Mar 22 - 28, 2004



The Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Shaukat Aziz inaugurated the electronic giant LG's air conditioner manufacturing plant at Winder Balochistan recently.
The new plant is located at a distance of 30 km from Hub and next to the LG TV plant. The total area of the plant is 12 acres and the current facility is on 365,000 sq. feet of covered area. LG plant will have a production capacity of 200,000 air conditioners per annum. With the inauguration of the AC plant the approximate investment of LG in production plants is now USD 18 million with a total employment of 525 people in these plants.



Addressing the grand audience, Shaukat Aziz said, "We believe that such joint initiative from Multinationals and our private sector will lead to the ultimate economic strength of the country." "We welcome the additional investment made by the company which is a proof of our investor-friendly policies and encouraging environment," he added.

The inauguration ceremony was addressed by Jeon Bou Guan, Ambassador of Republic of Korea, K. H. Kim, President Middle East and Africa Operations, B. D. Yoon, Vice President, Production Director, AC Division, Dr. Akram Shaikh, Chairman Engineering Development Board and Mian Pervez Akhtar, Chief Executive of New Allied Electronics Indus (Pvt) Limited.

"With this additional facility LG is now the largest supplier of AC in Pakistan. Globally LG Electronics (LGE) air conditioners have posted top sales in four straight years since 2001. We posted 18.6% global market share, meaning that one out of every five air conditioners bought worldwide in 2003 was an LG air conditioner," said K. H. Kim, President Middle East and Africa Operations, while addressing the gathering.


The Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Ishrat Husain, inaugurated the inter connectivity of the two ATM switches, MNET and 1 Link, at a ceremony held at SBP on March 16, 2004. Addressing senior officials of the financial sectors on the occasion, the Governor SBP highlighted that with the inter switch connectivity, ATM/Debit card holders of any bank can now access their accounts for cash and account information from the ATM of any bank in the country. He elaborated, with this inter-switch connectivity subsequent to banks joining either of two switched earlier, the major milestones of the SBP led ECH Task Force had been achieved and the financial sector has moved closer towards achieving e-commerce framework in the country.

Mohammad Aftab Manzoor, President & CE, Muslim Commercial Bank Limited, on behalf of MNET said that MCB has been investing over the years on not only to make the switch platform more secure and robust but also enhance its capability to handle higher volumes and variety of transactions, which will be benefit the 18 member banks of MNET. All MNET member banks including MCB have planned to expand ATM network to enhance customer access to electronic delivery channels, he added.



Naveed A. Khan, the country representative of ABN AMRO and the Head of ECH Task Force thanked the Governor SBP and Heads of all Banks for supporting this initiative of ECH Task force towards enabling Inter-Switch Connectivity. On behalf of 1 Link he added "An efficient electronic payment system plays a central role in country's infrastructure, both in terms of financial stability and facilitating transactions among consumers. The banking sector in Pakistan is undergoing a sea of change of activities and is moving into a concentrated approach of networking through automation between Banks. The connectivity of the two switches is a giant step in this regard. With the combined strength of both switches with approximately 600 ATM's, our mutual customer can now access any ATM in Pakistan and access their accounts.


The Sui Southern Gas Company has stated that gas supply has not been disrupted to any large city or major consumer as a result of explosions occurring on the company's 18" and 20" dia main gas pipelines on the night of Monday, March 15, 2004. It further said that repair work at the affected sites was progressing at full speed.

According to SSGC press release issued last week, the 18" dia main Indus Right Bank gas pipeline was ripped by an explosion at about 8.45 pm at the RBOD Canal crossing in the vicinity of Bhan Saeedabad, 30 km down stream of Dadu. As a result, gas supply was suspended to Bobak, Sehwan and other adjoining villages.

SSGC engineers and technicians rushed to the explosion site as soon news of the accident was received and commenced repair work on emergency basis. Work was also undertaken to restore gas supply to the affected consumers through an alternate pipeline. As a result, by 10.30 am on Tuesday, 16th March, supply of gas was fully restored to the affected towns. Work was also in progress for restoration of supply to Jhangra and Bukhara in the shortest possible time.

According to the press release, SSGC's IRBP-CEP 20" dia main gas line also sustained damage at about 9.20 pm the same night as a result of another blast at the canal crossing near Sita village, 40 km up stream of Dadu. This line supplies natural gas from the Zamzama field in Dadu to the Sui Northern Gas Pipeline (SNGPL) through SSGC 20" dia IRBP-CEP Pipeline. Repair work at both sites is proceeding rapidly and it is being ensured that the affected supply is restored at the earliest.

SSGC has emphasized that no major disruption in gas supply to any major town or bulk consumer has occurred as a result of the blasts. It said that these incidents are a part of the chain of sabotage activities that are being carried out by unscrupulous and anti-state elements in various parts of the country. According to SSGC's press release the repair work is scheduled to complete within next 24 hours.

