IT exports can reduce budget deficit, eradicate poverty

ISLAMABAD (Online): The Pakistan Business Forum (PBF) on Thursday said the IT sector can help the country increase export earnings, create jobs, reduce unemployment and fight corruption. Pakistanis are the most talented people in the region but some problems are keeping them from using their potential to make Pakistan a great country, it said. IT sector is not getting due attention while the business community is not very interested in this area which has a negative impact on investments and competition, said Omar Shahid Butt, President PBF. He said that Pakistan ears around one billion dollars through IT exports while the size of the Indian IT market stands at $181 billion while their exports are $137 billion. Almost two hundred Indian IT companies are doing business in eight countries while the situation in Pakistan is different, he added. Omar Shahid Butt said that Bangladesh has also surpassed Pakistan which has clinched the second position in providing online labour which is reducing unemployment and generating revenue. He recalled that the PTI announced on 4th of July 2018 that if voted to power it will invest two billion dollars in the IT sector to boost exports and revenue and now the time has come to fulfil the promise.

Oil deepens slide on recession fears, China’s trade threats

NEW YORK (Reuters): Oil prices fell more than 1% on Thursday, extending the previous session’s 3% drop, pressured by mounting recession concerns and a surprise boost in U.S. crude inventories. In a sign of investor concern that the world’s biggest economy could be heading for recession, weighing on oil demand, the U.S. Treasury bond yield curve inverted on Wednesday for the first time since 2007. China’s threat to impose counter-measures in retaliation for the latest U.S. tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods also weighed on oil prices. Brent crude LCOc1 fell as much as $1.81, or 3%, to $57.67 a barrel. The international benchmark was $1.23, or 2.1%, lower at $58.25 and West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) CLc1 was down 75 cents, or 1.4%, to $54.48 by 12:32 p.m. ET (1632 GMT) “Oil is getting whacked again as risk-aversion again kicks in and fears of a trade war inflicted slowdown grip traders,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. “WTI had enjoyed a decent rebound over the last week but failed at the first hurdle, running into resistance around the mid-July lows before plunging once again.” The price of Brent is still up 10% this year thanks to supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia, a group known as OPEC+. In July, OPEC+ agreed to extend oil output cuts until March 2020 to prop up prices. A Saudi official on Aug. 8 indicated more steps may be coming, saying “Saudi Arabia is committed to do whatever it takes to keep the market balanced next year.”