting for identifying more areas for investment and cooperation.

BELGIUM TRADE TEAM

A trade delegation of Belgium will visit Pakistan in February for identifying the trade opportunities, trade commissioner of Belgium Abid Hussain said.