Mobile broadband subscriptions to hit 4.3 billion in 2017:  UN report


UNITED NATIONS (APP): Mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to reach 4.3 billion globally by the end of 2017, according to a new report released by the United Nations telecommunications agency. New data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) also show that 48 per cent of the world's population now uses the Internet. The proportion is 71 per cent for the group of young people aged 15-24. "ITU's ICT Facts and Figures 2017 shows that great strides are being made in expanding Internet access through the increased availability of broadband networks," ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said in a statement. "Digital connectivity plays a critical role in bettering lives, as it opens the door to unprecedented knowledge, employment and financial opportunities for billions of people worldwide," he added. Of the 830 million young people online worldwide, 320 million, or 39 per cent, are in China and India, the report finds. In the least developed countries (LDCs), 35 per cent of the individuals using the Internet are young people aged 15-24, compared with 13 per cent in developed countries and 23 per cent globally.

In developed countries, 94 per cent of the youth population uses the Internet, while the proportion is 77 per cent in developing countries and only 30 per cent in LCDs.

The report also reveals that mobile broadband subscriptions have grown more than 20 per cent globally in each of the last five years.

Between 2012 and 2017, the LDCs saw the highest growth-rate of mobile broadband subscriptions.

However, the number of mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in these countries remained the lowest, at 23 per cent.

The number of fixed-broadband subscriptions has increased by nine per cent annually in the last five years.

There has been an increase in high-speed fixed broadband subscriptions parallel to the growth in the number of fibre connections.

Most of the increase in high-speed fixed broadband subscriptions in developing countries can be attributed to China, which accounts for 80 per cent of all fixed-broadband subscriptions at 10 Mbit/s or above in the developing world.

Mobile broadband prices, as a percentage of gross national income per capita, dropped by half between 2013 and 2016.

Mobile broadband is more affordable than fixed broadband in most developing countries.

While the Internet user gender gap has narrowed in most regions since 2013, the proportion of men using the Internet remains slightly higher than the proportion of women using the Internet in two-thirds of countries worldwide.

In 2017, the global Internet penetration rate for men stands at 50.9 per cent compared to 44.9 percent for women.

In the Americas, the number of women using the Internet is higher than that of men.

The report demonstrates that ICTs continued to play an increasingly critical role in achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"ICTs continue to be a key enabler of economic and social development, bridging the digital divide and fostering an inclusive digital economy," ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau Director Brahima Sanou said.

The World Telecommunication Development Conference 2017 will take place 9 to 20 October in Buenos Aires, Argentina, under the theme 'ICT for Sustainable Development Goals.'



FPCCI calls for cut in production cost of textile industry


KARACHI (APP): FPCCI Vice President Saquib Fayyaz Magoon Tuesday urged the federal government to bring down the present tariff rates on gas and power in the country at par with regional competitors to make Pakistan's export competitive in the global market. He made the demand during a meeting with Federal Secretary for Ministry of Textile Industry Hassan Iqbal, here at the Head Office of Federation of FPCCI, according to a press release. Magoon showed concern on allowing rebate to export of yarn, which was a basic raw material for weaving industry. He proposed that like textile machinery, the import of spare parts should also be allowed at zero rate as these were ultimately sold to the textile industry. The Secretary for Textile, in response to a query, said that Plastic Technology Center (PTC) Karachi as per Federal Cabinet decision would be affiliated to NTU, Faisalabad as its campus under the administrative control of the Ministry of Textile with the financial help of HEC, Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Ministry of Commerce (EDF).

It would be a modern centre which would be run under the guidance and in close coordination with Pakistan Plastic Manufacturers' Association, he added.

The meeting was attended by a number of senior business leaders.




Eight IEEEP exhibition begins

KARACHI (APP): Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Shamim Ahmed Firpo has said international exhibitions in the city are vital for economic growth and industrial development. Speaking at the inauguration of the 8th edition of Industrial Electronic and Electrical Engineering Exhibition of Pakistan (IEEEP) Fair 2017 at Expo Centre Karachi on Tuesday, he said the positive impact of Pakistan's geographical location is now being fully realised through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said a KCCI press release on Tuesday. The event has been organised by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers of Pakistan (Karachi Center), and it would continue till August 3. CPEC projects are referred as 'The Game Changer' for the region and for the world's economy. The continuation of such fairs would help boost prosperity for other sectors of the economy as well. Around 350 stalls have been set up by more than 250 national and foreign companies in four halls of the Expo center. Moreover, around 15 foreign countries with 40 plus foreign delegates are participating in the event.

The Chairman of FPCCI Committee on Fair and Exhibition, Hanif Gohar, also spoke on the industrial growth and importance of the event. Such fairs not only generate opportunities for employment but also create awareness of the use of electric goods, he said.



ICI declares unconsolidated PAT of Rs3.2b

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): ICI Pakistan has declared unconsolidated profit after tax of Rs 3.2 billion for the year, which is 16% higher compared to the same period last year (SPLY). Earnings per share (EPS) at Rs 35.69 is correspondingly 16% higher than the SPLY. This robust growth in net profit is attributable to higher operating profit, higher dividend income from associate and lower exchange losses as compared to the prior year. Operating profit for the year at Rs 4,044m is 16% higher than the SPLY, with improved performances in the polyester, life sciences and chemicals businesses. Net turnover at Rs4.1b is 12% above net sales for the year ended June 30, 2016, which were recorded at Rs 36,954m. The increase in sales revenue across all businesses contributed to this performance. The polyester business revenue growth of 7% was due to higher prices across the petrochemical chain, higher average Polyester Staple Fibre selling prices and increased sales of premium Black Fibre. Soda Ash net turnover grew by 2% on account of higher volumes, with Life Sciences recording a 28% growth in net turnover on the back of new product launches and growth of the existing portfolio.


Net turnover for the chemicals business grew by 20% against the SPLY, owing to higher sales volumes and an expanding customer base.