PBIT, Qingdao Municipal

govt sign MoU

LAHORE (Staff reporter): With a view to further strengthen the economic relations with Municipal Government China, an MoU was signed between Punjab Board of Investment & Trade (PBIT) and Qingdao Municipal Government China at Lahore. CEO PBIT Mohammad Ilyas Ghauri and Vice Director of Qiangdao Beureau of Commercc Chunyu Xianli signed the MoU. The said MoU was signed when a Qingdao Municipal Government delegation led by Liu Mingjun, Vice Mayor of Qingdao Municipal Government was on its visit to Lahore. The aim of this MoU is to formalize the economic ties as well as to set a mutually acceptable roadmap to work collaboratively on the potential projects in various sectors.

Salient features of the MoU are to share information relating to trade and investment on regular basis and provision of assistance and convenience on various activities such as mutual visits, relative expos, seminars and project negotiations. To undertake actions to help each other in bilateral investment in advanced industries including energy saving, circular economy, equipment manufacturing, port logistics and education are other highlights. Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman Finance Minister Punjab, DCO Lahore, Sheheryar Baksh, Chairman TEVTA attended the ceremony. From PBIT Chairman Abdul Basit and Director General Projects, Policy & Research Ms. Lubna Pathan were present on the occasion.

IPO committed to create

awareness on World IP day

ISLAMABAD (APP): Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) Pakistan is striving hard for creating awareness among general public about the copy rights in different areas and to equip them with their rights and illuminate them with their duties. Newly appointed Chairman IPO Pakistan Shahid Rasheed said this while talking to APP here on Saturday in an exclusive interview on the auspices of world IP day. “Even though the world IP day is celebrated every year on April 26 but this year we will celebrate it on April 28 due to Sunday”, he maintained. Briefing about the event, the Chairman stated that this year the theme of the World IP day will ‘Get Up, Stand Up for Music’ and reason for choosing this theme is to encourage artists and musicians in the country.

Copy rights in the field of music is of serious concern as this is a vast industry in the entertainment field, he added.

The theme would also help artists, musicians and other stakeholders belonging to the music industry to protect their

creation against plagiarism.

The Chairman IPO said a seminar would be held in this connection in which people from various sectors particularly from music industry would participate and highlight the issues regarding protection of copy rights, trademarks and patent and design. Shahid Rasheed said the creative process involves hard work and lot of passion and respect of the people who create their work is critical in order to encourage them.

“The music we enjoy today comes from the inspiration and hard work of thousands of creative people around the world-singers and song writers; musicians and publishers; producers, arrangers, engineers and many others therefore it is very necessary to protect their rights for making them professionally and economically sound”, Shahid Rasheed remarked.

Responding to a question, the chairman said that the World IP day was celebrated for the first time in 2000 under the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to “raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life” and “to celebrate creativity, and the contribution made by creators and innovators to the development of societies across the globe”.

To another question the Chairman said in Pakistan there is dearth of awareness regarding intellectual property rights with the result the creators do not register case against the people who violate their copy rights.

He urged the media to help the Organization in creating awareness among the people in this regard by publishing and broadcasting the relevant material regularly. To another question he said the Organization receives an average of 1500 applications annually regarding patents, 20,000 applications of trademarks, 4000 applications for copyrights and 500 applications for designs annually.

Substandard packing causes loss of flour

KARACHI (APP): Chairman Pakistan Polypropylene Woven Sack Manufacturers Association Substandard Iskander Khan said packing is causing an annual wastage of wheat flour worth Rs 35 billion besides risks to public health. In a statement issued Saturday he said indifference of the concerned stakeholders, including government authorities and proprietors of flour mills, is aggravating food security situation. Khan claimed that three to five percent wheat flour was lost during loading and unloading besides during transportation from flour mills to the ultimate users due to use of unsafe as well as inadequate packing material.

It was alleged that manufacturers were using bags made of substandard quality of plastic with high content of calcium carbonate for packing essential food as grains, fruit and vegetables.

Warning that this must be triggering human health issues, he said per capita consumption of flour in Pakistan stands at 11 kg and it is safe to assume that some part of it could be infected.

He also drew attention towards the tendency among manufacturers to paint these substandard sacks so as to hide impurities.

Iskandar Khan said using environment friendly polypropylene sacks to pack flour, rice, fruits and vegetables etc can help maintain quality.

Urging the authorities to exercise strong will in protecting the rights of masses, he said that it may have taken five years to make use of quality bags mandatory for sugar mills yet will not take more than year to compel flour mills owners to use polypropylene bags. “Implementation is the challenge,” he added.

PBIF calls for enhanced trade with neighbouring countries

ISLAMABAD (INP): President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Saturday called for enhanced trade among neighbouring countries which is key to peace and prosperity. Business community fully supports efforts of the government to enhance trade with Iran, he said. He said that international trade is difficult in South Asia therefore it is less than two percent of their GDP while it is easy in East Asia where international trade is over twenty percent of the GDP. He said that Pakistan’s annual bilateral trade with Iran has remained below one billion dollars while greatest fall of 84 per cent was witnessed in 2013-14.

On the other hand trade between India and Iran stands at fifteen billion dollars while Iran-Iraq trade is twelve billion dollars.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Pakistan and India are two most important countries of Saarc but their bilateral trade is below three billion dollars. On the other hand China and India trade volume is between 65-70 billion dollars. It is amazing that Indian rice exports to Iran are more than Pakistan’s total exports to Tehran, he said.

Indian trade with Iran will get a boost if sanctions are lifted in June while Pakistan will be able to import gas taming energy crisis and boosting bilateral trade with removal of barriers.  He said that Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to double bilateral trade to five billion dollars in 2015 but it could not be materialised.

Kabul wants accession to WTO

KABUL (NNI): Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) has expressed optimism about Afghanistan’s chances of being made a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), a move they say would benefit the country’s development and trade ties with the international community immensely. The MoCI has indicated WTO membership could be the critical step Kabul needs to take in rode rot resolve ongoing trade and transit issues with neighboring countries, particularly with Pakistan. Once a member, Afghanistan would have the ability to impose a higher tariff of 2.5 percent on imported products within the framework of WTO. Afghanistan would also enjoy tariff concessions from various major economies such as China, the United States, European Union and India.

MoCI Deputy Minister Muzammil Shinwari emphasized the importance of the WTO’s potential role in attracting foreign investment to Afghanistan. “Accession to the WTO is aimed to attract major investments and this will also provide confidence to international investments and investors will then realize Afghanistan as investment friendly nation, and also we have a number of concessions that could contribute in developing our industry,” Shinwari said.

The application materials for Afghanistan’s bid to become a member of the WTO have reportedly been completed and forwarded on to President Ashraf Ghani. Once he has reviewed them, and if he approves the application, then it will be submitted and the accession process will begin.

On the other hand, representatives of the the Afghan Industrialists Association have sought to caution the move, arguing that joining the WTO would decrease tariffs on commercial products and lead to an unhealthy economic and business competition in the market. They have said the government should first and foremost focus on strengthening domestic industry.

“Until proper grounds are paved for economic development, accession to the World Trade Organization doesn’t support our interests, “ industrialists union head Sherbaz Kaminzada told TOLOnews. “Therefore, the government must deal with the issue wisely in order to avoid future problems.”