10th SME Conference ends

LAHORE (PR): The 10th Pakistan SME Conference 2016, organised by SHAMROCK Conferences International in Karachi, concluded on Tuesday. The experts and regulators deliberated upon broad-based solutions for accelerating growth in the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector.

Assistant Director of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Imran Ahmed addressed the forum and expressed his institution’s commitment through NFIS to provide financial access to 50% of SMEs in the country, while aiming to extend Rs400 billion as SME loans by the year 2020.

The stakeholders urged the creation of a supportive regulatory environment, to optimize productivity through technological and financial access, as the SMEs have the potential to bring a powerful economic revolution in a developing country like Pakistan.

The theme of the conference was “Facilitating SMEs Makes Economic Sense”. The discussions covered key development topics like; infrastructure, regulatory realignments, financing, reforms, sustainability, facilitation & empowerment’, along with the subjects of good governance & human resources development’. The stakeholders urged tangible measures to modernize infrastructure, banking, leasing, insurance and logistics to build capacity. The need to reduce taxes and duties on alternate energy solutions for the SMEs, to over-come the hazards of energy-crisis was also highlighted.

Board Member of SMEDA, Engr M.A. Jabbar stressed, “Advocacy for SME development needs to be strengthened, and preferential treatment should be given to the SMEs, which is the deprived segment” while the Chairperson of Sindh Board of Investments, Naheed Memon said: “China is looking at Pakistan as a partner. Our institutions must perform well to take full advantage of CPEC as countless ancillary businesses will emerge from this endeavor.”

The Group Head of Micro & SME at Bank Al Falah, Khurram Hussain, who gave a presentation on “Re-Thinking SMEs – To do Things Differently” emphasized digital technologies and global best-practices to ease SME lending; which is showing better performance, which is a great success for the SME and banking sectors.” The SBP made a special mention of the initiatives taken by the bank.

Zulfikar Thaver, President UNISAME and Chairman of the Technical Committee of National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) stated that “Establishment of new well equipped and specialized industrial estates for SMEs is a part of the strategic way-forward. Research and Development activities must be nurtured for creating collective advantages. The government must promote the housing industry, which boosts the demand for more than 36 sectors and a vast range of products. Special incentives and tax-relief programs should be offered to promote transfer of new technologies among the SMEs. The conflict-resolution mechanism (Ombudsman) must be speeded up to facilitate smoother operations and faster growth, while closer coordination between SME promotion institutions is also a need of the day.”

The Board Member of the Zarai Taraqiati Bank, Majyd Aziz discussing ‘A New Financial Paradigm for Agriculture’, said, “Technology should be adopted to improve agriculture whereas, food security should be improved through best-practices and establishing farmers entrepreneurial associations to safeguard their interests.”

Group Head of SME at Pak-Brunei Investment Company, Ms. Arjumand Qazi in her discussion on “Making SMEs Bankable” stated, “SMEs in Pakistan are not bankable due to many reasons like, misleading documentation of these small businesses. Lenders must work beyond the balance sheet and evaluate their qualitative potential, business model and products.” A panel discussion focused on the methodologies for promoting the Culture of Entrepreneurship to spur SME growth which was addressed by Chief of SMEDA Sindh, Mukesh Kumar and Vice President of First Women Bank, Ms. Samina Geti.

EFU LIFE BoD meets

Karachi (PR): The Board of Directors of EFU LIFE has approved the half yearly accounts of the company for the period ended 30 June, 2016. The after tax profit of the company was Rs.693 million as against Rs.702 million for the corresponding period last year. The Board declared the second interim cash dividend @ Rs.1.00 per share i.e. 10% in addition to already paid first interim cash dividend of Rs.1.00 per share i.e. 10% making total distribution to 20% i.e. Rs.2/- per share.

