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Feb 18 - 24, 2002

JCR-VIS upgrades PICIC Commercial Bank Limited to -A

JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS) has upgraded the medium to long term rating of PICIC Commercial Bank Limited (PCBL) to A-(Minus) from BBB+(Triple B Plus), while the short term rating has been maintained at A-2 (A Two). The outlook on these ratings is "stable".

Collectorate of Customs (Exports) launches its website

The Collectorate of Customs Exports has taken one more step towards automation and has launched its website on 09.02.2002. It contains up to date information about export policy/procedures and notifications relating to Exports/Duty drawbacks which will help facilitate the exporters in filing and processing of their shipping bills and rebate claims. It also contains data about big exporters, rebate claimants and the main exports of Pakistan. The Exports General Manifest (EGM) will also be available on the website, which will enable the exporters to have the latest information about their export consignments. The website will not only provide a synopsis of the performance of Exports Collectorate, but the office and residential contact numbers of all the officers of the Export Collectorate will also be available on this website. The exporters and general public can also lodge their comments/complaints on this website. The Collector of Customs (Exports) will personally monitor the complaints/comments and will issue necessary instructions on daily basis. This website can be visited at "www.collectorates.gov.pk" or "www.customs.gov.pk"

Turkish delegation

A Trade and Investment Delegation of the Republic of Turkey was to visit FPCCI Head Office Federation House Karachi on Saturday, 16th February 2002 at 01.00 p.m. for Pakistan-Turkey Business Forum meeting. The meeting will be followed by lunch.

There was to be Sectoral Meetings between Turkish Delegation and Pakistani businessmen who are interested to promote their business in the following field.

1. Construction, contracting & construction material
2. Foodstuffs & Agro-business
3. Auto Parts & Automobiles
4. Textile Machinery & Equipments
5. Chemical & Pharmaceuticals
6. Information Technology & Computers


The Bank of Khyber launched its Khyber Rupee Travellers Cheques (KRTC) in an auspicious ceremony held on 8th February, 2002 at Pearl Continental Hotel, Peshawar. Mr. Aminullah Khan Gandapur, NWFP Minister for Excise & Taxation was Chief Guest on the occasion. The ceremony was attended by a large number of guests including BoK's Board members, Govt. officials, dignitaries, businessmen and staff of BoK. The ceremony was begun with recitation from the Holy Quraan by Mr. Masroor H. Shah.

Mr. Sajid Ali Abbasi, Managing Director of BoK in his welcome address briefly dilated upon various aspects of the Bank's operational activities. He said that BoK has always been keen to provide efficient and prompt services to its valued clients and on their persistent demand, Khyber Rupee Travellers Cheques (KRTC) have been introduced in three different denominations of Rs.5,000, Rs.10,000 and Rs.50,000 whereas travellers cheques in denomination of Rs. 100,000 will soon be introduced. He said that real assets of BoK are its valued clients. The management as well as staff will always strive to facilitate them in every possible manner. He added that BoK has so far played a pivotal role in socio-economic development of NWFP and was the first amongst commercial banks to provide micro loans to the people at grassroots level with the aim to help them develop their own enterprises. He then enumerated a few units financed by the Bank including Khaddar Weaving Units in Charsadda, Weaving Rugs in D.I.Khan, ECO Tourism in Kalam and Tea Development Project in Shinkiari. He further said that we are striving to bring some new products for our customers and, foremost among them, is installation of ATMs in few big branches. He also highlighted the better performance of the Bank during 2001 and hoped that with improvement in national economy, the Bank will be able to produce good results in future. At the end, he expressed his gratitude to the Chief Guest and the august audience.

NWFP Minister for Excise & Taxation Mr. Aminullah Khan Gandapur, the Chief Guest in his speech appreciated the performance of the Bank and stated that in today's era of competitive environment, any commercial institution needs continuous innovation and customer satisfaction for its survival and growth. He said that introduction of Khyber Rupee Travellers Cheques is an excellent step and more efforts are needed to diversify the operational agenda of the Bank. Chief Guest lauded the Bank's plan to increase its branch network and emphasized that every plan should be devised in the light of its commercial viability and to capitalize on maximum share of the market. He assured the Bank's Board of Directors and the management that Govt. of NWFP will continue to provide its support and patronage to BoK and stressed the need of preparing for public floatation of the Bank's shares. He appreciated micro finance activities of the Bank and specially referred to the Tea Development Project at Shinkiari-Mansehra and financing of Hydel Project at Chitral. He further pointed out that economy is improving gradually and will open a window of opportunities in the Province and the country as well, which the Bank's management can greatly exploit with the help of its talented manpower. He mentioned about the reconstruction work in Afghanistan and emphasized that the Bank should be alive to greater trade potential in Central Asian States.

