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Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) Seminar:
Engro emphasises importance HSE practices

KARACHI: Engro Fertilizers hosted the 4th Annual Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) seminar which aimed to create awareness among the participants on the best practices, innovative solutions and creative ideas on successful HSE compliance.
Appreciating the efforts of Engro Fertilizer Limited on this initiative and successfully arranging the seminar for the fourth consecutive year, the chief guest Muhammad Shaharyar Khan Mahar, Minister of Environment and Alternate Energy, said:
“It is initiatives such as Engro’s HSE seminars, which ensure that the necessary measures provided in the law such as enforcement, education and training and technical assistance to embrace safety as a value are implemented in spirit. Awareness and compliance to these set of rules ensures the safety and health of every worker. I urge the industries to come forward and join hands to strengthen compliance HSE rules and regulations and guarantee development of an HSE compliant industrial framework.” The industries of Pakistan have recognised the importance of achieving a very high level of performance, demonstrating well developed occupational safety, health and environment management systems. Statistics show outstanding control of risk and very low levels of error, harm and loss over a sustained period of time.
Khalid Siraj Subhani, President and CEO of Engro Fertilizers Limited said, “Engro, which works at the forefront of an industry that is highly prone to risk and injury, organises these annual seminars to create awareness in the corporate sector about the health, safety and welfare of the workforce with an emphasis on long-term impact of industrial activity on the environment.

Pakistan Chemicals and Dyes Merchants’ Association:
PCDMA team to sign MoUs with Indian businessmen

KARACHI: A 60 members delegation of Pakistan Chemicals and Dyes Merchants’ Association (PCDMA) is heading to India tody to sign various Memorandums of Understanding with their Indian counterparts.
Najumuddin Chughtai Chairman PCDMA said on Saturday the team during stay in India till December 12, 2011 would also visit Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Surat and other cities and discuss promotion of trade between the two countries. He said during meeting with Indian Dyer and Merchants Association, the PCDMA would sign accords in connection with chemicals and dyes trade.
He said this tour would benefit traders of both the countries besides opening up the exchange visits of the business people of both the countries.

PCSIR makes over 48 laboratory equipments
LAHORE: Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) Research and Development Cell has designed and prepared more than 48 equipment used in different laboratories, sources said recently.
The laboratory equipments are essential components of research and development organisations, educational institutions and industrial and quality control laboratories to accomplish their day-to-day task.
The federal government has annually been spending a hefty amount on the import of equipment from China and western countries, they said, adding PCSIR had completed a great venture by manufacturing different scientific laboratory instruments after thorough research while using indigenous technology.
They said more than 49 of different instruments/equipment have so far been designed, fabricated and developed while 768 instruments/equipment had been supplied to research and development organisations, educational institutions, industrial and quality control laboratories of the country.
They said end-users tested the PCSIR manufactured equipment and expressed satisfaction over quality of the products. The council was committed to providing backup services to its customers on a regular basis. Lahore PCSIR’s contribution to the scientific and industrial sector will ultimately boost the national economy, besides ensuring huge savings on import of lab equipment, they added.

Formulation and Distribution Centre:
Swisstex Chemicals, Huntsman, make massive investment thru FDC

KARACHI: Huntsman Textile Effects (HTE), a prominent name in international textile sector, in collaboration with Swisstex Chemicals has established first Formulation and Distribution Centre (FDC) in Landhi Industrial area.
Vice President, HTE, Kent Kvaal said in response to the upcoming challenges and to bring the textile sector back on track, the Huntsman with massive investment, decided to switch the plants from the United States to Asian region. He said though they had taken some difficult decision, hopefully the FDC in the economical hub of Pakistan would significantly reduce the production cost for their customers.
He said through the FDC, they would bring a 50 percent decrease in water and energy consumption. Chief Executive Officer, Swisstex Chemicals, Zain Bashir said through the FDC, local textile sector would get an opportunity to reduce production cost, besides enhancing production. President, International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), Basheer Ali Mohammad said it was an important event and milestone for the country’s textile sector. He stressed need to change the Pakistan and move forward to technical business, instead of commodity.
He said the establishment of the FDC inside the country at this juncture was a historic event as Pakistan was facing worst conditions due to Afghan war, resulted in migration of a large number of textile units to Bangladesh and other destinations. He said it was a great honour for Pakistan textile sector to be a part of the FDC as it would to meet the diverting challenges of the industry. It is the first state of art FDC in the country being established by the Huntsman that brought local textile sector in rank with the countries rapidly developing in regard with textile sector. It was the 13th FDC, being established by the Huntsman across the world.
A fibre expert on textile and cotton sector, Shakeel Ahmad said this FDC would render the textile exporters and textile industries to decline the cost of production, which was hitting hard industrial sector currently.
Especially export-oriented industry of Pakistan, which has been confronting severe crisis of its history, will sure to be benefited with this Centre, Ahmad maintained. Several textile products manufacturing units in the country were thinking to move their units to Bangladesh but after establishing FDC the textile sector would shun this tendency, he added.
Bangladesh has been offering a lot of incentives, including uninterrupted power supply and tax-free status for the first ten years and tariff-free access to markets in the European Union.
The Pakistani businessmen already invested heavily in Bangladesh owing to these facilities. Profit margins in Bangladesh tend to be around 30 percent higher for textile exporters than margins in Pakistan, he added.
The trend is clearly worrying to many observers, who fear a mass exodus of Pakistan’s textile manufacturing base, which in turn would be devastating for the millions of people.

Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants’ Association:
Indian High Commissioner ensures swift visa to PCDMA members

Sharat Sabharwal, Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan has ensured swift issuance of business visas, in a meeting held with Chairman and Members of Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association. Sharat Sabharwal, Indian High Commissioner along with Arvind Saxena Economic & Commercial Counsellor, Mr. Acquino Vimal, First Secretary visited on the invitation of Najamuddin Chughtai, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association. Indian High Commissioner while addressing the PCDMA Chairman & members assured that business visa will be processed and issued on priority to the Association’s members. He stated that Pakistan is an important country for India in respect of trade and subsequently the business community of both countries are maintaining cordial relations.
He said that Pakistan imports chemicals, dyes, spices, plastics products etc. in large quantity from India, while the bilateral trade volume with joint efforts can rise to the level of 10 to 12 billion USD. Indian High Commissioner stated that they treat all trading partners equivalent and efforts are underway to enhance bilateral relations as well. Referring the SAFTA agreement, he said that it would act productive as Pakistan has decided to accord India MFN status.
Najamuddin Chughtai, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association (PCDMA) drew the attention of Indian High Commissioner towards delays in the issuance of business visas to members and requested to simplify the visa procedures. Najamuddin Chughtai requested the Indian High Commissioner to grant visas to members on priority on association’s recommendation. Najamuddin Chughtai during welcome speech stated that As per the figures of State Bank of Pakistan, India Trade Volume in 2010-2011 was $ 1.93 Billion. Bilateral trade has a potential to increase upto US$ 5. He said that Trade between India and Pakistan is less than 0.5% against their total trade and this should be increased.
He quoted that as per information Pakistan Exported goods valued US$ 318.73 Million and Imported US$ 1.53 Billion in 2010-2011 whereas, Pakistan suffers a trade deficit with India and Trade is in Indian favour. Najamuddin Chughtai observed that Pakistan imports some Indian items through informal trade via Dubai & Singapore which is estimated around US$ 2-3 billion per year, and this trade could obviously be undertaken bilaterally at significant lower cost. Removing non tariff barriers from Indian side could pave the way for Pakistan to enhance its trade and to narrow down the trade deficit, he added.
Najamuddin Chughtai said that there is an unlawful trade amounting to US$ 2 to 3 Billion, if legal trade is enhanced, illegal trade and smuggling could be checked. Najamuddin Chughtai also stressed upon the need of Pakistan and Indian Chambers and Associations frequent interaction. He said that PCDMA believe to enhance bilateral trade between two countries, with regular exchange of trade delegations and interaction between the leading trade associations with active participation in exhibitions of two countries. Shahzeb Tariq, Vice Chairman PCDMA, Chief Advisor Diplomatic Corp M. Arif Balgamwala, Convener Muhammad Qasim and Executive Committee Members of PCDMA also participated in the meeting.

Chemical, pharma products export up 43%
KARACHI: The export of chemicals and pharmaceutical products increased by 43 percent in first quarter of 2011-2012 July, September as compared to same period last year, Federal Bureau of Statistics FBS data said. Pakistan exported chemicals, pharmaceutical products worth $257 million during July-September 2011 as against $179 million in July- September 2010. Chemicals products export rose by 39.76 percent, increasing from $82.40 million to $115.17 million. Pharmaceutical products export stood at $29.10 million as against $33.90 million in same period of last fiscal.


