Customs to conduct

training for LCCI

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has welcomed the proposal of Collectorate of Customs to conduct training session to educate the LCCI members about procedure of customs. The proposal was given by the Collector Customs (Appraisal Mr. Muhammad Sadiq while talking to an LCCI delegation led by the Convener of LCCI Standing Committee on Dry Ports Muhammad Siddique Rehan here at his office. The LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, Senior Vice President Almas Hyder and Vice President Nasir Saeed said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry is taking every possible step to bring its members at par with the day-by-day changing international scenario.

He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry is ready to conduct seminars/workshops to educate its members about the procedures of customs.

Canadian High Commission

trade team visits PBIT

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): A seven-member delegation from the Canadian High Commission in Islamabad visited PBIT on Wednesday. The delegation was led by Ms Allison Stewart, Counsellor Political and Commercial, Canadian High Commission, Islamabad. It also comprised Mark Scullion, Counsellor at the Canadian Consulate General in Mumbai, India, along with five trade commissioners based in Pakistan, three at the High Commission in Islamabad and two at the Canadian Consulate General in Karachi. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange views on the current evolving opportunities in Punjab’s priority economic sectors. Ms Stewart stressed the need for a bilateral investment treaty.

to ease the process of doing business in each other’s countries. She said

“There is obvious potential for Canadian assistance and investment in areas such as clean water provision and oil and gas.”

CEO PBIT, Ms. Amena said “Canadian investment and expertise could play a critical role in areas such as clean water provision, food processing and energy.”

Bestway Group annual

turnover up by 20pc

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): The Bestway Group has announced that its annual turnover increased by 20% to £3.06 billion from £2.55 billion in 2014. According to Group’s financial results for the year ended June 30, 2015, profit before tax for the year ended 30 June 2015 was up 39.9% to £373.8 million from £267.1 million in 2014. All group businesses continued to be profitable. Zameer Choudrey CBE, the Group Chief Executive said, “The past financial year has been very exciting for the Group. Despite difficult business conditions we have maintained our focus on our strategic goals by increasing turnover and market share of our businesses both in the UK and in Pakistan”.

During the year the Group undertook two major acquisitions. The Group acquired The Co-operative Pharmacy (now re-branded as Well Pharmacy) in the UK for £641.3 million. Well Pharmacy is the UK’s 3rd largest retail pharmacy with 795 stores nationwide and represents a key diversification for the Group.

The Group also acquired an 88% shareholding in Lafarge Pakistan (now re-branded as Pakcem) for a total consideration of £182.0 million, of which £161.6 million is direct consideration and £20.4 million, is existing debt within Pakcem, taken on by the Group on completion. Pakcem’s cement plant has a capacity of 2.4 million tonnes per annum and the acquisition has resulted in Bestway Cement becoming Pakistan’s largest cement producer, with an annual production capacity of 8 million tonnes.

Choudrey said, “Both the acquisitions were completed through a competitive bidding process where the Group saw off some major competitors. Despite the fact that the Group’s offers were not the highest, the Group was seen as the most credible party and the best fit to complement the existing businesses”.

USAID helping Pakistani

businesses access credit

KARACHI (NNI): Hundreds of financial sector experts, government officials and business representatives gathered in Karachi for a three-day conference on non-banking finance and capital markets. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan hosted the event.

“USAID is proud to work with the Pakistani government to strengthen the financial sector and increase private-sector access to finance,” said USAID Mission Director John Groarke. “The more efficiently and effectively capital is allocated, the more progress Pakistan will make in meeting international financial milestones and emerging as a formidable economic force in global markets.”

According to Mr. Groarke, USAID is working with Pakistan on debt security issuances, strengthening the debt market and helping four signatory financial institutions increase access to loans for micro, small, and medium enterprises (SMEs). Key to that is developing private-equity finance to improve access to all forms of financing for SMEs, such as equity, leasing, venture capital and credit financing.

The conference focused on topics, such as the leasing sector, Islamic financing and capital-market development. Discussions aimed at reducing regulatory constraints and fostering common interests to support economic growth.

Attendees at the opening session included the State Bank of Pakistan governor, and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan chairman. NNI

Uzbekistan keen to enhance

bilateral trade with Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (INP): Furkat A Sidikov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan, visited ICCI on Wednesday. He said that his country was keen to enhance bilateral trade with Pakistan as both countries have good potential to promote trade in multiple areas. He said Pakistan and Uzbekistan enjoyed good political relations since long, but it was the need of the hour to strengthen bilateral relations to achieve mutually beneficial results. He said Uzbekistan was manufacturing high quality tractors, agriculture machinery, heavy duty trucks and buses and stressed that Pakistani entrepreneurs should explore possibilities of importing these products from Uzbekistan that would help in improving agriculture productivity and transportation facilities in Pakistan.

He said Uzbekistan was energy-rich country exporting its surplus power to Russia, China and Afghanistan and was ready to cooperate with Pakistan in overcoming its energy woes. He said lack of direct connectivity and information about business prospects was the major reason of low volume of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Uzbekistan. However, he said direct flights will be started between Lahore and Tashkent in March this year that would greatly help in promoting bilateral trade between the two countries. He said ICCI should take a business delegation to explore business opportunities in Uzbekistan and assured that his Embassy would fully cooperate to make its visit successful.

Speaking at the occasion, AtifIkram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry briefed the Ambassador about investment potential in various sectors of Pakistan’s economy.He said Uzbek investors should explore joint ventures and investment opportunities in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which would create plenty of business opportunities for local and foreign investors.He said during the visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan to Uzbekistan in November 2015, the leadership of both countries had agreed to strengthen their ties by enhancing trade and improving connectivity which has created new hopes for businessmen of both countries.

He said many Pakistani products were going to Uzbekistan via Dubai and both countries should focus on promoting direct trade that would be more beneficial for their people. He said many Pakistani products including pharmaceuticals, IT, surgical goods and others have good potential in Uzbekistan and there was a need to build rail link between Pakistan and Uzbekistan to make considerable improvement in trade activities. He said frequent exchange of trade delegations and holding single country exhibitions were the most effective tools to promote bilateral trade and stressed that both governments should facilitate businessmen in undertaking these ventures.