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.
Pakistan to bridge the gap of $12b: Asad Umer
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umer on Tuesday expressed the hope that the country would bridge the gap of 12 billion US dollars through loans being sought from various foreign institutions and banks.
Pakistan needed to fill this and for this, the present government would seek the loan facility from International Monetary Funds, World Bank, and Asian Development Bank, etc., he stated while talking to a private news channel.
Taxes had been levied on luxuries items including cars, he said, adding focus would be given to expedite exports by improving industrial sectors.
To a question about power and gas pilferage, he said through modern technology, we would control such heinous activities.
To another question regarding the current account deficit, he said the previous governments were responsible for damaging the economy and other institutions.
The PTI government had put the 100-day plan on the website, he said adding that we were trying to stabilize the economy of the country.
Replying to a question about the housing project, he said it was a difficult task but we would implement this gigantic project for benefiting the low-income group.
He said the government would provide shelters to low-income people and the private sector would invest to achieve the target of 50,00,000 houses.
Asad Umer said the government would make legislation and formulate the policy for the housing project. Good governance, he said, would address the challenges being faced by the country. People had expressed full confidence in the honest leadership of PTI chief Imran Khan, he added.
ECC approves uninterrupted gas supply to export oriented industry
ISLAMABAD: Economic Coordination Committee at its meeting here today approved the mechanism for supply of uninterrupted gas to zero-rated export-oriented industry.
The meeting chaired by Finance Minister Asad Umar approved the supply of RLNG to the export industry for three months from December this year to February next month.
According to the mechanism, the export sectors will be provided mix energy including RLNG from March to November.
Governor, Minister discuss Ideas-2018
KARACHI: Federal Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal on Monday said that all possible steps are being taken for the success of Defence Exhibition Ideas-2018.
The Minister said this while talking to Sindh Governor Imran Ismail at the Governor House here, said a statement. Talking to the Governor, the Minister said that defense production of Pakistan is gaining popularity throughout the World because of its standard.
Sharing his view with the Minister, the Governor said that the defense production is being introduced to the World through the Defence Exhibition `Ideas’. They also discussed the production of defense in accordance with the demands of the modern era and other matters related to the Ideas-2018.