APBF, OPENA pledge efforts to enrich economy

LAHORE (PR): APBF recently entered into a valuable collaboration with the "Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America" (OPENA). The goals of this MoU are to strengthen people-to-people ties between the global community and Pakistan, through exchange of information, experiences and expertise; strengthening the capacity of local organizations through leadership development and training, especially of women and youth. OPENA's focus is to promote entrepreneurship and professional growth.

APBF and OPENA are to implement the initiatives by providing linkages between Pakistani businessmen with Global industry entrepreneurs for the purpose of networking and support; promoting linkages of businesses of foreign countries to develop Joint Ventures, technology transfer and other types of commercial associations. Moreover, APBF is to provide support to the members of OPENA who wish to set up businesses, identify vendors or require facilitation in Pakistan. Networking between Pakistani universities, institutions, entrepreneurs, and industries will also be created to accelerate the national economy.

President of APBF Ibrahim Qureshi expressed his gratitude to OPENA for collaborating with APBF. He stated; “APBF is thankful to our new partner – Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs of North America, for helping us play a key role in national progress.

We are effectively striving to bring Business Leaders, Chambers and Associations on a united platform to endeavor for a strong and prosperous Pakistan with sustainable growth, ensured through effective policies followed in continuity, resulting in better quality of life for the people of the country."

Qureshi further informed the media that; "Over the years, APBF has made numerous valuable contributions towards the progress and growth of the national economy. We are making consistent efforts to identify and engage resourceful organizations and entrepreneurs, to create new opportunities and mutual benefits through our shared values and wisdom."

The MoU was signed in Islamabad during a high-profiled event - “The Summit – 2015”, orchestrated by APBF. This event highlighted the impressive profile of the APBF and its partners, with strong patronage of numerous Multinational organizations and leading Pakistani enterprises as its sponsors. It served as an informative platform to discuss, realign the strategic business, and social-development road-map for Pakistan.

Initiative taken for orphans’ education

ISLAMABAD (PR): The ‘Body Shop Pakistan’ has launched its two new fragrances Life is Gold and Red Musk OUD with their commitment of supporting children education. The event "Open the Gate to Goodness" marked the commitment of The Body Shop to support children at Pakistan Sweet Homes. Pakistan Sweet Homes is supporting more than 3500 children for their food, shelter and education.

Nadia Hussain, Pakistan's top model and beauty expert, is the brand activist for the campaign "open the gate to goodness"/"Send a child to a class". Life Is…™ Gold is a twist on one of our best-selling fragrances, Life Is…™. The intense floral scent features a white heart of freesia and jasmine before developing into a vanilla-like base that lingers on the skin, said an official of the organization.

Customers looking for an even bolder and more intense scent! Oriental scent. Customers will be immersed in the mysterious scent, full of intrigue and intensity. The musk is contrasted with a bold blend of spices and creamy wood notes. Children education in Pakistan is often overlooked, however, this initiative by an international brand is widely appreciated by all, he said.

Oracle Cloud Platform

KARACHI (PR): Oracle Executive Chairman of the Board and CTO Larry Ellison announced new additions to the Oracle Cloud Platform, a comprehensive, integrated suite of services that make it easier for developers, IT professionals, business users and analysts to build, extend and integrate cloud applications.

The Oracle Cloud Platform helps customers build new applications, extend existing ones, and easily move existing on-premises workloads to the cloud with no application changes.

The services are designed to maximize end user experience and productivity; enable developers to manage and analyze data, rapidly develop, test and deploy applications; enable architects to quickly integrate across on-premises and cloud applications; and enable business users to drive rich business insights and enterprise collaboration.

With more than 24 new cloud services, the Oracle Cloud Platform extends Oracle’s leadership with the world’s broadest and deepest portfolio of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Newly available Oracle Cloud services include, Oracle Database Cloud - Exadata, Oracle Archive Storage Cloud, Oracle Big Data Cloud, Oracle Integration Cloud, Oracle Mobile Cloud, and Oracle Process Cloud.

“Oracle is growing really fast. We sold $426M worth of business in SaaS and PaaS last quarter, a 200 percent increase over the same quarter last year. That's an industry record, no company has ever sold that much in just one quarter,” said Ellison. “Oracle is the only company on the planet that can deliver a complete, integrated, standards-based suite of services at every layer of the cloud. Those technology advantages enable us to be much more cost-effective than our competitors. Our new Archive Storage service goes head-to-head with Amazon Glacier and it’s one-tenth their price.”

Oracle Cloud Platform is experiencing exponential growth and is already powering some of the world’s most recognizable brands and organizations. Oracle Cloud Platform has more than 1,800 customers with 1,419 added in the last quarter.

