Palm oil imports up by 8.1pc to $1.7b in 11 months

ISLAMABAD (APP): The imports of palm oil into the country witnessed increase of 8.14 percent during the eleven months of the last fiscal year 2017-18 as compared to the imports of the corresponding period of previous year. Pakistan imported palm oil worth $1888.321 million during July-May (2017-18) against the imports of $1746.104 million in July-May (2016-17), showing growth of 8.14 percent, according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). In terms of quantity, Pakistan imported 2,619,837 metric tons of palm oil during the period under review against the imports of 2,408,723 metric tons last year, showing growth of 8.76 percent. Meanwhile, the soyabean oil imports also increased from $112.533 million during FY2016-17 to $125.181 million in first eleven months of FY2017-18, showing growth of 11.24 percent. In terms of quantity, the soyabean imports increased from 104,245 metric tons to 143,343 metric tons, showing growth of 37.51 percent.

Meanwhile on year-on-year basis, the palm oil imports into the country slipped down by 18.50 percent during May 2018 against the imports of May 2017. The palm oil imports during May 2018 were recorded at $159.112 million against the imports of $195.237 million, the data revealed.

On month-on-month basis, the palm oil imports decreased by 14.15 percent during May 2018 when compared to the imports of $185.329 million in April 2018.

On the other hand, the soyabean imports into the country also decreased by 84.61 percent in May 2018 to $4.764 million compared to the imports of $30.951 million in May 2017.

On month-on-month basis, the soyabean imports into the country decreased by 51.64 percent in May 2018 when compared to the imports of $9.851 million in April 2018, the data revealed.


LCCI, Pak-Canada Chamber ink MoU to expand trade ties

LAHORE (APP): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and Pakistan-Canada Business Chamber (PCBC) Wednesday inked a memorandum of understanding to work jointly for expansion of trade and economic ties between the two countries. LCCI senior vice president Khawaja Khawar Rasheed singed the MoU on behalf of Lahore Chamber, while PCBC was represented by its president Shafqat Bashir. Both the chambers would facilitate each other's members and provide assistance to make bilateral trade activities a success. Khawaja Khawar Rasheed said that Pakistan is desirous of increasing its bilateral trade and investment in Canada to boost the economy, as there were a number of sectors where huge potential for cooperation existed. He said that livestock and agriculture were the two areas in which cooperation could lead to a win-win situation for the two countries.

 PCBC president Shafqat Bashir said that Pakistan and Canada had huge scope to work together to further strengthen economic relations between the two countries as Pakistan was a great country having rich and unmatched resources. It was a great country and had a bright future, he said, asserting that private sectors of the two countries should promote trade, investment and economic partnership in the areas of mutual interests.




Unido, PSIC implementing Cluster Development Initiative programme

ISLAMABAD (APP): The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Punjab Small Industries Corporation (PSIC) are jointly implementing “Cluster Development Initiative (CDI)” programme, under the framework of the World Bank’s “Jobs & Competitiveness Programme for Results” (J&C P for R). The programme has been envisioned to create linkages of high growth clusters of Punjab with global value chain by bridging up the gaps in terms of productivity, good manufacturing practices (lean manufacturing, green manufacturing), skills development, and integration with international compliance regime,  a UNIDO press release issued here Wednesday said. The objective is to create impact in terms of value-addition, export integration, job creation and inclusive growth in line with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-9) while addressing challenges faced by industry with the active cooperation of relevant associations and support institutions of the clusters.

The programme will help in creating an enabling environment for growth and prosperity of industries, to facilitate better quality of life through economic uplift in Punjab and to up-grade technology and enhance productivity, quality and profitability of local industries through innovation.

The surgical cluster of Sialkot is one of the prioritized industrial clusters of Punjab where UNIDO is providing technical assistance under the CDI programme through well accepted and proven UNIDO cluster development methodology.


NAVTTC chief asks political parties to adopt TVET sector as top priority in manifestos

ISLAMABAD (INP): Director general (DG) National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema has said that the political parties should adopt technical and vocational education as top priority in their election manifestos. Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema said that the future of country lies in the skills development sector. He urged the political parties to think about the future of the country's 65 percent youth. The technical and vocational sector has enough strength to change the fate of the country by engaging youth in skills development, he emphasized. The DG NAVTTC underlined the need for announcement of a special package by the political parties for skills development sector to alleviate poverty and boost the economy. According to the foreign experts, a huge number of unemployed youth would be the burden on Pakistan's economy, he said and stressed that the issue needs to be resolved on urgent basis, he said.

Zulfiqar Ali Cheema said that for the first time in the history of Pakistan, the National TVET Policy has been approved by the Parliament which would be helpful to boost the sector. He said that the industrial sector gets strengthened through establishment of Sector Skills Councils. NAVTTC, he said, has taken far reaching steps to reform skills sector on modern lines.

Due to ongoing skills development programmes of NAVTTC in different sectors of country, a vast majority of youth are becoming financially independent, he informed.