Egypt keen to promote trade with Pakistan: Envoy

ISLAMABAD (INP): Ahmed Fadel Yakoub, Ambassador of Egypt to Pakistan, has said that his country is keen to promote trade relations with Pakistan as both countries have good potential to do trade in many items with each other. He said given the size of economies of both countries, bilateral trade of around $200 million between Egypt and Pakistan was not reflective of their actual potential and serious efforts from both sides were needed to improve trade volume. He said this while talking to a delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry that called on him, led by its president Sheikh Amir Waheed. Ahmed Fadel Yakoub said that Egyptian investors considered Pakistan’s construction sector a promising area for investment. He said an Egyptian investor has already invested $2 billion in a real estate project in Islamabad while more were looking for partners in Pakistan for investment and joint ventures.

He said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would have positive implications for Egypt as it would lead to easy movement in Suez Canal. He said tourism was another potential area of cooperation between Egypt and Pakistan.

He said that Asia was emerging as a big market and Pakistan was an important country for Egypt to reap business and economic benefits from this region. He said Pakistan and Egypt have great prospects for developing cooperation in many fields and establishing direct contacts between the entrepreneurs of both countries was way forward to realize these objectives. He said Pakistan could also get better market access to African market by developing strong cooperation with Egypt.

QCCI vows to strengthen ties with Iran

ISLAMABAD (APP): The top officials of Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) Thursday vowed to enhance trade ties with Iran. According to IRNA news Agency, patron-in-chief of QCCI Ghulam Farooq Khan and President Abdul Samad praised the performance of Consulate General of Iran in Quetta for facilitating the Pakistani traders to improve trade ties with Pakistan. The trade activists said both countries were tied in eternal bonds of friendship and QCCI was encouraging all Pakistani traders who are interested in trade with Iran. Iranian Consul General Mohammad Rafiei is fully cooperating with QCCI which would also help the two countries to achieve the target of $5b trade volume set by the two govts, they said. They also noted that QCCI with the cooperation of Consulate General of Iran is making all out efforts to strengthen ties between the two neighboring countries in economic sector. While praising the efforts of Iranian CG, they said that it would help in enhancing ties between Iran and Pakistan in different fields.

 Agri development projects to be completed on time: Secretary

MULTAN (APP): Secretary Agriculture Punjab Muhammad Mehmood has said that agricultural development projects will be completed on time. The officials concerned have been directed to ensure completion of the projects so that the fruits of welfare policies of the PML-N government could reach farmers on time. He was addressing divisional and districts heads of the Agriculture Department Multan Division in a biannual performance review meeting held at Mango Research Institute Multan on Thursday. He said that the Punjab Agriculture Department had launched a five-year project with Rs 780 million for free distribution of date plants and seedless kinnow on subsidized rates among farmers in the province. The high-value varieties of date plants include Ajwa, Barhee, Amber, Khulas and Midjaul, which are being distributed among farmers belonging to nine districts of south Punjab: Bahawalpur, Multan, Jhang, Rahim Yar Khan, DG Khan, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Bhakkar and Rajanpur.

Also, seedless Kinnow plants would be provided in six districts on subsidised rates among farmers belonging to Sargodha, Toba Tek Singh, Mandi Bahauddin, Sahiwal, Vehari and Layyah districts. He said that sowing of cotton before April 1 is completely banned in the province. He directed officers concerned that final assessment of pesticides and fertiliser laboratories for ISO accreditation should be completed till Feb 28, 2018.

­ IMF resident representative meets

PRA chairperson

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): IMF resident representative Tokhir Mirzoe along with senior economist Teresa Daban Sanchez paid a courtesy visit to PRA Headquarters and met chairperson Dr Raheal Ahmed Siddiqui. The delegation was briefed about the working mechanism of the agency, its structure and its achievements. The chairperson also briefed them on induction of smart tax collection systems in its structure to halt tax evasion and increase tax revenue along with the introduction of various tax clinics and workshops for taxpayer’s assistance. Members of the delegation showed keen interest in the state of the art working structure & outstanding performance of handful of officers. The visiting members applauded the effort in drawing result-oriented policies and thanked the chairman for the souvenir shields and hospitality. At this occasion, member operation Javed Ahmed along with additional commissioner Amaan Anwar kadwae also assisted the chairperson.