Mr. Etrat H. Rizvi, Chairman BoK's Board of Directors in his speech welcomed the honourable Chief Guest and appreciated Government's keen interest and relentless efforts in improving the lot of the people and trade and industry in the Province. He said that BoK has now completed ten years and has been striving to contribute as much as possible for promotion of trade & industry, poverty alleviation and fulfilment of its social responsibilities as a corporate citizen of the Province. He added that the newly constituted Board and the management are fully cognizant of their responsibilities and will provide efficient and competitive banking products commensurate with their needs. He said that our customer is our King and deserves our best services. He added that the Bank would offer what our valued customers want rather than offering what we have. He said that Rupee Travellers Cheques are a well tested product and KRTCs are launched on the persistent demand of our customers. He added that concerted efforts would be made to launch more products suiting our customers.

Cathay Pacific to use CUTE in Pakistan

Cathay Pacific Airways announced that it would be the first airline in Pakistan to use CUTE (Common User Terminal Equipment) system introduced by SAPS (Shaheen Airport Services). This system allows the airport to optimize space, utilize hardware effectively and also allows airlines to automate their passenger processing operations, ensuring passengers enjoy a smooth airport experience.

Shaheen Airport Services has taken this positive step to introduce the CUTE system that will also provide shared check-in, reservation and departure control facilities across the airport. CUTE will be initially installed at the Quaid-e-Azam International Airport, Karachi and later at the International Airports of Islamabad and Lahore. Cathay Pacific Airways in Karachi will be the first airline in Pakistan to use this facility. Cathay Pacific's IT systems are known to be amongst the most advanced airline IT systems.

Cathay Pacific's Instructors from Hong Kong, Ms. Mona Wong, Ms. Lelia Tsang, Ms. Stella Fung and Mr. Joseph Yung are in Karachi to train the Shaheen Airport Services (SAPS) and Cathay Pacific staff.


Recently, Pakistan France Business Alliance (PFBA) sole representative forum of eminent Pakistani businessmen and representatives of French companies in Pakistan held its 10th annual general meeting (AGM) in Karachi. Mr. Naveed A. Khan, President of PFBA (also the Honorary Consul General of Iceland and Chairman Delta Shipping) presented his annual report highlighting the aims and achievements of PFBA, the seminars and social activities held under its aegis to create awareness about current economic issues.

HE Mr. Yannick Gerard, Ambassador of France in Pakistan, who is also the chief patron of PFBA presided over the meeting. French Consul General in Karachi Mr. Gilles Bonnaud shared the rostrum as the guest of honour.

Regarding bilateral trade between the two countries, he informed the members that French exports to Pakistan in the year 2001 had gone down by 19% (from 320 to 260 million Euros) but Pakistan's exports to France, inspite of the unfortunate incident of September 11 had been stable at 353 million Euros. The situation should further improve as the EU of which France was a founding member, had reduced the import tariff for Pakistan and increased the textile quota by 15%.

He also spoke about the Pak-French joint-ventures. D.L NASH in the textile sector between Nash Textile of Pakistan and Duquennoy et Lepers of France who had put up a joint stand at Heimtextil fair at Frankfurt this month and the first TOTAL petrol pump in Faisalabad, a joint-venture between TotalFinaElf and Parco.

Pakistan rated No. 1 in textiles by MD NEXUS Chemical Systems (UK)

Mr. Phillip Grundell, Managing Director NEXUS Chemical Systems Ltd. UK, has rated Pakistan as No. 1 in textiles in terms of quality. Mr. Phillip, who is an expert in Textile Engineering, said this while addressing the students and faculty of Textile Engineering at the Preston Institute of Management, Science & Technology (PIMSAT) Lahore campus. Mr. Phillip said, in light of the knowledge gained by him through visits to Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, he could confidently state that the quality of the textile products manufactured in Pakistan is far more superior than Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

During the course of his lecture Mr. Grundell touched upon various processes of Textile Engineering. His lecture to the students of B.Sc Textile Engineering of Preston Institute's Lahore campus focused primarily on "Pre Treatment on CELLUOCIS FABRIC". He also dwelt in detail on bleaching, dying, and mercerization processes being followed by the textile industry worldwide. Mr. Grundell emphasized that it is extremely essential to maintain consistency in the contents of the chemicals used for these processes to ensure good quality of the textile products.