Korean firm shows interest in investment in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: A Korean firm, POSCO, global player in steel, energy and IT sectors Thursday showed interest in investment in Pakistan. A six-member delegation of the firm has detailed discussion with CEO, Engineering Development Board (EDB), Aitazaz A. Niazi, here on Thursday. The visitors were given in-depth presentation on steel sector of Pakistan. A case for establishment of steel mill at Kalabagh was presented to them.
They were told that the total installed capacity of long-products in steel sector is around 4 million tons while that of flat products is 1.19 million tons per annum, against demand of more than 6 million tons, said a press release issued here Thursday.
The gap between demand and supply is met through imports. It is expected that the demand for steel products will be around 14.00 million tons against the supply of around 10 million tons in the year 2015.
It was emphasized that Kalabagh is a natural site for establishment of a steel mill by virtue of availability of necessary raw materials like iron ore, coal, dolomite etc. within in 13 KM radius.
The proven reserves of iron ore at Kalabagh are around 350 millions tons. The delegation asked searching questions about infrastructure available at Kalabagh including availability of fuel and energy.
It was agreed that a technical team of the firm will later on visit Kalabagh in order to assess feasibility of establishing a steel mill there.
The details of iron ore mines in Pakistan along with reserves and iron ore grades were also provided to the visitors.
It was suggested that the firm may like to invest independently in the development of any one of the mine or go for joint venture with local company.
The visitors were informed that the iron and steel sector in the country do not have common platform for research and development activity to ensure production of standardized and quality products.
The private sector industrialists realizing the deficiency of this critical requirement, joined hands to establish an institution with name and style Pakistan Iron and Steel Institute (PIASI).
The proposed mission and objectives of the institute were also explained to the visitors and requested to provide assistance in establishment of the institute by way of equity participation, technical assistance and providing equipment for testing laboratory.
Earlier, the delegation had a meeting with Secretary, Ministry of Industries and Production, Abdul Ghaffar Soomro and heads of Heavy Mechanical Complex, Pakistan Steel Mills and other units.
Senior officers of the Ministry and Privatization Commission were also present. The visitors were briefed about various expansion projects of the units and invited to collaborate.
A documentary about the growth of the firm into a global player was also shown to the participants.

Improving cosmetic appearance of Pakistani citrus must to boost exports
ISLAMABAD: Improving cosmetic appearance of Pakistani citrus (kinnow) and proper production practices are need of the hour to boost exports and avoid economic losses. There is also a need to resort to technical knowledge and post-harvest handling and storage techniques. Pakistan earns millions of Dollars every year through exports of kinnow but fruit blemishes are one of the main causes, impeding its exports, particularly to European Union (EU) markets.
As per the latest study by Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC), cosmetic look of the fruit is a very important factor affecting consumer choice in the market. Attractive, blemish-free fruits are desired by the consumer, reported a website relating to agri news on Thursday.
Pakistani kinnow is fetching very low prices as compared to other countries like Spain and Morocco. One of the main reasons of this huge difference in the price is the presence of fruit blemishes on the peel of Pakistani kinnow.
Morphologically, the blemishes are ‘collapsed hypodermis tissues’ related to shrunken or destroyed oil glands. The study said that there is need to explore the factors which are responsible for variable fruit quality in other citrus growing districts as compared to Sargodha so that the export base could be broadened to earn foreign exchange through export enhancement.
A larger study is also under progress at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, in which monitoring of the whole crop cycle will be documented in association with the biotic and abiotic factors involved in causing fruit blemishes.
The study would provide detailed information of insect pest history and initiation and growth of fruit blemishes throughout the crop cycle.
The study said citrus, the premier fruit crop, is grown in more than 100 countries of the world across the six continents with annual production of 105 million tons. Brazil is the largest citrus producer (20 percent share), followed by USA (14 percent share), and China (12 percent share).
Pakistan ranks 13th eminent citrus producer in the world with an area of 1,85,000 hectares, producing 2.1 million tons of citrus.
Meanwhile, talking to APP, an exporter of citrus from Sargodha, Farooq Ahmad emphasized the need to improve and maintain the quality of fruit and above all enhance its shelf life.
He said in order to ensure quality and grading of the fruit, training programmes, seminars and various workshops should be organized regularly- which in turn will create awareness about the latest methods.
Former Chairman, All Pakistan Vegetable and Fruit Association informed that citrus fruit export fetched high prices this year mainly on account of skyrocketing rates of the fruit.
He said for the first time in country’ history, kinnow export has crossed $ 100 million mark during the current year, indicating tremendous achievement by the exporters in terms of earning valuable foreign currency-which substantially contributes to the national exchequer.
It may be recalled that last year, total export of citrus fruit stood at $90 million.
The markets that fetched great orders for kinnow included Middle Eastern countries, Iran, Eastern Europe, Russia and Ukraine. A large quantity of the fruit was also dispatched to Turkmenistan, Tajikistan. Pakistani Kinnow have also got recognition in Poland, Czech Republic, Austria and Latvia and Lithuania.

