FPCCI resents non implementation of export package

ISLAMABAD (INP): The government should implement Rs180 billion export package without further delay to boost falling exports, a business leader said on Monday. The package was announced and notified in January but it has not been implemented since then that is disturbing, said FPCCI Regional Committee on Industries Chairman Atif Ikram Sheikh. He said that delay in implementation of the package will damage the export sector which is already in a shamble. He said that non-payment of refunds has also emerged as a serious issue damaging exports which should be resolved immediately by automating the whole system. Automatic refunds would result in timely payments to business community which will initiate increased exports that are going down since years, he said. The business leader said that automatic processing of the refund claims and transfer money in the account of exporter within seven days of export will give a new life to the external trade.


 Thar coal best solution to overcome energy crisis: PEW

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) President Dr Murtaza Mughal has said that Thar coal is the best and cheapest solution to overcome chronic energy crisis in the country. He said that Thar coal is the most economical solution for ensuring energy security therefore it should be exploited and Chinese involvement should be enhanced. He said that extra attention should be paid to exploit the treasure buried in Thar as the economy continues to suffer due to power outages. Dr Murtaza said that Thar cola can ensure energy security, help cut oil import bill, earn forex reserves and provide jobs to millions of unemployed. “We cannot afford to delay exploitation of one of the world’s largest lignite deposits estimated at 185 billion tonnes as it can ensure energy security for centuries and earn sufficient money to upgrade transmission and distribution network across the country,” he added.

Presently, he said, around 60 percent of energy is being imported disturbing budget while power requirement will swell by ten percent per annum calling for action. Authorities should revisit issues like facilities, infrastructure, incentives, coordination, tariff and pricing to get maximum benefit of reserves, he demanded.


 Merkel sees EU, Gulf states making progress on free trade deal

ABU DHABI (Reuters): German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she hopes the European Union and the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries can finally complete a free trade agreement and that she would discuss the issue with Abu Dhabi's crown prince. Germany, which relies on foreign trade for half its gross domestic product, fears that the protectionism backed by U.S. President Donald Trump and the fallout from Britain's vote to leave the EU posed global economic risks. "I'll be talking with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan about this question," Merkel said on Monday before her meeting. "The issue at hand is how to intensify the economic relations between the two regions." On a trip to Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, Merkel told reporters that the economic relations between the two regions needed to be strengthened. She said she had also discussed the issue on Sunday on her visit to Saudi Arabia.

"I made it clear that a free trade agreement with the Gulf states would be of great interest from a European point of view," Merkel said during her visit to Jeddah on Sunday.

She noted that the EU had made a new offer for an agreement but that the GCC states had not yet responded. Merkel said she had talked to King Salman about the issue on Sunday evening. Trade between the EU and GCC amounted to 138 billion euros in 2016, according to the EU. Exports from EU countries to the GCC were worth 100 billion euros and imports to the EU were worth 38 billion. Two-way trade has been growing steadily in the last decade.

The EU-GCC talks date back some 20 years. Little progress has been made lately. In response to scepticism about free trade from President Trump, Germany has been urging the EU to speed agreements to open trade. Talks are underway with the GCC, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.

In March, Gulf officials said the six GCC states were pressing for an early agreement on free trade with Britain to secure preferential arrangements after Brexit and could have a draft agreement ready within months. GCC states are trying to diversify their economies and boost non-oil trade after more than two years of low global oil prices that have hurt their finances. They export mainly oil, gas and related products to Western economies while importing a wide range of goods and services.




 PPL announces gas discovery at ZafirX-1


KARACHI (Staff Reporter): Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) - the operator of Gambat South Block with 65 percent working interest (WI) along with its joint venture partners Government Holdings Private Limited and Asia Resources Oil Limited with 25 percent and 10 percent WI, respectively - has announced a gas discovery at its exploration well Zafir X-1 located in District Sanghar, Sindh. Zafir X-1 was spud on March 14, 2017 and reached the final depth of 3,928 meters on April 12, 2017. Based on wireline logs, potential hydrocarbon bearing zones were identified which are under testing. Initial testing in Massive Sand of Lower Goru Formation flowed 29.2 MMscfd gas and 310 bbls/day of condensate at 48/64 inches choke, thus confirming the presence of commercial quantities of hydrocarbons at Zafir X-1. The well is being flowed at different choke sizes to measure gas flow rates, and the actual flow potential of the well will be determined after completion of the test.