ICCI opposes TCP intervention in

cotton market

ISLAMABAD (DNA): The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has shown concerns over the government proposal to induct Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) in the cotton market for procurement of lint cotton from the ginneries at support price as this approach would be against the principles of free market economy and create more distortions in the cotton market. Sheikh Pervez Ahmed, Senior Vice President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that instead of extending any benefit to the cotton growers, the intervention of TCP in the cotton market would give rise to corrupt practice, cause unnatural shortage of quality cotton, inflate prices of cotton unnecessarily and render the textile and downstream industry uncompetitive. He said the experience of involving TCP in the procurement of cotton has already flopped as Government procured lint cotton through TCP during crop year 2014-15 which was still lying with TCP and it has now become almost impossible to sell the stock at reasonable prices.

He said cotton was Pakistan’s main foreign exchange earner and a life line for the agrarian economy as it provided vital raw material to the textile industry. Therefore, the more prudent approach would be that the government should let the market forces to determine the price level of the commodity. He was afraid that the government intervention in cotton market would negate the policy of free trading in cotton being followed successfully for the last more than a decade. It also safeguarded the interests of all the stakeholders of the cotton economy, including the growers

He said that TCP in the past had procured raw cotton from the ginneries at higher than market price, but the desired benefits were not passed on to the cotton growers. He said the better option to compensate the cotton growers in adverse circumstances would be to provide them direct subsidy by subsidizing electricity, fertilizer and pesticides in order to reduce their cost of production. Such an approach would not only ensure direct benefit to the cotton growers without any middlemen or malpractice, it would also help lessen losses to the government.

He said TCP lacked infrastructural facility to hold the cotton lint and mandating it to procure lint cotton from ginneries would be tantamount to wastage of public funds. He stressed that government should desist from any such move as could lead to further decline in cotton exports and cause closure of textile industry with incurring losses of billions of rupees to the exchequer.



GE appoints new CEO for Middle

East and Africa

Lahore (staff Reporter): GE (NYSE: GE) on Monday announced the appointment of Joseph J. Anis as President and Chief Executive Officer for its power services business for the Middle East and Africa (MEA). His appointment follows the move of Azeez Mohammed, who takes on a new role as CEO for GE Energy Connection’s Power Conversion unit based in Paris. Power Services integrates the best service teams in the power industry – GE’s Power Generation Services and Alstom’s Thermal Services – and has a central role in the MEA region in helping customers expand their power plant capability and maximise resource use efficiency. Joseph will be responsible for growing the business with a focus on leveraging GE’s Industrial Internet solutions that accelerate the application of digital industrial technology for MEA’s power sector to achieve unprecedented levels of productivity. He will also play a key role in strengthening business partnerships, local capacity building and promoting innovation in the power services sector.

Joseph said: “The past months have been defining for GE in introducing our digital industrial technologies for the power sector. Our power services business brings two strong teams with proven competencies in supporting the region’s power sector. We will focus on offering our partners with the latest suite of technologies and services that complement the ongoing focus on power sector diversification, and achieve maximized operational efficiency and productivity of existing power plant assets.”




FTA between Thailand and Pakistan

by end of this year

Lahore (Staff Reporter): Thailand and Pakistan are engaged in negotiations on Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which is likely to be signed by the end of this year. This was stated by Ambassador of Thailand Suchart Liengsaengthong while addressing at LCCI here on Monday. The ambassador hoped that trade would flourish after FTA was signed between the two countries. He said that such tools were important in today’s world since these brought down the cost of doing business and removed non-tariff barriers. “Thailand is already investing in Pakistan while more Thai companies are keen to start their operations here,” he informed. The envoy said that a high-level business delegation from Thailand, comprising people associated with cosmetics, construction, automobile, plastic, consumer goods, furniture and seafood businesses, would visit Pakistan in the first week of August. He also invited the LCCI to send a trade delegation to Thailand to explore trade, investment and joint venture opportunities there.

Suchart said that textile and tourism sectors of Pakistan were vibrant. “Pakistan can learn a lot from Thailand in the tourism sector,” he said, and added, “Pakistani products should be introduced in Thai market more effectively.”

He said that Thailand and Pakistan should join hands to give new strengths to their trade and economic ties. “Both countries, with dynamic consumer markets, have unlimited scope for their businessmen,” he pointed out. The LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed said that Thailand and Pakistan established diplomatic ties back in 1951 and had been enjoying steady economic and trade relations.

“Although, Pakistan faced unfavourable balance of trade with Thailand but consistent rise in bilateral trade was a positive sign,” he noted.

He said that among the top exporting countries for Pakistan, Thailand came at 34th place, and with regard to top importing countries, the same was placed at 12th place. The LCCI vice president expressed the resolve that volume of exports to Thailand would enhance in future.

He said that from 2013 to 2015, bilateral trade increased from $833 million to 973 million. “This expansion is largely due to considerable change in imports, which swelled from $716 million to $853 million,” he said, and reminded, “However, Pakistan’s exports could only go up rise from $117 million to $120 million in this period.”

“We would like to see the possibilities as to how we can give boost to our exports to Thailand with the help and support of Thai Embassy”, he said. 

The LCCI Vice President said that Pakistan is already exporting frozen fish, woven cotton fabrics, crustaceans, cotton yarns, leather, medicament mixtures and electro-medical apparatus etc. to Thailand but our potential to export to Thailand is far more diversified and sizeable than the current one.

He said that this objective can be achieved through bridging communication gap between respective private sectors. He said that business community want to develop close linkages among the business support organizations for ensuring continuity in our mutual efforts to increase the volume of trade between two countries. Trade fairs & single country exhibitions can also be arranged on reciprocal basis to achieve this goal.

Nasir Saeed said that Pakistan also offers lot of opportunities for foreign investors through 100 enterprises of their own or in the form of joint ventures with Pakistani counterparts. It is a gateway to the oil & mineral resources rich Central Asian Republics and is also a member of SAARC which together make up a market of 1.5 billion people. It is also close to the Gulf countries and African horn. Any investment made in Pakistan will find market in these countries.






Hurdles in CPEC implementation

frustrating Chinese: PBIF

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) President Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said bureaucracy and political tensions were responsible for constantly creating hurdles in the way of early completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “Tensions between the provinces and lack of coordination among concerned ministries have increased anxiety among the Chinese investors,” he said. Hussain said that Panama papers, long absence of the prime minister from the country and political instability had left many Chinese nervous, which is not good for the project. “In this scenario, the government should consider establishing a new ministry to handle project related issues or think about handing over full or partial control of the project to Army, which has the ability to complete it in time,” he suggested. He opined that Pakistan could not afford any delay in the game changer project, which was critical for the economic development and national security.

Hussain further said that if handing over CPEC to Army looked inappropriate, then the institution should be tasked with monitoring the project.

He said that the Chinese authorities had conveyed to the prime minister, president, COAS, interior minister and others their reservations.

“The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan has also called upon the politicians to shun differences in the larger national interest which indicates their frustration,” he said, adding that hammering out things as soon as possible is in the interest of Pakistan.

He asked political parties not to remain divided on this critical issue and try to facilitate things as this project was in the interest of both the nations.