Need stressed for promoting Pak-Finland trade

ISLAMABAD (INP): Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with Finnpartnership organized a seminar on “Doing Business with Finland” which was attended by a significant number of local business community. Speaking at the occasion, Rauli Suikkanen, Roving Ambassador of Finland, said that Pakistan and Finland have great potential to promote cooperation in many areas including energy, trade, investment, joint ventures and developing direct contacts between the businessmen of both countries was the best way to realize these objectives. He indicated that Embassy of Finland would be reopened soon in Pakistan to further improve bilateral trade and economic relations between the two countries.

He said many Finnish companies were already present in Pakistan and more were interested to explore it for investment and joint ventures. He said Finland was the most innovative and world’s best country in global competitiveness and Pakistan could achieve many benefits for its economy by enhancing cooperation with Finland.

Ms. SivAhlberg, Program Director, Finnpartnership gave a detailed presentation on doing business with Finland. She said the mission of Finnpartnership was to increase commercial cooperation and promote business partnerships between companies of Finland and developing countries including Pakistan to achieve positive developmental effects in developing countries. She said Finnpartnership’s Matchmaking Service helped companies and organizations in developing countries in finding cooperation and business partners with Finland and stressed that interested Pakistani companies should take advantage of this service to find business matchmakings in Finland.

In his welcome address, AtifIkram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that keeping in view the importance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, more Finnish investors should explore Pakistan for investment and joint ventures, especially in energy and infrastructure development. He said such events should be organized on regular basis to apprise the private sectors of both countries about potential areas of business collaborations.

M. Asad Ansari, Honorary Consul General of Finland said that both countries have lot of potential to enhance cooperation in energy, steel, telecommunication, health, education and many other areas and he would continue to play role for further improving mutual cooperation between Pakistan and Finland.

Roadshow on Islamic banking starts

LAHORE (APP): Al-Huda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) Tuesday started a roadshow on Islamic banking. Al-Huda Centre’s spokesman said here that at the roadshow, the professionals would create awareness about Islamic banking among the people, with the collaboration of Chamber of Commerce, Islamic banks and universities. The objectives of this roadshow is to promote and encourage Pakistanis towards Islamic banking and finance. The Islamic scholars and experts of Islamic banking & finance would guide and motivate the people towards interest-free economy. In addition, he said, it would create awareness about ‘Halal and Haram’ among people.

Started from Peshawar, he elaborated, the roadshow would enter Punjab through Attock and reach Rawalpindi-Islamabad via Abottabad and Haripur on March 7, 8. After completing its activities at Mirpur Azad Kashmir on March 9, he said that on March 10, the roadshow would be held in Jhelum, Gujrat, and Gujranwala and on March 11 in Sialkot.

POL prices cut to benefit

industry, agri sector

LAHORE (APP): Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tuesday welcomed the massive cut in POL (petroleum, oil and lubricants) prices and termed it a step in right direction. LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, Senior Vice President Almas Hyder and Vice President Nasir Saeed said here that cut in POL prices would bring down the cost of doing business. They said that it was not the industrial sector alone but agriculture sector would also get heavy relief. They were of the view that industrial input cost would also lower due to massive cut in POL prices and it would subsequently help make Pakistani marchendise competithe global market. “Pakistan agriculture sector is engine of growth.

Cut in petroleum prices will bring down the input cost of agriculture production as high speed diesel is being used in tractors, tube-wells, harvesters, thrashers and other agriculture machinery,” said the LCCI President.

Experts discuss growth strategy

of livestock sector

LAHORE (APP): Experts in a meeting at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Lahore discussed “Strategies to Manage Mineral Imbalances in Livestock” for future growth strategy of livestock sector. Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha chaired the meeting while researchers from the UVAS, University of Agriculture Faisalabad and Livestock and Dairy Development (L&DD) Department Punjab attended it. The participants discussed results of research conducted by different organisations on mineral imbalances in livestock of Punjab and an action plan to overcome mineral imbalances for future growth strategy of livestock sector.

The Vice-Chancellor said that livestock in Pakistan was suffering from deficiency of energy protein, especially minerals. He told the meeting about the results of his research project on mineral mapping where 10 canal-irrigated districts of Punjab were studied.

Oil rises on optimism over

output freeze deal

LONDON (AFP): Oil prices rose Tuesday on increasing optimism over a recent output freeze deal that would curb the stubborn global supply glut, traders said. At around 1700 GMT, the US benchmark WTI for delivery in April climbed 67 cents to stand at $34.42 (31.7 euros) per barrel. In London, Brent North Sea crude for May advanced 39 cents to $36.96 a barrel compared with Monday's close. The market advanced as key oil producer and non-OPEC member Russia repeated its support for an output freeze deal which is aimed at curbing a supply glut that has sent prices crashing since mid-2014. Russian oil groups have agreed to freeze production levels as proposed last month by Moscow and Saudi Arabia to curb a near-record slump in prices.

President Vladimir Putin declared Tuesday.

Opening a meeting with oil group chiefs, he said Energy Minister Alexander Novak had led discussions on forging an agreement between producer countries to maintain their output.

"As the minister reported to me, you all agree with this proposal," Putin told them in comments released by the Kremlin.

He said the idea was to "fix Russia's 2016 production level at that of January," which was a post-Soviet record of 10.8 million barrels per day on average.

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and Russia -- two of the world's biggest oil producers -- proposed after a February 16 meeting with Qatar and Venezuela that all producer nations freeze output at January levels to support prices, provided other major players followed suit.

The news sparked hopes the market would stabilise after sinking to near 13-year lows on the stubborn supply glut -- but disappointed those looking for an output reduction.

The United Arab Emirates, which is a member of OPEC, also voiced its support for stable output.

Emirati Oil Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said stable production is needed if oil prices are to rebound from current ultra-low levels.

"I believe that current prices will force everyone to stabilise production" at January levels, Mazrouei was cited as saying by the state news agency WAM.

"Holding production is no longer an option but a necessity that everyone should consider."

Mazrouei added Tuesday that if production was stabilised, "we will see the results" on the market.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) refused twice last year to alter output, despite tumbling prices that have ravaged revenues, as it sought to hurt high-cost US shale producers.

Oil had rallied sharply last week on hopes that top producers will cut output.

The market jumped as OPEC nation Venezuela said his country was preparing to meet other producers in March to discuss ways to stabilise the market.

However, Riyadh, OPEC's largest oil producer, has since ruled out a production cut and Iran has dismissed joining a freeze.

- 'Between rock and hard place' -

City Index analyst Fawad Razaqzada said traders were torn between tightening global oil production and falling US drilling rig counts -- and abundant crude inventory levels in the United States.

"Oil prices are stuck between a rock and a hard place," Razaqzada told AFP on Tuesday.

"On the one hand, the consistent falls in US rig counts and the prospects of a production freeze between Russia and the OPEC point to a tighter oil market, while on the other hand, US oil inventories continue to climb to fresh record levels.

"Consequently, some traders are happy to be buying the dips while others try to sell the rips as they take advantage of a range-bound market."

The US government's Department of Energy will report its latest weekly snapshot of energy inventories on Wednesday.

Sentiment was boosted this week by China's decision on Monday to slash the so-called reserve requirement ratio for banks, stoking demand expectations in the world's largest energy consumer.