PIAF rejects politics of protests


Lahore (Staff Reporter): Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has rejected the politics of protests, calling upon the government as well as political parties to adopt a reconciliatory approach, settling political disputes through dialogues, as stability is vital for high economic growth. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, in a joint statement along with senior vice chairman Tanveer Ahmed Sufi and vice chairman Shahzeb Akram, said that politics of agitation will push the economy to the wall. So, all political parties should show maturity and try to resolve the issues through talks. Irfan Shikh made it clear that businessmen were committed to the constitution and democracy, and they would not support any undemocratic action against the government. PIAF chairman said that Pakistan was in dire need of political stability as well as strong institutions, and to achieve this, both politicians and business leaders would have to join hands.  He said that the present government has put the country’s economy on the right track, as economic indicators are showing significant improvement.

The political noise and uncertainty will reverse the economic growth achieved so far, he warned. He said compared to 2013, Pakistan’s economy today was much stable. Due to solid economic policies of the government, the confidence of local and foreign investors has been restored, he noted. Let Pakistan’s economy move towards improvement and let speedy completion of public welfare projects be ensured, he beseeched.



Import of mobile phones up 14.38pc in six months

ISLAMABAD (APP): Import of mobile phones in the country during first six months of current fiscal year increased by 14.38 per cent as compared to same period of previous year. The import increased to $376.5 million during July-December (2017-18) from $329.177 million in same period of the year 2016-17. According to latest data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) here on Friday, on year-on-year basis, the mobile phone import also witnessed increasing trend as it rose to $73.04 million in December 2017 from $65.16 million in December 2016, thus showing an increase of 12 per cent. On month-on-month basis, the import increased by 25.41 per cent in December 2017 as compared to that of November 2017 in which the import of mobile phones was posted $58.24 million. In addition, the import of overall telecom group also increased by 12 per cent in July-December 2017-18 compared to same period of previous year.

The telecom import during first two quarters of current fiscal year was recorded at $739.6 million while it was recorded $659.99 million during July-December 2016-17.

On year-on-year and month-on-month basis, the telecom import in December 2017 increased by 8.27 per cent and 57.9 per cent when compared to the import during December 2016 and November 2017 respectively.

The telecom import increased to $179.287 million in December 2017 from $165.6 million in same month of last year and $113.5 million in November 2017.


 PFC delegation leaves for Turkey to extend cooperation in furniture sector

ISLAMABAD (APP): A delegation of the Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) Friday left for Turkey on 4-day visit to explore new investment avenues by sharing their vision, expertise for the formulation of future policies, economic studies and project-specific reports in addition to promotional efforts. PFC chief Mian Kashif Ashfaq said the delegation will have an in-depth discussion with their counterparts in Turkey," a press statement said. The PFC is focusing on marketing activities in key foreign markets mainly United States, Japan, European Union, and the Gulf region. He said Turkey can provide huge opportunities to Pakistani exporters to market their products including handmade furniture in European markets in collaboration with Turkish companies. Regarding furniture, he said Turkish firms are manufacturing costly and high quality machine-made furniture for the European consumers. He said in Pakistan most of the furniture is hand-made but still it is cheap and could be marketed in EU countries at a high price.

In this connection, Turkish firms can also play a major role in facilitating Pakistani manufacturers to have direct access to the potential customers.

He said Pakistan-Turkey relationship is unparalleled in inter-state relations.

He said the special ties have flourished due to successive generations of leaders in the two countries.

The PFC chief executive added that participation in international shows should be deemed imperative for furniture exports.

He accentuated that the establishment of joint ventures with Turkey for the provision of required machinery can encourage the quality of Pakistan's furniture products and brings them at par with international standard.

"Therefore, there is a dire need to transform our furniture business from cottage or small scale to highly innovative industry, for which training of skilled labour and high-end supplies are required," added Ashfaq.

He also said, "The PFC will invite Turkish furniture producers to participate in forthcoming 3-day 10th mega "Interior Pakistan" furniture exhibitions in Pakistan starting from May.




 Pakistan to host Saarc CCI meetings on Feb 6


ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan will host top level 73rd Executive Committee and 22nd General Assembly meetings of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) in Islamabad on February 6. Vice President SAARC Chamber Pakistan chapter, Iftikhar Ali Malik in a statement here Friday said SAARC Chamber President Suraj Vadiya will chair the both meetings separately and all vice presidents from member countries including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Maldive, Bhutan and Pakistan along with their delegations will attend the meetings. About agenda of meetings, he said SAARC Chamber's proposed initiatives to be taken during the current year will be discussed and finalized with consensus. He said arrangements in connection with forthcoming 3-day SAARC Business Leaders Conclave scheduled to be held in Kathmandu from March 16, will be reviewed. Chamber General Secretary Hina Saeed and Deputy Secretary General Zulfiqar Ali Butt will brief the participants to hold the conclave in befitting manners.

He said strategy will also be evolved for formation of SAARC Chamber and China Business Council and after threadbare discussion it will be approved unanimously and all stakeholders will be taken into confidence prior to its formal approval.

He said new applications from SAARC member countries for membership of SAARC Chamber will also be considered for approval.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said it has also been decided by the SAARC Chamber to celebrate its silver jubilee in all member countries to send a message of goodwill, strengthening the  bonds of brotherhood and promotion of intra-trade besides fully exploiting all indigenous resources in the region in addition to exchange of mutual visits.