SSGC wishes to ensure all its valued customers that it will arrange to supply gas in an interrupted basis through out its franchise area.


Allianz EFU, Pakistan's first and only specialized health insurance company, has launched 'Hospital Care' to provide comprehensive and affordable insurance cover against hospital expenses.

"The product allows peace of mind in a time when medical costs are escalating by the day and covers cost of treatment occurring due to illness, surgeries and accidents. The benefits pay for Pre-Hospitalization Diagnostic tests in addition to Post-hospitalization follow-up consultation, day care surgeries and expensive diagnostic tests," explained Mr. Kashif Usman, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Sales.

The eligible expenses covered in the policy include: Daily Room & Board, Surgical Fees, Anesthetist's Fee, Operating Theatre Charges, Blood and Oxygen Supplies, Kidney Dialysis & Cancer Treatment, Prescribed Medicines used during hospital stay, Intensive Care, Diagnostic Investigations during hospital stay, Endoscopy and Angioplasty, Organ Transplant, In-hospital Consultation, Fractures and Lacerated wounds, Local Ambulance Charges, Ventilators and Allied Services.



Mr. Ahmirud Deen, Managing Director & CEO of Allianz EFU, stated, "Allianz EFU strives to make the lives of our customers in Pakistan better. The 'Hospital Care' insurance plan allows the consumer to budget for his medical expenses by setting aside a small sum of money that contributes to the pool. With Allianz EFU's experience in healthcare, the company is able to offer to the people of Pakistan a standard of living that will make their lives easier and healthier. The product is made affordable in spite of having a very comprehensive coverage."

Allianz EFU is Pakistan's first and only specialized health insurance company. It is the only company that offers health insurance solutions to individuals, families, companies and voluntary groups. Allianz EFU Health Insurance is a joint venture between Allianz Group and EFU Group. Founded in 1890 in Germany, Allianz AG has 60 million clients in over 70 countries, with a broad range of services via an international network of subsidiaries.


The second Pakistan Oil, Gas, Energy Exhibition and Conference, held at the Karachi Expo Centre from 17-20 March 2004, has been a great success in highlighting investment and business opportunities in the energy sector of Pakistan. This statement was mutually expressed by all the foreign participants of the exhibition in addition to their anticipation of gathering future orders worth millions of dollars.

More than 100 companies from 28 countries are participating at POGEE 2004. Direct and keen participation from international participants, including Russia and Ukraine, is a clear sign of the fact that Pakistan is emerging as a prolific investment ground for the energy sector companies, which in turn would result in better business prospects for their products and services in onshore and offshore exploration, development and production.

International exhibitors expressed great satisfaction on the negotiations and queries that they received from the visiting high-level officials from the government and private sector organizations. Officials from Motor Sich and Progress Design Bureau, the two engines and power generation manufacturing companies from Ukraine, said that it is their first-ever participation in any exhibition in Pakistan and expected to obtain lucrative business as a result of this exhibition. Progress Design Bureau also produces Mobile Power Stations that are already in operation in Turkey and Brazil and see a good market for such stations in Pakistan's developing markets.

Another company from Russia, Stroytransgaz JSC expressed deep satisfaction over its contacts with the government authorities at the show and said that they expected to work in Gas sector in collaboration with the government and private sector organizations.


Paktel made its first test call in Islamabad. Mr. Xavier Rocoplan, Chief Executive Officer Paktel made Paktel's first test call from the GSM network.



Speaking on the occasion Mr. Xavier Rocoplan, CEO Paktel said, "It's an important day for all of us, who have worked so hard to make this possible. Now we are one step closer to our GSM launch."

"Paktel is poised to bring revolutionary changes in the cellular telephony business in Pakistan," said Mr. Rocoplan. "Our goal has always been highest connectivity. The new GSM network will become the standard and others will try to emulate," he added.


Emirates, the world's fastest growing intercontinental airline disclosed that it will launch a new passenger route between Dubai and Shanghai next month.

The new non-stop flights to the largest Chinese city (est. pop. 17 million-plus) were announced recently in Shanghai by Richard Vaughan, Emirates' Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, East Asia and Australasia during a briefing for the Chinese media.

The new services will be the first-ever direct air passage between Dubai and mainland China, providing business and leisure travellers at both ends with convenient access to two of world's fastest growing markets today. Emirates' passengers from Shanghai also will be able to take advantage of Dubai's excellent connections to other destinations on three continents.

Initially from 10 April, Emirates will operate three flights a week between the two cities, on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Daily flights will start from 15 May, offering even more convenient travel options between the two metropolises.

Flight EK302 will take off from Dubai International Airport at 02:15 hrs and land at Shanghai's Pudong International Airport at 14:55 hrs. The return flight EK303 from Shanghai will depart on the same day at 23:55 hrs and arrive in Dubai at 05:10 hrs the next morning. All times are local.