With the Oracle Cloud Platform, customers and partners are able to take advantage of the industry-leading Oracle middleware and database software that thousands of global organizations already use to run their own businesses, all delivered via cloud. The extensive level of automation that has been engineered into the Oracle Cloud, results in faster time-to-value, greater innovation, and lower cost for customers.

“According to IDC’s CloudView Survey, the top IT benefit of PaaS is having ‘a self-service environment for access to development and deployment tools’– and for business users the top benefit is ‘built-in integration with my SaaS applications,’” according to Robert Mahowald, program vice president, Cloud Software, IDC. “Having a full-service PaaS platform alongside a complete applications portfolio satisfies both needs, and users of the Oracle Cloud Platform benefit from access to the robust application development and deployment, data management, Big Data analytics, integration, and mobile capabilities, satisfying the key IT and LOB needs.”

Oracle Cloud continues to show strong adoption, supporting 70+ million users and more than 33 billion transactions each day. It runs on 54,000 devices and more than 700 petabytes of storage in 19 data centers around the world.

‘NBP Foree Cash’ launched

KARACHI (PR): Keeping in mind the requirements of overseas Pakistanis, NBP has launched “NBP Foree Cash” remittance product which allows overseas remitters to visit any of NBP’s overseas correspondent banks/exchange companies and send remittance to their loved ones in Pakistan free of charge with convenience and reliability. The remittance is immediately available to beneficiaries in Pakistan for collection at any of NBP’s more than 1360 branches nationwide without having the need of maintaining account. NBP has also launched “NBP Foree Transfer” remittance service which provides equal convenience, security, reliability for beneficiaries having accounts in Pakistan. This service is also free of charge. NBP has aggressively extended its remittance correspondence base across the globe with aim to facilitate overseas Pakistan at their doorsteps.

The added convenience is aimed to discourage the use of illegal Hawala/Hundi channel. Today NBP has over 42 leading overseas remitting partners extending NBP’s “Foree Remittance Services” to remitters in their respective countries.

NBP arranged a media briefing to attract remittances. Khalid Bin Shaheen, SEVP/Group Chief, Global Home Remittances Management Group & Media Chief said that Ramadan is that time of the year when expatriates from all over the world send money to their loved ones back home so that they could celebrate the festive occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. On behalf of his team, he reiterated that NBP will continue serving the national cause & leave no stone unturned in providing dedicated services to its customers during the holy month of Ramadan.

Talking to the group, Shaheen said that past trend indicates that home remittances reach its peak level and in last five years, on an average, there is a 20% to 25% surge in business during Ramadan. NBP, being truly “The Nation’s Bank” is making all-out efforts on war-footing basis to facilitate the funds transfer from around the globe through its fast, reliable, secure, convenient and free of charge service.

He highlighted some of the initiatives taken by his department which include sending of SMS alerts to the beneficiaries and round the clock complaint resolution system. Being an icon of SBP Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI), he further said that similar to last year, NBP will perform an instrumental role in achieving target of home remittances for FY 2015 and 2016 by catering to the rise in business owing to Ramadan at its dedicated counters.

LUMS, Embassy of Netherlands sign contract

LAHORE (PR): Upon the successful completion of the first cohort of the Executive Certificate Programme in Agribusiness Management (ECAM), the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) signed a contract Tuesday with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands providing for sponsorship of participants and guest speakers for ECAM during the next twoacademic years, i.e. 2015/16 and 2016/17.

Speaking at the ceremony held at LUMS, acting ambassador Karel Hartogh stated that “We’re very happy to continue our collaboration with LUMS, which is truly a world-class university. This agribusiness programme will help in developing Pakistan’s corporate agriculture, a sector in which there are so many opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries.”

ECAM is a year-long modular programme offered at LUMS that is designed to provide participants with leading-edge managerial know-how and skills considered essential to operate successfully in the high-stakes agribusiness environment where opportunities are expanding rapidly along with the growing population.

Vice Chancellor LUMS Dr. Sohail Naqvi, speaking at the ceremony, expressed his appreciation for the collaboration with Netherlands - a powerhouse in agriculture. He noted that, “The collaboration with leading Dutch academics in agribusiness will not only result in transfer of best practices in the field of agriculture but will lead to enhanced productivity, introduction of value addition services as well as generation of new employment in the agricultural fields.”

This contract will develop a strong relationship between the two countries in agricultural management, primarily in dairy and horticulture.It will ensure networking and learning opportunities between LUMS and Netherland Universities at multiple levels. The collaboration is aimed at strengthening LUMS contribution in agri-sector and opening arenas of international intellectual output through ECAM as an effective platform.

LUMS and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will continue their collaboration with the help of this Executive Certificate programme in Agribusiness Management in the upcoming years as well.