Raikot-Islamabad highway to form part of CPEC

ISLAMABAD (APP): National Highway Authority (NHA) will build 487km Raikot-Islamabad Highway which would form part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC). An official of the NHA informed APP that the highway was also important because four new dams close to this highway namely; Thakot, Pattan, Dassu and Diamer Basha have also been planned. Highlighting the significance of the said project, the official said that the present government was putting special emphasis on China-Pak Economic Corridor so that trade ties with China and Central States could be further strengthened and the region could witness rapid economic growth and prosperity.

He said that Raikot-Islamabad Highway will start from Pak-China border and will connect to the existing Karakoram Highway and reach Islamabad and will be further extended to Gwadar in the near future.

The realignment of the 24 kilometers of the existing Karakoram Highway was also part of this project, and this highway will be two-lane from Khanjrab to Mansehra, 4-lane from Mansehra to Islamabad and 6-lane from Islamabad to Gwadar. To accommodate the four proposed dams along this highway, the National Highway Authority plans to reconstruct 230 kilometers of the Karakoram highway under the new design.

He said that Pakistan-China Economic Corridor will boost, trade tourism, industry and agriculture of the entire region.

He said that communications sector has been the top priority of Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

Raikot-Islamabad Highway project will become part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on which a memorandum of understanding was signed between Pakistan’s Ministry of Communications and China Road and Bridge Corporation in February this year in China.

Weekly inflation decreases 1.13pc

ISLAMABAD (APP): The SPI for the week ended on October 16, for the lowest income group up to Rs. 8,000, registered decrease of 1.13pc as compared to the previous week. The SPI for the week under review in the above mentioned group was recorded at 209.14 points against 211.52 points registered in the previous week.The weekly SPI has been computed with base 2007-2008=100, covering 17 urban centers and 53 essential items for all income groups and combined. The SPI for the combined group decreased by 1.10pc as it went down from 218.98 points to 216.58 points. As compared to the corresponding week of last year, the SPI for the combined group in the week under review witnessed increase of 3.32 percent.

As compared to the last week, the SPI for the income groups from Rs.8001-12,000, Rs.12,001-18,000, Rs.18001-35,000 and above Rs.35,000 decreased by 1.12 percent, 1.14 percent, 1.12 percent and 1.04 percent respectively.

During the week under review average prices of 11 items registered decrease, while that of 10 items increase with the remaining 32 items’ prices unchanged.

The items which registered decrease in their prices during the week under review included bananas, onions, potatoes, chicken (farm), garlic, egg (farm), sugar, LPG (Cylinder), rice (irri-6) and vegetable ghee.

The items which recorded increase in their average prices included masoor (pulse), moong (pulse), gur, mash (pulse), mustard oil, gram pulse, wheat flour, wheat and vegetable ghee.

The items with no change in their average prices during the week under review included rice basmati (broken), bread (plain), mutton, beef, milk (fresh), curd, milk (powdered), cooking oil, salt (powder), tea (packet), cooked beef, tea (prepared), cigarette, long cloth, shirting, lawn, georgette, sandal (gents), chappal, sandal (ladies), electricity charges, gas charges, kerosene oil, firewood, electric bulb, washing soap, match box, petrol, diesel, telephone local all and bath soap,

Reforms to up kinnow export

ISLAMABAD (INP): Trade expert and Director Harvest Tradings Ahmad Jawad has stressed the need for adopting modern techniques to boost the citrus export and expressed hope that kinnow exports from the country are expected to reach 0.25 million tons in the coming season which will start from December 1st, 2014 . Talking on Friday, Ahmad Jawad said that Pakistan which is an important citrus producer across the globe shall produce bumper crop in 2014-15 season and production may cross 2 million tons, as there is no symptoms of virus this year. However, he stressed the need for switching to latest technologies to mitigate post harvest losses and enhance exports from the country to help this industry grow properly.

He also highlighted the importance of exploring new markets and adopting modern marketing techniques to boost exports.

“It is a challenge for the agricultural scientists and extension workers to reduce the post harvest losses as Pakistan wastes 40 percent of the citrus production in the post harvest process due to poor harvest practices, harvest delay, lack of disease management and extreme weather conditions,” he remarked.

So far, Kinnow has already been introduced in more than 20 countries of the world, however it could not get full potential from these markets, he said and added that exports can further be increased provided modern marketing techniques are applied.

Australian envoys visit PBIT

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): First Secretary (Political) at Australian High Commission Michael Gregory along with Political and Trade Secretary Nicola Guihot visited the Punjab Board of Investment & Trade (PBIT) here on Friday.  The visit aimed at exploring opportunities for economic and trade development, build linkages between the agriculture, livestock & dairy sectors of Australia and Pakistan to enhance economic and trade ties. Chief Executive Officer, Punjab Board of Investment and Trade Muhammad Ilyas Ghauri welcomed the delegation. On this occasion, a presentation was given on PBIT’s structure, its working, services, and possible areas of collaboration between Australia and Pakistan.

Suhail Saleem, Director Agriculture and Dairy, PBIT told the Australian delegation that Pakistan has great potential to grow its agriculture sector. Ms. Nicola Guihot suggested the possibility of collaboration between Australian and Pakistani universities on student exchange and training programs. Organizing Australian trade road shows also came under discussion during the negotiations. Meeting ended with the presentation of Souvenir to Ms. Nicola Guihot.

World oil market rebounds

LONDON (AFP): World oil prices rebounded Friday on bargain-buying, a day after the US benchmark fell below $80 for the first time in more than two years. However, the overall mood remained clouded by a supply glut in and concerns over demand caused by a slowdown in major European economies and China. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for Nov added $1.29 to $83.99. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in November won $1.24 to stand at $87.06. WTI prices had tumbled below the psychological support level of $80 on Thursday before a mixed crude inventory report spurred a rally. The report by the US Dept of Energy showed a 4.0 million barrel drop in gasoline inventories, much more than analysts had projected.

, indicating stronger-than-expected demand in the world's biggest economy.

But the report also showed a build of 8.9 million barrels in crude stocks, much more than the 2.2 million projected.

Desmond Chua, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said buying sentiment kicked in after traders felt that "the sell-off (in oil) was a tad overdone".

But analysts expect any advance to be limited, given the current high level of crude supplies and dwindling global demand, with key producers such as Saudi Arabia slashing prices to gain market share while maintaining output.

"The fundamentals for oil have not changed. Supply and demand factors still remain as they were at the beginning of the week," Phillip Futures said in a note.