ACCA discusses services sector potential with state minister

ISLAMABAD (APP): A three-member delegation of Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) Pakistan, led by Sajjeed Aslam, called on Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan here Tuesday and discussed with him the potential of the services sector in economic development with special focus on the accountancy services. The delegation apprised the minister that there was great demand for Pakistan’s professionals in the Middle Eastern countries and support from the government will ultimately benefit the country in many ways. The group presented different proposals that could be considered for inclusion in the next budget and the same could help generate resources for the country. The minister appreciated the initiative of ACCA and said that he was highly supportive of promoting professional talent in different fields at home and abroad. The minister said: “Pakistan has a lot to offer to the world and we believe in paving the way for the youth of the country to prosper”.

The delegation also presented a study on CPEC, “The Belt and Road Initiative: Reshaping the Global Value Chain”, for perusal of the minister.

Australian delegation visits Pakistan to explore trade opportunities for pulses

ISLAMABAD (NNI): A delegation of Australian pulses producers concluded their three-day visit to Pakistan, a statement issued on Tuesday said. The delegation explored opportunities for increased pulses trade and production with Pakistani businesses and importers. The delegation attended the Pakistan Pulse Conclave 2018 in Karachi hosted by the Pakistan Pulses and Importers Association (PPIA) and also met with the Pakistan Pulses Importers Association Punjab Chapter and Karachi Grocers and Wholesale Association. Welcoming the visit, the Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan Margaret Adamson highlighted that Pakistan is Australia’s second largest destination for pulses exports, with trade valued at AUD465 million in 2016/2017. “Australia and Pakistan are actively exploring avenues to expand trade and investment, particularly in agribusiness where Australian expertise is world class. Australia is the only country located in the southern hemisphere from which Pakistan increasingly imports pulses,” High Commissioner said.

Pakistan is a regular importer of agricultural food commodities including chickpeas, lentils and canola oilseeds, with pulses being a major staple food in Pakistan. On average, Pakistanis consume 6-7 kg pulses annually.

Diplomats for improving Pakistan’s perception to attract foreign investment

KARACHI (NNI): Karachi-based diplomats have underscored the need to improve the perception about Pakistan in order to attract maximum number of foreign investors who will certainly be interested in massive investment opportunities available in Pakistan, particularly Karachi. Exchanging views at a breakfast meeting hosted by KCCI, they added that foreign investors from their respective countries were keen to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan but the negative perception, excessive paper-work and red-tapism were hindering FDI in the country. They also advised the business and industrial community of Karachi to focus on diversifying their exports as staying confined mostly to textile exports would not yield the desired results. Senior Commercial Officer of US Steve Knode, Consul General of Switzerland Philippe Crevoisier, Consul General of Turkey Tolga Ucak, Vice Consul of Consulate General of Germany Ingolf Vogel, Commercial Attaché of Turkish Consulate Murat Mustu, President KCCI and others attended the meeting. China's R&D spending up 11.6pc in 2017

BEIJING (Xinhua/APP): China's spending on research and development (R&D) grew faster in 2017 as the country continued to push for innovation-driven development. Preliminary calculations showed that R&D spending rose 11.6 percent year-on-year to 1.75 trillion yuan (about 280 billion U.S. dollars) in 2017, 1 percentage point higher than in 2016, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Tuesday. The spending accounted for 2.12 percent of China's gross domestic product, 0.01 percentage points higher than the previous year. Chinese enterprises spent more than 1.37 trillion yuan on R&D last year, up 13.1 percent from 2016, while R&D spending at government institutions and colleges increased 7pc and 5.2pc, respectively. Some 92b yuan, or 5.3pc of the total spending, was put into fundamental research in 2017, up 11.8 percent from a year earlier, the NBS said. According to the 13th five-year plan for national science and technology talent development (2016-2020), China will increase its annual per capita spending on R&D to 500,000 yuan by 2020, up from 370,000 yuan in 2014.

China had 5.35 million people working in R&D at the end of 2015, the world's largest pool of R&D personnel.