AKPBSP selected finalist for Business Ethical award

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan’s (AKPBSP) Building and Construction Improvement Programme (BACIP) is one of ten finalists for the United Kingdom based Ethical Corporation’s 2015 Responsible Business Ethical Awards under the new category of Best Social Enterprise. The prestigious international award goes to an organisation that addresses existing social and/or environmental challenges. Winners will be announced on September 25, 2015 at a ceremony in London. Now in its 6th year, the Responsible Business Awards recognise and celebrate responsible business practice from around the world. Previous winners include: Santander Brazil, Turkcell, Mars Incorporated, Itaú Unibanco, Interface, Roshan, Diageo and many more.

In 1997, AKPBS,P introduced the BACIP to improve energy efficiency and comfort in homes, and simultaneously counter deforestation by reducing the usage of wood. The programme was first implemented in the remote Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral (GBC) regions of Northern Pakistan, where homes are cold and smoky in the harsh winters, and when large amounts of wood are used for heating and cooking. That overuse of wood contributes to deforestation and leads to increase environmental damage from land erosion, which in turn causes flooding. The ripple effect of such damage is increased vulnerability to people living in GBC as well as the low lying areas of coastal Sindh, where AKPBS,P has also replicated BACIP.

FPCCI expresses fear of economic downfall over falling exports

ISLAMABAD (INP): Businessman Panel of the FPCCI on Tuesday expressed fear of economic downfall over falling exports which is adding to budget deficit and poverty. Dwindling exports is hurting every facet of economy and society and it has emerged as a big threat to country, said Central leader of the Businessman Panel and former vice president FPCCI Khurram Sayeed. Speaking to the business community, he said that national resources are diverting towards affluent while leaving poor high and dry. The economic situation is not as good as portrayed due to excellent media management, he added. Khurram Sayeed said that country awaits population census since last seventeen years leaving authorities to make policies on assumptions.

He said that sliding exports have started hurting basic facilities like health and education frustrating all except for those who are fortunate enough to enjoy these services offered by private sector.

Frustrated masses are protesting for provision of facilities on reasonable rates while remaining in the system after which they can stand for their rights which will be unfortunate.

Need stressed to increase trade with China, Germany

KARACHI (INP): Patron-in-Chief of Pak China Club and chairman of Al-Karma Towel Industries Mahtab Uddin Chawala has said that trade of Pakistan with Germany and China needs to be further increased. Talking at a dinner hosted at his house in honour of Pakistani ambassador in Germany Syed Hassan Javed and Consul General of China Ma Mayau he said Germany and China have a major role in the trade and commerce of the region; therefore, increasing trade volume with these both important countries is in the interest of Pakistan. Consul General of China Ma Mayau said on the occasion that bilateral trade with China is being increased. He said increasing investment is also amongst our priorities.

Chawala said there are vast opportunities of investment in Pakistan in different sectors like energy and infrastructure and the traders of China and Germany should invest in these lucrative sectors.

On the occasion the president of Pak China Club Javed Rashid Asghar Arian said tariffs should be positively adjusted keeling the local industrial situation in Pakistan. He said reduction in tariff is a must for increasing trade relations with Pakistan. Pak China Club senior Vice President Rehan Uddin Chawala said with the exchange of trade delegations with both Germany and China new vistas of trade would be opened.

Punjab delegation to visit China to boost mutual investment

LAHORE (Online): Provincial Minister for Labour & Human Resource Raja Ashfaq Sarwar has said that a high level delegation from Punjab will visit Chinese province Jilin this month to enhance mutual cooperation for investment through public private partnership between the two provinces. He expressed these views while presiding over 2nd meeting of special committee constituted by Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif for the promotion of working relationship between Jilin and Punjab provinces in different sectors, on Tuesday. The meeting was informed that Punjab government has fertile land comprising 77 thousand acre for profitable investment by livestock and dairy farming.

Member PPP Cell Agha Waqar Javed informed that the prospects of investment in transport and auto mobile sector would enhance particularly in Punjab after announcement of auto policy by the federal government.

Raja Ashfaq Sarwar said that expertise of Jilin province would be fully utilised to improve production of maize, fruits, soybean oil and vegetables while concrete steps would be taken to increase export of Pakistani mango in Chinese fruit markets. He further informed that students from Punjab via PEEF stipend would be sent to Agricultural University of Jilin for research and training purpose.

The meeting was informed that coordination between the two provinces in bio-technology and agro based research especially in maize and millet would be enhanced and cooperation would be increased between Maize & Millet Research Institute Yusafwala, Maize Research Institute of China and North Asia Agricultural Research and Training Center Jilin. He told the meeting that there was an excellent atmosphere for investment in Pakistan especially in Punjab and government will provide foolproof security to Chinese engineers, experts and workers working on different mega projects.

Oil prices drop on China

currency move

LONDON (AFP): Oil prices fell Tuesday, mirroring sentiment across commodity markets, after China devalued its currency to help boost its economic growth. Crude prices had already been falling in recent weeks owing to a global supply glut despite forecasts of demand growth. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery fell 83 cents to $44.13 a barrel compared with Monday's close. Brent North Sea crude for September dropped 66 cents to stand at $49.75 a barrel in London afternoon deals. Prices had rebounded Monday from multi-month low points. Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at trading group Forex.com said "concerns about the Chinese economy... (are) continuing to weigh heavily on commodities."

He added in a client note: "This view has been reinforced by China's surprise move overnight to weaken the yuan's daily reference rate."

China's central bank on Tuesday devalued the yuan by nearly two percent against the US dollar, as authorities seek to push market reforms and bolster the world's second-largest economy.

A cheaper yuan will make Chinese exports less expensive, which could potentially boost their overseas sales.

"Clearly, the market has interpreted the move as a sign that the health of the Chinese economy is probably worse than even what the official data suggests," added Razaqzada.

Despite concerns over China, OPEC on Tuesday revised upward its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2015 and maintained projected record levels of world consumption next year.

In its August monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it was expecting world oil demand to grow by 1.38 million barrels per day -- some 90,000 more than announced in its July estimates.

Oil prices collapsed 60 percent between last June and January, hitting a low of $45 largely owing to a supply glut caused by the boom in US shale oil.

And despite showing signs of a recovery earlier this year, they have started to once more slip back.

On Monday meanwhile, the World Bank warned that the lifting of sanctions related to Iran's nuclear programme would have a "significant impact" on the world oil market in 2016.

OPEC member Iran's return to the global market would eventually add about a million barrels of oil a day, lowering prices by $10 per barrel, the bank said.

Elsewhere on commodity markets Tuesday, aluminium hit a six-year low point at $1,573.50 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange.

Copper moved closer to a six-year low as it reached $5,166.50 a tonne.