N Korea saw 1pc economic growth in 2014: BOK

SEOUL (AFP): North Korea’s economy expanded an estimated 1.0 percent in 2014 — the fourth consecutive year of positive growth, South Korea’s central bank said Friday. The Bank of Korea put the North’s nominal gross national income (GNI) at 34.2 trillion won ($29.85 billion) in 2014 — equivalent to just 2.3 percent of the South’s GNI. North Korea does not provide official economic figures and the annual BOK report is based on data collected from the National Intelligence Service and other South Korean institutions specialising in the North. The estimate does not take into account the North’s sizeable black economy, which has become a significant private market force in recent years.

The North’s economy has long been beset by shortages of electricity and raw materials, with sanctions imposed over its missile and nuclear weapons programmes restricting access to international credit.

Following a 0.5 percent contraction in 2010, the economy nevertheless expanded 0.8 percent in 2011, followed by 1.3 percent in 2012 and 1.1 percent in 2013.

The bank said the North’s construction sector bounced back from a 1.0 percent fall in 2013 to a 1.4 percent expansion last year.

Foreign trade increased slightly from $7.34 billion in 2013 to $7.61 billion, with exports shrinking 1.7 percent on-year to $3.16 billion, and imports up 7.8 percent at $4.45 billion.

SAARC Chamber sees Modi visit may revive Indo-Pak trade

LAHORE (APP): President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ismail Asif, hailing from Maldives, on Friday pinned high hopes that forthcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Pakistan may help revive Indo-Pak trade ties. SAARC Chamber President Ismail Asif stated while talking to Vice President SAARC CCI, Pak chapter and veteran trade leader Iftikhar Ali Malik by phone from Maldives. He said that with this visit trade and investment ties were expected to yield positive results and get much needed fillip in this region. SAARC Chamber chief said that trade was one of the powerful channels to enter into a viable and durable bilateral relationships.

He said that he was optimistic the visit would help normalise the

flow of trade and give peace another chance to flourish in the region besides strengthening the bilateral relations.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said that durable peace was pre-requisite

for stable and sustainable economic prosperity and long term development

in the region.

He said: "We are proud of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif who always attached great importance to peace in the region without

compromising supreme national interests and core issues".

He said that private sector of SAARC member countries was also fully committed to play its due role for strengthening trade ties and promotion

of economic activities among the all states.

He said that it was the sole objective of SAARC Chamber to help flourish and accelerate trade activities in the region for betterment

of poor people.

Eurozone inflation outlook brighter: ECB survey

FRANKFURT (AFP): The inflation outlook for the euro area is improving as growth picks up and the effects of the European Central Bank's policy measures feed through into the economy, an ECB survey showed on Friday. According to the ECB's regular quarterly survey of professional forecasters, eurozone inflation is expected to average 0.2 percent this year and then pick up to 1.3 percent in 2016 and 1.6 percent in 2017, moving closer to the central bank's target of just under two percent. The 2015 and 2016 figures represent a slight upward revision from the previous survey in the second quarter. Survey respondents "see a number of factors that support the strong pick-up in inflation in 2016 and 2017," the ECB said.

"The main factors include the confirmation of ongoing, albeit moderate, growth in economic activity, monetary policy measures, exchange rate developments and base effects from past oil price developments," it explained.

However, respondents expected the pick-up in economic activity to exert only slowly increasing pressure on prices, "as the slack remaining in the euro area economy will be removed only gradually," the ECB continued.

Structural reform efforts and ongoing adjustments and rebalancing in some euro area countries was also expected to help keep a lid on upward price pressures.

Already on Thursday, ECB chief Mario Draghi had said that the central bank's raft of different policy measures, including a much-contested scheme of buying 1.1 trillion euros ($1.2 trillion) worth of public sector and government bonds, were helping to fuel economic recovery.

Turning to the growth outlook for the 19 countries that share the euro, the survey saw largely no change in experts' growth forecasts.

"The outlook for economic activity was largely unchanged from the previous round," the ECB said, with real gross domestic product projected to expand by 1.4 percent in 2015, 1.8 percent in 2016 and 1.8 percent again in 2017.

Only the 2016 forecast was revised upwards slightly from 1.7 percent in the previous survey.

"The upward path is explained by the ECB's accommodative monetary policy and the low oil prices," the central bank said.

Many respondents expected the ECB's quantitative easing "to have an upward effect, both via the exchange rate, boosting extra-euro area demand, and thanks to low interest rates, allowing for improved credit market conditions," it explained.

Low oil prices would contribute positively to private consumption thanks to households' higher disposable income.

The ECB Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF) collects the views of experts affiliated with financial or non-financial institutions based within the European Union.

While the ECB insists that the survey results do not represent the views of its staff and decision-making bodies, the SPF survey usually provides an indication of where the ECB's own forecasts -- scheduled for release on September 3 -- are headed.

The latest survey was conducted between June 30 and July 6 and there were 54 respondents, the ECB said.

Huawei to become a big player in Android world

LAHORE (PR): Huawei has been one of the smartphone brands with the fastest growth rate in the world. According to the 2015 Q1 IDC statistics, Huawei is the world’s fourth largest smartphone manufacturer. Huawei’s market share in Columbia and Mexico now are 16% and 5.9% respectively. Zhang Xiaoyun, the CMO of Huawei Consumer BG, said that Apple is talented in innovation, but Huawei could be a big player in Android world. According to Strategy Analysis done in Columbia, Huawei has 16% of the smartphone market, and in Venezuela the figure is similar, in Mexico it is 5.9%. These numbers, when put in to context are quite significant, as it has been only five years since Huawei has been in business. 

Huawei is one of the Chinese manufacturers that has hit the Market leaders, hard. One of their success strategies has been price strategy. Mr. Fanhong Bruce, Director Devices, Huawei Pakistan explained this strategy as,” When we have a strong floor in the countries, then we put more innovation in our devices.” He further added, “We always try to attack problems from different angles.”

Another strategy is that the company has all the production chain, allowing them to meet demand more quickly. “We were able to rapidly increase our market share by value chain, which directly impacts our prices” said the Huawei Director Devices, Fanhong Bruce.

Huawei’s Executive Glory Zhang has been instrumental in the growth of the brand, especially in developed markets. He has expressed his views on the Market growth of Huawei as, “We have taken the transformation of older smart phones. In developed countries, this segment has great advantages, “Zhang said.

Meeting of body on GIDC

PESHAWAR (Staff Reporter): Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment and Trade vice chairman and leading industrialist, Senator Mohsin Aziz has welcomed the Senate (Anomaly) Committee on Gas Infrastructure Development Cess decision to not retrospectively charge GIDC from industries and captive power units. He said the decision was taken in meeting of the committee chaired by PML-N Senator Iqbal Zafar Jhagra in Islamabad. Besides Minister for Petroleum and National Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, high officials of Federal Ministry of Petroleum, and Finance, the Senators from smaller provinces, include Senator Mohsin Aziz, Senator Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, Saleem Mandiwala also attended the meeting.

The business community hailed the decision for not charging past retrospective Gas Development Infrastructure Cess (GIDC) from captive power plants. The rate of CNG and other retrospective of GIDC will be discussed in next meeting of the committee.