July 26 - Aug 01, 2004  
ISSUE # 30  

Every one wishes to improve his/her lifestyle but may not have the resources. Consumer financing offers an opportunity to acquire and use the assets by simply paying affordable monthly installments. While every lender may call its offer 'The Best Bargain', the borrower must explore explicit and implicit costs before assuming any liability. Though, interest rates have come down over the years, borrowers still feel the pinch and expect further reduction. The facility has remained restricted to a small percentage of total population, mainly because lenders are still very choosy.

The 25th day session of the Council of Ministers of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) ended here in Islamabad with specific proposals for collaborative projects promising a better future for the people of the region. The chairman of the session, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri told newsmen after the concluding session "our deliberation were imbued with a new spirit of dynamism. Today an air of hope and optimism prevails through out the region as SAARC has started to exude new confidence with an improved international profile."



Cotton, which has assumed a leading role in Pakistan's economy, currently has become a talking point due to unexpected worldwide decline in cotton prices which may consequently affect economics of the textile producers in the short term. However, if the textile exporters maintain the unprecedented momentum of the last year, the textile exports may gain the benefit out of the current bearish trend in the cotton market, which according to Iqbal Omer, Chairman Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) may continue to persist for another two months.