Women entrepreneurs encouraged by response of EU market: IWCCI

ISLAMABAD (INP): “The outcome of the recent visit of women entrepreneurs to Europe proved to be very encouraging therefore we have decided to hold exhibition in different countries annually to introduce Pakistani products,” a business leader said. Women entrepreneurs linked to Islamabad Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI) recently visited Hungary and Italy where they were delighted to know about the demand for Pakistani garments, jewellery, handicrafts etc., said Samina Fazil, founder President, IWCCI. She said, “Encouraged with the response of the market, we have decided to hold exhibitions in different European countries to introduce Pakistani products which are already in great demand.” Our garments, clothing, jewellery and handicrafts are inferior to none but not available in the markets in Europe while the shops are full of Indian items that are no match to Pakistani products, she said.

It is the responsibility of the government as well as the private sector to promote Pakistani products that are needed in Europe, said added.

Samina Fazil said that Pakistani Ambassador in Hungary Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi and our Ambassador in Rome Nadeem Riaz as well as the Commercial Counsellor Saira Imdad Ali extended all out cooperation to make our visit a success.

They arranged our meeting with businessmen, informed about the market dynamics, latest trends and helped us arrange exhibitions to promote Pakistani products which is laudable, she added.

She said that our plans for promotion of trade links in areas of common interests and exploring avenues of export of made in Pakistan items has proved successful encouraging every member of the delegation that included Mumtaz Akhter, Munazza Arif, Shahida Mazhar, Rizwana Atif, Naadia Sami, Saadia Hassan, Anjum Arif and Safina Insaf.

 FPCCI supports govt decision to discourage unnecessary imports

ISLAMABAD (INP) The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday said it supports the decision of the government to discourage imports of needless items to save foreign exchange and reduce trade deficit. The decision of the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will support local producers while it will reduce imports and increase revenue for the government, it said. Business community supports the decision to upward revise regulatory duty on import of fish from ten percent to twenty five percent, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, Chairman FPCCI Regional Committee on Industries. Government has increased regulatory duty from fifteen percent to twenty percent on yogurt, cheese, honey and other dairy products to discourage its consumption which will also help local producers, he said. Atif Ikram Sheikh said that government should also keep an eye on local producers to keep them from using this opportunity to exploit masses while the decision may encourage smuggling which must be checked.

He said that duty on import of fruits and vegetables has also been jacked up by five percent while taxes on import of cornflakes, biscuits, bread, pickles, dry fruit juices, ice cream, ketchup, coffee, beverages, mineral water and other items has been increased which is a very good decision.

The business leader said that we support move to hike duty on cosmetics, leather items, shoes, fans, sports goods, wooden furniture, arms and ammunition etc.

These steps will discourage consumption of many imported items which are already produced locally which will promote local businesses but government needs to include more items in the list, he demanded.

 FPCCI president leaves for Russia to attend SPIEF 2017 meeting

ISLAMABAD (APP): President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Zubair Tufail Thursday left for St Petersburg, Russia to attend the meeting of International Economic Forum. St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2017) is being attended by a number of heads of states, CEOs of multinational companies, experts and around 2000 delegates, a press release here Thursday said. Forum will discuss problems confronting global trade and ways and means to enhance it while reducing cost of doing business to improve standard of living of the masses. Different heads of states, top politicians, diplomats and officials of multinational companies will also have separate meetings on the side lines of the forum. President of the Apex Chamber Zubair Tufail will also meet delegates from friendly countries and heads of their federal chambers of commerce. He will discuss trade relations, emerging opportunities in the backdrop of CPEC and ways and means to enhance investment.

He will take part in panel sessions and have interactions with the media.

During the forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern, and other world political and business leaders.

The heads of several European oil companies, including Total, Royal Dutch Shell, and BP are also attending the moot while a larger number of US businesses are also attending the forum.

St Petersburg International Economic Forum is an annual international conference dedicated to economic and business issues. Over the last decade, the forum has become a leading international platform for the discussion of key economic issues facing Russia, emerging markets and the world as a whole.

 Country producing 3.5MT coal, importing 4-5MT annually

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan is producing 3.5 million tons (mt) coal and importing four to five mt coal every year to meet needs of different sectors like steel, cement and power generation, official sources in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources said. "The coal is imported mainly from Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, South Africa and USA and consumed in steel and cement manufacturing and power generation units," they told APP. Commenting on domestic production, they said so far nineteen coalfields have been discovered in the country. The recent geological investigations have shown that around 186 billion tons of coal reserves existed in different parts of the country, which could be used as a primary and inexpensive source for power generation, they added. The sources said, provincial governments have granted more than 1,100 coal mining concessions to public and private sector companies to carry out exploration and mining operations in the licenced and leased areas.

"More than 185 billion tons deposits are located in Sindh province, with Thar coal field being the largest followed by Thatta-Sonda, Lakhra and Jhimpir. The coal is lignite to lignite-A to sub bituminous B&C in character with an average heating value of 6000 BTU/lb," they said.

Coal is primarily classified into four major categories, or 'ranks' like lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous and anthracite. One of the most valuable content of coal is its carbon content which supplies most of its heating value.

The sources informed that further investigations were being carried out to explore a nd evaluate coal deposits in Musakheil, Kingri and ToisarBasin, Musakheil district, Balochistan.

Answering a question, they admitted that the primary reason for not getting maximum benefit of the natural resources was the application of outdated technologies and inadequate capital besides security situation in some areas where the bulk of the mineral resources were located.