Aug 29 - Sep 04, 2005


"The underlying prospects of the economy remain good. The economy grew 4.9 per cent in the first half. The outlook for the second half should be more favourable," central bank Malaysia"

(Malaysia's economic growth slows to 4.1pc in the three months to June, from 5.8 per cent in the first quarter)

"The oil crunch this time is because that we don't have any reserve. We hope to build a reserve, and we are doing research on this," The Development and Reform Commission of Guangdong, China."

(High oil prices hit China's pricing system)

"Now the government will pay from 1300 to 1600 riyals to the intending pilgrims to enable them meet miscellaneous expenses during Haj," Ministry of Religious Affairs' Joint Secretary Mohammad Ilyas Khan,

(Pilgrims personal expenses increased)

"If Westerners boycott our products, we can find opportunity in India. China and India are the world's most populous countries, after all." Song de Heng, Consul General for China in India."

(China, India likely to cooperate in textiles)

"Due to its growing economy, demand for steel is rising in Pakistan and there is a great potential for investors to exploit its growing market."

(The Al-Tuwairqi Group of Companies (ATG) of Saudi Arabia announced that it would set up a steel mill in Bin Qasim, Karachi, at a cost of $200 million. The Tuwairqi steel mills would have a capacity of one million tons per year, said ATG Chairman Dr Hilah Hussain Al-Tqairqi)

"Pakistan attracted a total of $1.524 million FDI during 2004-05 which was 61 per cent higher than corresponding period of 2003-04. This also included $363 million FDI as privatization proceeds of first tranche of PTCL and $103 million second tranche of Habib Bank Limited privatisation," the Chairman Board of Investment, Wasim Haqqie."

(Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the first month (July) of the current year stood at $119.6 million, up by 129 per cent over $52.2 million of the same period last year.)

"The cotton ginning charges for the current ginning season has been fixed at Rs335 per three maunds of seed cotton (phutti)."

(The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting chaired by provincial Agriculture Secretary, Mr Nazar Hussain Mahar.)

"Despite the fact that 96 per cent of the industries in the world fall under SMEs definition and contribute around 38 per cent towards the GDP of the developed countries but in our country even today there is no proper and comprehensive definition for the SMEs," President Small and Medium Enterprises Alliance (Samea) Zafar Iqbal"

(President Samea said that cumbersome and out-dated tax laws are hindering the growth of small and medium enterprises.)

"The federal government has provided an additional amount of $50 million to the ministry of communications to complete the first phase of the Gwadar deep-sea port project by June 2006."

(The government has decided 'not' to allow any work on the second phase of the project till the completion of the first phase, which was originally scheduled to be competed by April this year at a cost of $248 million, government official.)

"Pursuant to the meeting of the board of directors and senior members with the prime minister and the adviser to the PM on finance, Continuous Funding System Regulations-2005 have been approved by the SECP and the KSE board," a notice issued to the members by the Karachi Stock Exchange."

(The continuous funding system (CFS) took off at the Karachi Stock Exchange on Monday last with enthusiastic investors' response)

"The second highest bidder of Karachi Electric Supply Corporation Hassan Associates has agreed to match the highest bid of Rs15.86 billion to take over 73 per cent shares along with management of the utility," Minister for Privatization and Investment Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh."

(KESC sell-off: Hassan Associates ready to match highest bid)

"We gave a reasonable time to the manufactures to review price mechanism, but they did not consider the request of the government. Now, a summary has been sent to the prime minister in which it is suggested that duty-free import of cement should be allowed immediately to rationalise price in the market," said a government official."

(Duty-free cement import proposed)

"One of the major problems is that government departments do not work in a proper manner. It creates difficulties for the investors when they interact with government officials," Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh

(Government to remove hurdles hindering investment)

"We need 600 MW additional power in Wapda and 300MW in KESC systems, respectively, which will be arranged either through the public or private sector to avoid power shortage next year," government.

(The federal government plans to generate 900MW electricity either in the public or private sector on war footing to avoid loadshedding from the next year)

"Welders, plumbers, accountants and nurses - Australia needs you, about 100,000 of you," Australian government.

(Australia looking for 100,000 skilled workers. The country has begun its most aggressive campaign to attract skilled workers since the great wave of post-World War-II immigration, when tens of thousands of Europeans and Britons were given free passage in the 1950s and 60s.)

"All our efforts should be geared towards ensuring better civic amenities for our people at the grassroots level and also lift their economic lot," President General Pervez Musharraf.

(The government is committed to provide safe drinking water and electricity to the entire country by 2007.)