professionals engaged in human
resource development, both from here and abroad, are expected to
attend the two-day congress and deliberate and explore the various
myths and realities of public and private sector partnerships for
the alleviation of poverty in Pakistan.
Elaborating on the goals and objectives of the
congress, Mr. Ozair Hanafi said, "The purpose of the 2nd
International HRD Congress is to help key stakeholders understand
the range of possibilities between public and private partnerships
and share such practices from around the world, thus developing
innovative tripartite partnerships between government, Civil Society
Organizations (CSOs) and the private sector. We are quite positive
the experiences and successes of the 1st International Congress 2003
will auger well in making this year's event a bigger success in
achieving its primary goals and objectives."
ARIF HABIB SECURITIES HAVE ANNOUNCED HEFTY
The Board of Directors of Arif Habib Securities
has decided to announce interim dividend of 150% cash and 150%
bonus. The announcement has followed a 100% cash dividend and 33.33%
bonus last year (year ended June 03). The Board decided to take a
lead and made the announcement for its shareholders prior to the
close of the current financial year. Thus its shareholders do not
have to wait in suspense and can participate in the good fortunes of
the Company without delay.
Listed in 2001 Arif Habib Securities is the
flagship company of the Arif Habib Financial Services Group. The
company ranked 6th and 8th amongst the recipients of the 'Top 25
Companies Awards' by Karachi Stock Exchange, in the first two years
of awards since its listing.
Arif Habib Securities is also the main sponsor of
Arif Habib Investments, one of the leading fund management companies
of the country, managing over Rs. 7.5 billion. This company has
brought the benefits of the capital market to retail investors at
SSGC SIGNS SYNDICATE FINANCE AGREEMENT
Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd. (SSGC) entered into
a long term finance facility of Rs.3,000,000,000 (Pak Rupees three
billion only) with a syndicate of banks comprising National Bank of
Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited, Muslim Commercial Bank, United Bank
Limited and Standard Chartered Bank.
The agreement was signed by Mr. Munawar B. Ahmad,
Managing Director, SSGC and representatives of the participating
banks here at SSGC's head office on 28th June 2004.
The financing will be utilized for SSGC's capital
expenditure and working capital requirements envisaged in the five
years system expansion plan.
This landmark transaction essentially represents
one of the first such financing in Pakistan within the gas sector
which is based on strong cash flow structure and will go a long way
in developing gas infrastructure required for sustained economic
growth, disclosed by SSGC's press release.
The financial sector also underpins the
importance of such a financial transaction in the gas sector and
underlines that it will provide impetus to the overall economic
growth of Pakistan.
D-8 COUNTRIES MEET TO DISCUSS DRAFT PTA
The second meeting of the D-8 High Level Expert
Group on trade and trade related matters started in Islamabad and
would last for two days. Mr. Tariq Osman Hyder, Additional Foreign
Secretary and D-8 Commissioner for Pakistan chaired the inaugural
session. Mr. Shahid Bashir, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce
and other officials participated in the meeting.
D-8 countries include Pakistan, Bangladesh,
Egypt, Nigeria, Malaysia, Turkey, Iran and Indonesia. The basic
objective of the meeting is to discuss the mechanisms of
Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) among the member countries. After
the two days deliberations, the draft PTA will be finalized among
the D-8 countries. The draft on PTA is primarily designed to serve
as a framework for negotiations, which will subsequently be
undertaken. It was stated that enhancing economic cooperation was
the primary motive behind the creation of this group. Mr. Hyder in
his inaugural address underlined that Pakistan attached great
importance to the role that D-8 could play in building strong
linkages among the economies of eight large members of the OIC. He
said that the enhanced trade and economic cooperation was possibly
the only way to meaningfully strengthen our cooperative endeavors.
PAKISTAN, SINGAPORE TO NEGOTIATE FTA
A meeting was held between Federal Minister for
Commerce, Mr. Humayun Akhtar Khan and Prime Minister of Singapore,
Mr. Goh Chok Tong who was leading a seven-member delegation in
Both the sides emphasized on the efforts for
concrete measures to ensure greater trade and economic cooperation
between the two countries. Commerce Minister briefed Mr. Tong about
economic liberalization of the country. He said that Pakistan had a
totally transparent trade regime and hence, a great attraction for
investors. The Commerce Minister said that oil and gas,
telecommunication, housing, agriculture and textile were the areas
of potential for foreign investment.
Mr. Humayun proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
with Singapore, which he said, was in the best interest of both the
countries. In response to this, Mr. Tong expressed his keenness on
negotiating FTA with Pakistan. He further said that once a momentum
is built, it must be kept up by facilitating the investors. The
Prime Minister also appreciated economic reforms undertaken by the
Government of Pakistan. Mr. Tong lauded the efforts of Pakistan in
Both the sides agreed that it was vital to
explore economic and commercial opportunities by the business
community of both the countries.
EMIRATES OPENS 24HRS RESERVATION & TICKETING
OFFICE AT KARACHI AIRPORT
Emirates, a world leader in airline luxury since
its foundation in 1985, has become the first international carrier
to open a 24-hour ticketing and reservation office at the Jinnah
International Airport, Karachi.
The Emirates Reservation & Ticketing Office,
which is located on Level 2 in the International Departure Area, was
inaugurated by the Deputy Director General of the Civil Aviation
Authority, Air Vice Marshall Abid Rao.
The 24/7 ticketing & reservation services
that are now offered by Emirates are expected to further increase
traveller preference for the airline. Customers, who previously had
to travel to the city office for reservations and ticketing, now
have the choice of the Emirates Airport office to avail themselves
of these services. This also offers passengers living in Airport's
vicinity a one-stop solution for all their travelling needs.
While talking to the guests informally at the
inauguration ceremony, Air Vice Marshall Abid Rao, said
"Emirates has been one of the major players in the aviation
industry since it commenced flights to Pakistan in 1885. I
congratulate Emirates on this initiative and for its continued
support of the Pakistani traveller."
While thanking the Deputy Director General of the
Civil Aviation Authority Emirates' Vice President Pakistan Adnan
Kazim, said; "Emirates is grateful to Pakistan's Aviation and
Airport Authorities for their cooperation and support, without which
this extension of Emirates service to Pakistani travellers would not
have been possible."
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Emirates
Pakistan's Sales and Marketing Officer, Faraz Hussain, announced
that a similar Emirates' Reservation and Ticketing Office would open
at Islamabad International Airport in near future.
INTEL DELIVERS BREAKTHROUGH PC TECHNOLOGIES
In one of the most significant PC platform
changes in a decade, Intel Corporation recently announced products
that usher in a range of audio, video and other capabilities
previously found only on specialty PCs in addition to making the PC
experience more entertaining and productive, these technologies pave
the way for such emerging capabilities as High Definition (HD)
video, 7.1 surround sound and robust file protection for office and
These technoloies are helping create a new kind
of PC, an all-in-one "hi-fi" device with high-definition
video, high-fidelity sound and wireless connectivity, accorfing to
Louis Burns, vice president and general manager, Intel Desktop