Cement sector reports 5pc growth

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The cement sector continued its growth pattern at the start of this fiscal after conclusion of its most successful year that ended on June 30, 2018. Despite disruption caused by hectic election activities it posted 5.10 percent growth in July. According to the statistics issued here on Friday by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association, the year 2018-19 started on a positive note for domestic sector. In July 2018 the total cement despatches was recorded at 3.554 million tons that was 5.10 percent higher than the despatches in July 2017 which was 3.382 million tons. Generally the election activities slow down the economic and construction activities and workers go back to the places where they are registered as voters. But even the elections did not dent the growth much which depicts that the cement and construction sectors are on the go and the activities are likely last for long term. In the month of July 2018 the domestic despatches increased by 4.42 percent from 2.906 million tons in July last year to 3.035 million tons in July 2018.

The domestic growth though lower in percentage is higher in terms of volume due to higher domestic sales base.

The spokesman of APCMA expressed hope that after the induction of new government the economic activities would grow and the cement demand would increase.

"We expect the new economic managers to make the necessary changes in policy that the industry has been demanding to further boost demand, and also take measures to boost export opportunities in neighboring countries," he added.

Furniture worth $3.588m exported

ISLAMABAD (APP): Furniture worth $ 3.858 million exported during the fiscal year 2017-18, as compared the exports of $ 4.500 million of the corresponding period of last year, showing about 14.27 percent decrease. During the period from July-June, 2017-18, about 184,000 units of different furniture products worth $ 3.858 million were imported as compared the imports of 229,000 units of 4.500 million of same period of last year, said the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Meanwhile, handicraft worth $ 4.009 million were exported as compare the exports of US$ 2.857 million of same period  last year, which grew by 40.32 percent. During the period under review, jewellary valuing $ 5.903 million were exported as compare the $5.827 million of same period last year and it was increased by 1.30 percent, the data reveled. Surgical goods and medical instruments worth $348.579 million were exported during 11 months of the last financial year ended on June 30, 2017 as compared the corresponding period of last year.

The exports of above mention items had registered about 13.28 percent growth during the period under review as their exports were recorded at $307.723 million during 11 months of fiscal year 2016-17.

Meanwhile, the country also earned $957.940 million by exporting other chemicals and pharmaceutical products, which was stood at $784.800 million in the corresponding period of last year, said the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.           

During the period from July-May, 2017-18,  exports of other chemicals also grew by 31.77 percent and were recorded at $505.83 million  as against the exports of $383.882 million of same period last year, it added.

The exports of fertilizers also witnessed tremendous growth of 632.74 percent as during the period from July-May, 2017-18, about 234,145 metric tons of fertilizers manufactured worth $51.321 million were exported as compared the exports of 30,124 metric tons valuing $ 7,004 of same period last year.

According the data country earned $82.582 million by exporting cutlery products as compared the exports of $75.280 million of same period last year, which was up by 9.70 percent, it added.

Tea imports up by 5.36pc

ISLAMABAD (APP): The imports of tea into the country witnessed growth of 5.36 percent during the fiscal year 2017-18 as compared to the last financial year (2016-17), according to PBS. Pakistan imported tea worth $551.881 million during the fiscal year under review against the imports of $523.790 million, the PBS data revealed. In terms of quantity, the tea imports into the country however decreased by 5.91 percent by declining from imports of 194,833 metric tons last year to 183,321 metric tons during the fiscal year 2017-18. The overall food imports into the country during the period under review increased by 0.68 percent by going up from $6143.435 million during 2016-17 to $6185.369 in 2017-18. Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the tea imports during June 2018 witnessed negative growth of 15.37 percent as compared to the imports of June 2017.  The tea imports in June 2018 were recorded at $27.879 million against the imports of $32.942 million. On month-on-month basis, the tea imports into the country decreased by 10.17 percent during June 2018.

when compared to the imports of $31.036 million in May 2018, the data revealed.

It is pertinent to mention here that the overall merchandise imports into the country during the fiscal year 2017-18 increased by 15.10 percent by going up from $52.910 billion in FY 2016-17 to $60.898 billion.

On the other hand, the exports from the country surged by 13.74 percent from $20.422 billion to $23.228 billion.

Based on the figures, the external trade deficit during the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18 increased by 15.95 compared to last year.

The trade deficit during FY 2017-18 was recorded at $ 37.670 billion against the deficit of $32.488 billion in FY 2016-17.

DFID team visits SBI

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): A five-member team of Department for International Development (DFID) led by Lindy Cameron Director General, Country Programmes, DFID, Joanna Reid, Head of DFID Pakistan, and Elin Burns, UK Deputy High Commissioner, called upon Chairperson, Sindh Board of Investment, Naheed Memon to discuss Doing Business, Prosperity Fund and collaboration with the United Kingdom's Government for development in Sindh. On the occasion SBI Chairperson acknowledged the technical and financial support of World Bank Group and Department for International Development (DFID) for making Doing Business reform project a reality. She said that the Government of Sindh gives top priority to reforms to attract foreign and local investments as Sindh provides immense opportunities in energy, minerals, agriculture, hotel and tourism industry. Briefing the members on Doing Business Naheed Memon said that the first 100 Day Sprint of Doing Business reforms was completed where reforms were introduced at different departments.

Such as Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB), Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), Board of Revenue and Energy Department. She said that the Government has mobilized all its resources for its success. She further said that the second Sprint is currently being implemented and it's near completion. She said that the next step is to verify these reforms to see whether citizens are benefiting from them.

She pointed out that these reforms were aimed at procedural level and reduced steps for making business ease and introducing technology and innovations. As a part of her Vision for Ease of Doing Business in Sindh, the Chairperson informed the delegation that 10 facilitation centers are being planned in Karachi alone. "We also want to establish offices of Sindh Board of Investments in Hyderabad and Sukkur", Naheed Memon added. She said that SBI wants to encourage women entrepreneurs, so they can benefit from wide range of investment opportunities in Sindh.

The members of the delegation appreciated the efforts of Government of Sindh and SBI for taking measures and reforms on Ease of Doing Business and pledged to continue its technical and financial assistance to the Government of Sindh.

Patricia Seex Group Head, Economic Growth Group, and Waqas-ul-Hassan Senior Private Sector and Financial Adviser were also present at the meeting, whereas Director Projects, SBI, Azeem Uqaili assisted the Chairperson, SBI.