Orient Centre inaugurated

LAHORE (PR): A symbol of innovation and advanced technology, Orient Electronics is enjoying a strong presence in various cities of the country through Orient Centers. The inauguration of Orient Center Faisal Town is an important step to further strengthen the network. The newly built state of the art Orient Center was inaugurated by Chairman Orient Electronics Mian Talat Mahmood while Executive Director Mian Ahmed Fazal, Director Sales and Marketing Mian Abdul Rehman Talat and other Orient officials were also present on the occasion.

Executive Director Orient said that Orient Center was actually a model of Orient retail that was designed to give consumers international standard retail services. Director Sales and Marketing said: “It is our mission to develop a strong and nationwide network that could offer every household latest and innovative electronics goods.” Orient center is a very useful shopping place for consumers as it offers a complete range of electronic items under one roof. Qualified and trained Orient Center sales persons are always there to inform and guide consumers about different products and their features.

Orient aims to continue expanding its network to areas where people does not have access to quality electronic products.

Orientation week at LUMS

LAHORE (PR): After the long summer break, the LUMS campus saw its vibrancy return with the LUMS Orientation Week (O Week 2016) which commenced on August 19, 2016. The event started with an orientation session for parents and students of the undergraduate Class of 2020 held at the LUMS Syed Maratab Ali Sports Complex. A dynamic mix of students, parents, and faculty members filled the auditorium.

The students’ excitement was only exceeded by their parents’, whose smiles showed how proud they were of their children.

The entire LUMS community welcomed the new class on campus.

Orientation Week is organised each year for the new batch to welcome them to the University as they embark on an exciting new journey through LUMS. It is designed to give students and their parents the chance to acquaint themselves with the campus and the community, by participating in group based activities. These activities help equip the newcomers with vital information, and provide guidance from faculty and senior students, to make an easy transition to university life.

Dr. Kamal Munir, Dean, Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences, LUMS officially welcomed the parents and students. He congratulated them and encouraged the students to make the best of what LUMS has to offer as these four years would shape their professional careers for the rest of their lives. Later the Deans and senior faculty of the four schools at LUMS introduced their departments and programmes. Faculty members and staff also conducted different seminars and information sessions to help students understand Life at LUMS better. The O-Week includes a host of activities such as a batch photo, icebreaking sessions, Food Street, Sports Gala, Scavenger Hunt and a trip to Joyland.

AEO Pakistan organises ‘Study in Australia’ expo

LAHORE (PR): Australian Education Office (AEO) organised a “Study in Australia 2017” expo at a local hotel and AEO Lahore respectively on 22nd and 23rd August 2016. It was an inaugural event of nationwide Australian Education expos campaign. A large number of students and their parents attended the AEO Education Expo and showed their interest to study abroad in well renowned universities of the world. Representatives of all well reputed universities and educational institutions from Australia were present at event. They shared valuable information with the participants and gave their expert opinion to Pakistani students for higher education programs matching their interests. It is the second Expo of the year 2016, which was organized by AEO Pakistan. The first expo was organized on February 2016 in all major cities of Pakistan. After Lahore this education expo will be organised on 25th August at Serena Hotel Islamabad, on 27th August at Ramada Hotel Multan and 28th August at Marriott Hotel Karachi, Hotel One Faisalabad, and PC Hotel Peshawar, simultaneously.

Interested students must visit the expo along with their parents because admission and career counseling will be free in expo.

IFTECH a success

LAHORE (PR): The city of Lahore was the proud host of a spectacular show of the best culinary technologies and innovations of 2016. The 13th International Exhibition of Food & Beverage Processing Packaging Technologies took place from 18th – 20th August at the Expo Centre. This exhibition by Pegasus Consultancy aimed at the evolution of the culinary and hospitality industry. World’s leading technology suppliers prefer IFTECH Pakistan for gaining access to Pakistan’s food and beverage producers and stake holders. Twenty four countries participated in event.

College of Tourism and Hotel Management (COTHM) and Chefs’ Association of Pakistan (CAP) also participated in IFTECH 2016. Eminent personalities of the food and beverage industry graced the occasion.