Pak-China partnership ‘vital for region’

 ISLAMABAD(APP): International affairs expert Dr Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema has said that a strategic partnership between Pakistan and China is imperative for the entire region. Talking to Radio Pakistan, he said that China was trying to rise peacefully and it wanted peace throughout the region. He added that the visit of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa to China would strengthen strategic partnership between the two countries. He said that he would assure the Chinese leadership of security of CPEC project. Senator Lt-Gen (r) Abdul Qayyum said that China and Pakistan had historical ties, which were not affected by changing governments in two countries. He said that both countries had always supported each other in the times of crises. Some countries wanted to encircle China, but Pakistan had stood by it. He added that Pakistan's civil and military leadership had effectively eradicated terrorism from the country and Pakistan was cooperating with China in production sector.

 Businessmen getting more bank loans

 ISLAMABAD (INP): The business community is getting more and more loans from banks and this reflects their increased confidence and economic development, a business leader said on Saturday.  The ratio of defaults has come down and this has encouraged banks to lend more, which is a good omen for the economy, said Atif Ikram Sheikh, former president of the ICCI. He said that average GDP growth remained 3.7 percent from 2011 to 2013 and it jumped to 4.3 percent from 2014 to 2016. This may cross five percent in the ongoing year.  Atif Ikram Sheikh said that SMEs took more loans in 2016 compared to 2015 in which auto sector, leather industry and food industry took the lead. The default ration of the SMEs fell from 26.1 percent to 20.3 percent, he added.  The business leader said that corporate loans against fixed assets jumped from 19 to 21 percent and many companies took the opportunity of low interest rates to clear their balance sheets.

 USC vows to maintain transparency, quality

ISLAMABAD (APP): Utility Stores Corporation (USC) on Saturday reaffirmed its commitment of maintaining transparency, quality in the sale and purchase of goods for the corporation. The USC has formulated Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the companies to ensure certification of ISO-9002 prior to supplying products to the USC stores, a USC official told APP. He said that keeping the quality control was its top priority and the USC was engaging professionally qualified firms for quality test of the items. Replying to a question, he said that Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) had issued show cause notice to USC over issues of quality and matter was subjudice. The official said that the companies who had supplied substandard cooking oil to USC stores had been blacklisted by USC barring them of any business deal in future. He said that monitoring and evaluation teams were also sent to stores to verify the complaints, adding that complaint centre had also been established to address the consumers' grievances.

 ‘Solar Pakistan’ exhibition concludes

 LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Solar Pakistan 2017 6th International Renewable Energy Exhibition and Conference concluded on Saturday at Expo Centre, Lahore. More than 150 exhibitors from 15 countries participated in the event organised by FAKT Exhibitions (Pvt) Ltd. The intention of the company had to introduce latest solar technology in Pakistan. The exhibitors companies displayed their products including batteries, latest solar panel, inverters, electric motorcycle, rickshaw etc. Several Chinese companies also took part in the expo. Foreign companies showed interest in entering Pakistani market. While talking to media persons, FAKT CEO Saleem Tanoli said the purpose of the exhibition was a mean to bring the business communities closer together. The foreign companies promised to bring the business into Pakistan, he added. He said the exhibition provided opportunity to companies to share their experiences with one another. He further said the exhibition opened new horizons for the exhibitors. He also shared his experiences on the impediments hindering the growth of this sector.