At the end of the lecture, Mr. Grundell invited questions from the participating students and the faculty. The Program Director of Preston's Lahore campus extended Preston's gratitude to Mr. Grundell for taking time out of his very busy schedule to address the students, and presented him a shield of the Institute as a token of appreciation.

One of the world's most modern Ro/Ro ships calls at Karachi Port

It is a matter of great pride for Karachi Port Trust that one of the most modern Roll-On/Roll-Off (Ro/Ro) vessels in the world sailed on 10th January, 2002. M.V. Hual Trooper is owned by Hoegh-Ugland Auto Liners (HUAL) of Oslo, Norway and called under the agency of M/s. General Shipping Agencies (Pvt) Ltd.

The vessel was built at HYUNDAI HEAVY INDUSTRIES YARD in South Korea at a cost of US$ 55 million (Rs 1.7 billion) and was delivered in March 1995. It has a capacity to carry 6000 car equivalent units on 12 decks and has a maximum ramp capacity of 150 MT. Its GRT is 19443 and NRT 10495.

HUAL (which was established in 1970) has been operating a Ro/Ro service (from the United States, Europe and the Middle East) to Karachi since 1982 on a regular Liner basis. The line transports many brand name cars such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Range Rover, Volvo, Chrysler, etc. etc. as well as high and heavy construction machineries.

HUAL owns 83 Ro/Ro vessels and including chartered vessels, at any given time, a fleet of 25-30 vessels is at the disposal of HUAL and its customers in the motor industry, which include most of the world's major automakers. With annual liftings of close to 700.000 car equivalent units on deep-sea routes worldwide, HUAL ranks among the 5 6 largest car carrier operators in the world in terms of transportation volume.

Football Expo 2002

The Worldwide Football Trade Show and Symposium welcomed 1969 participants representing a total of more than 600 companies from 65 countries. Equally of note was the global media representation. Over 214 journalists covered the event. The show was held at The Palais des Festivals in Cannes (France).

The annual global football trade show, actively supported by FIFA and the six confederations, dedicated exclusively to football and its related industries.

The 6th edition will take place from Wednesday, 8th to Friday, 10th January 2003.

A rousing standing ovation was given to H.E. Yannick Gerard (L), Ambasador of France in Pakitan for his Pakistan-friendly speech at the 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Pakistan France Business Alliance (PFBA). Mr. Naveed A. Khan, President PFBA (also Honorary Consul General of Iceland and Chairman Delta Shipping) and Mr. Gilles Bonnaud, Consul General of France in Karachi (R) join in the warm applause.

The Bank of Khyber (BoK) launch their 'Khyber Rupee Travellers Cheques' (KRTCs) at Peshawar. Group photo taken on occasion shows sitting (L-R) Mr. Mushtaq A. Taj, Sajjad Ahmed, Wing Commander Jamshad Savul, Members Board of Directors, Major Aminullah Khan Gandapur NWFP Minister for Revenue Excise & Taxation, Mr. Etrat H. Rizvi, Chairman BoK BOD, Mr. Sajid Ali Abbasi, Managing Director BoK, Abdul Wajid Rana, NWFP Secretary Finance/Member BoK (BOD). Standing (L-R) Syed Ali Nawaz Gilani, Head PR & Marketing, Mr. Sohail Khan, Head Inspection, Mr. Gul Qiaz, Head Audit, Mr. Amjad Pervez, SVP, Mr. Mir Javed Hasmat SVP, Capt Munir ul Haq Qazi, SVP, Dr. Mohsin M. Khan EVP, Arbab Riaz Ahmed, SVP, Mr. Khushal Khan, VP, Mr. Tamsil Rashid, Head MFD and Mr. Arif Majeed Mohmand, Head Computers of BoK.

Mr. Etrat H. Rizvi, Chairman, Bank of Khyber (BoK) speaking at launching of BoK's KRTCs. While NWFP Minister for E&T Mr. Aminullah Gandapur & MD BoK Mr. Sajid Ali Abbasi are on the stage.