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Economy

Swiss Business Council completes 10 years in Pakistan!

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ED: M. M. ALAM

KARACHI: To mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Swiss Business Council (SBC) in Pakistan, the Consulate General of Switzerland here in collaboration with the SBC hosted an exclusive event at the Swiss Consul General’s residence.

Consul General and Patron of the SBC – Philippe Crevoisier addressing the ladies and gentlemen in the audience (consisting of diplomats, senior management of Swiss/other multinational companies, and leading businessmen) said that only if Pakistan was able to present to the international community the country’s on-ground realities and business potential, many more foreign investors would consider investing in Pakistani market.

Mentioning that Swiss-Pak bilateral trade (CHF 518.5 Million in 2017) was promisingly increasing for the past three years, the Consul General also commended SBC’s efforts to further improve commercial ties between the two friendly countries.

SBC President Farhat Ali,  (who is also the Council’s founding President and Chairman of the Board and Executive Managing Director of Polygal N.V. in Pakistan) gave an overview of the Council’s achievements over the past decade most prominent of which is the Council’s partnership with Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE); equivalent of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and Board of Investment.

Farhat Ali further added that SBC with support from S-GE is committed to link Swiss and Pakistani companies. “Thanks to our business network at home and in Switzerland, in the past two years six small and medium-sized enterprises from Switzerland have successfully entered the local market”, he further added.

The highlight of the event was keynote address by the Dean and Director of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi – Dr. Farrukh Iqbal who presented his views on Pakistan’s macroeconomic matters in perspective of the challenges and opportunities for foreign investors.

Dr. Iqbal held: “Pakistan has performed below its growth potential for many years now. In particular, the private investment rate has been stuck at a low level of 10% of GDP for almost a quarter century now.

“This reflects a pessimism on the part of domestic investors that go beyond energy shortages and security conditions.

“Among factors to consider more deeply are the quantity and quality of education and health services available to the population to enable them to play a more productive role in the economy of the future.”

Swiss companies in the past ten years have invested CHF 1.5 Billion in Pakistan making Switzerland stand among top ten foreign director investors.

Major exports from Switzerland to Pakistan are pharmaceuticals, textile machines, and watches. Main Pakistani exports to Switzerland are textiles and agro-foods. 

On the occasion, recognition certificates were also awarded to member companies who have completed 10 years with the Council.

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Crime

Misuse of authority by CAA and PIA officials, NAB chief orders verification

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Executive Board of National Accountability Bureau

ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of the misuse of authority by CAA and PIA, Chairman NAB Justice (R) Javed Iqbal today ordered complaint verification against officials of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Pakistan International Airline (PIA).
The chairman NAB took notice of media reports as PIA passengers were suppose to return from Skardu by PIA flight which reached from Islamabad and was scheduled to come back on time but the Director General CAA allegedly took a group of friends for a special tour to Nanga Parbat on the PIA plane by misusing his authority and due to which PIA passengers have to wait for two hours, said a press release.
The chairman NAB ordered NAB Gilgit/Rawalpindi to probe the matter in detail and submit a report in this regard.
Javed Iqbal also sought a report from PIA for taking action against former CEO of PIA who not only took away PIA plane to abroad without any legal authority and then selling it on throw away price in Germany. The Chairman NAB said PIA was our national asset and safety of this asset was our national duty.
He directed to identify the real culprits allegedly involved in both the incidents so that they would be brought to justice and to recover lost national exchequer from them.

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Economy

Pakistan sends some 141,000 workers to 60 countries

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ISLAMABAD: Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) had sent around 141,000 workers to the 60 different countries of the world so far.
An official source told the Media here today that OEC has started the online registration of skilled and unskilled workers for jobs in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries especially for the upcoming World Expo 2020 in UAE and FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. He said that in the wake of these mega-events in the region, a huge number of the workforce of all categories and trades professions was required for these mega projects. The OEC as public sector organization was successfully proving competent, reliable and cost-effective human resource to the international market while ensuring exploitation free environment for overseas job seekers, he expressed.
He said that the OEC had been awarded fastest sending agency awards by the Human Resource Development Service of Korea to process and dispatch of Pakistani manpower to the Republic of Korea under their Employment Permit System (EPS) which was the most efficient, fair and transparent recruitment system of the world.
The official said the OEC is in process of building and maintaining a database of available workforce in Pakistan, which would be directly accessible to foreign employers and highly skilled, skilled, semi-skilled and general workers, who intend to seek employment abroad can apply to or register with OEC. Those candidates who are unable to apply online may submit their CVs along with a copy of deposit slip in any OEC office. All interested candidates can send their documents to the offices of the OEC including Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar by August 31, he added.

 

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Crime

Declarations under amnesty scheme to remain strictly confidential

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Senate body discusses tax relief in FATA

ISLAMABAD: The finance ministry Wednesday said the declarations made under the Tax Amnesty Scheme would remain strictly confidential.
“The Ministry of Finance assures all applicants making declarations under the Tax Amnesty Scheme that the information provided by them shall remain strictly confidential and the guarantees provided under the scheme shall be abided in letter and spirit,” a press statement issued by the ministry said.
The ministry reiterated that leakage of information by anyone about declarants/declarations under the scheme was punishable, on conviction, by a fine not less than five hundred thousand rupees but not exceeding one million rupees or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or with both.

 

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