Smeda preparing to provide training to SME sector

FAISALABAD (APP): Small & Medium Entrepreneurs Development Authority (SMEDA) provincial chief Raja Hasnain Javed on Thursday said the SME sector should enhance its productive as well as professional skills on modern lines. In a meeting with Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) president Chaudhary Muhammad Nawaz at his office here, he said the SMEDA was preparing to provide necessary training and allied facilities to this sector. He said the CPEC was a major opportunity and we must prepare ourselves to get maximum benefits out of it. He also underlined the importance of SME sector in national economy and said the Punjab Government had made elaborate arrangements to facilitate the SME sector so that it could harvest maximum benefits relating to the CPEC projects. "A SMEDA facilitation desk at the FCCI has already been revived," he said and added that it had arranged 4-5 training programmes during a short span of two months and these programmes were attended by 150-200 entrepreneurs.

He said the local SME sector should identify its potentiality and inform SMEDA in case of any discrepancy so that proper feasibility studies of the related fields could be conducted to help them.

The president FCCI said the SME sector was the growth engine of the national economy and our progress and prosperity was entirely dependent on it.

He termed the CPEC a game changer for the entire region, adding that Pakistan will be the first beneficiary of it.

He also mentioned his recent visit to China along with the CM Punjab and told that the local industrialists had signed agreements to launch joint ventures with Chinese investors under which China would provide the latest manufacturing technology.

 SECP approves amendments to regulations for licensing and operation of central depository

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): In order to promote good corporate governance and enhance public confidence, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), in consultation with the CDC and other participants, has proposed amendments to the Central Depositories (Licensing and Operations) Regulations, 2016. A central depository is one of the most important capital market infrastructure institutions that functions as custodian of public assets. The proposed amendments have been notified in the official gazette and also made available on the official website of SECP so as to obtain public comments by August 24, 2016. The proposed amendments to the regulations are aimed at providing clarity with respect to process of appointment of independent directors. The fit and proper criteria applicable to a central depository, its substantial shareholders, directors and senior management officers is further augmented.

 Also in order to have clarity regarding roles and responsibilities of chief compliance officer, appropriate amendments have been proposed to the regulations.

 BPCCI to focus on promoting Pakistan-Brazil trade

ISLAMABAD (Online): Munawar Iqbal, President Brazil-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BPCCI), has said that Pakistan and Brazil have great potential to enhance cooperation in mining, energy, agriculture and many other sectors and vowed that BPCCI would work for promoting bilateral trade between the two countries by bringing private sectors of both countries even closer. He expressed these views during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said Brazil met more than 42 per cent of its energy needs through renewable sources and it could share its knowledge and expertise with Pakistan for overcoming its energy shortage. He said Brazil has improved its agriculture productivity through modern technology and Pakistan could modernize its agriculture sector by enhancing cooperation with Brazil. He said the main focus of BPCCI was to promote linkages between business associations of both countries to explore new avenues of mutual cooperation in various areas.

He said BPCCI will organize trade missions in Pakistan and Brazil and hold conferences, seminars and meetings to exchange business and economic related information between the entrepreneurs of both countries. He said BPCCI in collaboration with ICCI would step up efforts for strengthening business linkages between the two countries to realize available potential of two-way trade and economic relations between Brazil and Pakistan.

Speaking at the occasion, Sheikh Pervez Ahmed, ICCI Senior Vice President, and Sheikh Abdul Waheed, Vice President, said that Pak-Brazil bilateral trade was still hovering around US$300 million, which was far less than the actual potential of both countries. They said both countries should encourage frequent exchange of trade delegations and organizing single country exhibitions on reciprocal basis to promote bilateral trade up to real potential.

They said many Pakistan products including marble, textile products, leather & leather products, pharmaceutical, surgical instruments and agro products including rice, pulses, fruits & vegetables could find good market in Brazil and stressed that BPCCI should cooperate in enhancing Pakistan’s exports to Brazil.

They said that Brazilian expertise in mining, information technology, dairy farming, livestock, renewable energy and infrastructure sectors was much needed in Pakistan. They said both countries should focus on resolving tariff issues to give boost to the mutual trade. They said Pakistan’s geographical location was very important and Brazilian investors should focus on Pakistan for investment and joint ventures.

It was agreed that ICCI would work for establishing Pak-Brazil Chamber of Commerce & Industry chapter in Pakistan to establish strong connectivity between the private sectors of both countries in order to further improve bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Brazil.

 Oil prices stable after falls

LONDON (AFP): Oil prices steadied Thursday after falling most of the week, as markets reacted to the International Energy Agency's mixed outlook for crude. Around 1145 GMT, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October was down a cent at $44.04 a barrel. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery edged up a cent to $41.72, compared with the close on Wednesday. The IEA said Thursday it had cut its 2017 forecast for the growth in oil demand because of a weaker outlook for the world economy following Britain's vote to leave the European Union (EU). On the other hand, oil oversupply, which has again been weighing on crude prices since June, will disappear in the latter part of 2016, the IEA said. "Although the latest... estimates from the IEA point to stock draws in the second half of this year, it has become increasingly bearish on the outlook for next year," oil brokers PVM said in a note to clients in reference to the downgrade for demand growth. The IEA also predicted an end to the supply glut -- even as official data on Wednesday showed another jump in US crude inventories.

And a report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) this week showed Saudi Arabia's July oil production at a record high of nearly 10.5 million barrels per day.

Oil prices entered a "bear" market last week, having fallen more than 20 percent from peak levels above $50 a barrel seen in early June.

They rebounded Monday however after news broke that OPEC will be meeting informally next month on the sidelines of an energy conference -- ahead of scheduled November talks -- boosting expectations that the cartel could intervene to limit production.

But markets are sceptical after two similar previous meetings earlier this year failed to agree on any production ceiling.