LPG’s Aramco price surges to $ 890 per ton
KARACHI: The international price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has jumped by $ 37 to $ 890 per ton for April 2011 due to crisis in the Middle East, raising its import price by Rs 3,750 to Rs 89,000 per ton in the country. This was stated by the chairman of FPCCI Standing Committee on LPG and All Pakistan LPG Distributors Association (APLDA) Abdul Hadi Khan here Thursday.
He said Saudi Armco Contract Price (CP) has surged to $ 890 per ton for April 2011 due to disturbed political situation in the Middle East. The price of propane has jumped by $ 55 to 875 per ton while butane is up by $ 30 to $ 885 per ton.
Hadi feared that domestic price of LPG will be increased by Rs 3.75 per kilo, 11.8 kilo cylinder by Rs 11.25 and 45.4 kg cylinder by Rs 170.25 if the local producers also enhanced their price in accordance with its international price.
He, urged the local producers not to raise domestic prices and maintain LPG prices at the level of March 2011 in the national interest and for the cause of country’s LPG industry.
The sale of LPG has already decreased by 40 percent due to high prices and may further decline by 20 percent if local producers adjusted their prices according to Saudi Aramco CP of April 2011, he added.
Hadi noted that LPG users have grown to more than 50 million in the country due to higher prices of petroleum products and it is now consumed by automobiles, commercial and domestic consumers.
He pointed out that local consumption of LPG has reduced to 1,300 per ton per day, as its demand has drastically declined due to high prices.
The local producers have also accumulated huge stock of unsold LPG because of depressed market, he added.
Hadi has appealed to the local producers to announce a reduction, instead of increasing prices of locally produced LPG.

Economy positive for last couple of years
ISLAMABAD: Despite several domestic and international challenges, the country’s economy is gradually moving towards building basis on sound footings as suggested by the economic indicators. Not only the country’s foreign exchange reserves reached an all time high of $17.38 billion because of huge remittances sent by overseas Pakistan, the other economic indicators have shown positive growth during the period, sources in the Ministry of Finance said while commenting on the three-year performance of the current government.
The government has been focusing on ‘New Growth Strategy’ with an aim to raise growth above its historical average of 4.9 percent, source said adding main argument in the new growth frame work is that growth should be market-led and not government-led.
“Private sector should be the main driver of growth with public sector ensuring timely implementation of market reforms to promote competitiveness, they added.
On monetary front, the government envisaged a significant tightening of fiscal and monetary policies to bring down inflation and strengthen the external position adopting several structural measures in the fiscal and financial sectors including strengthening of social safety net.
The sources said that keeping in view the risk of inflationary pressures, the State Bank of Pakistan raised its policy rate 12.5 percent on May 2010 to 14 percent on 30 November 2010, adding the rate remained unchanged for the time being due to the risk to inflation and economic growth.
The source said that during FY10, country’s current account deficit contracted sharply by 62.1 percent, mainly due to contraction in the trade account and rise in the invisible account surplus and as a result the country’s foreign exchange reserves were recorded all time high.
Improvement in inflow of remittances through Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI) stood at $6.12 billion during July-January 2011 as compared to $5.19 billion during the same period of last year.
The sources termed the surplus of $26 million in external current account during July-December (2010-11) as marked improvement over earlier projections.
The sources said that due to economic slow down in 2008-09, the government was forced to enter into a Stand-By Agreement (SBA) with International Monetary Fund, which benefitted the country’s macroeconomic growth as is evident from sector-wise growth.
The agriculture sector grew form 2 percent in FY09 to 3.8 percent in FY10, the manufacturing sector grew from 5.2 percent in FY09 to 5.6
percent in FY10 while the real GDP grew from 1.2 percent in FY09 to 4.1 percent in FY10, the sources added.
In order to maintain fiscal discipline, the government focused on prudent expenditure management and better resource mobilization through the introduction of Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) that has been submitted to the Federal parliament.
It also focused on Harmonization of Tax Administration and Strengthening Risk Based Audit.
A major development, the sources said, was the announcement of 7th NFC award after the gap of 19 years. Besides the government introduced austerity plan, restructuring of public sector enterprises, power sector reforms and debt management strategy.
Focusing on agriculture development, the government introduced crop support price policies which benefitted the economy.
The import of fertilize increased by 133 percent, hence the total availability of fertilizers also increased by 25.3 percent during FY10 from 4.4 percent in FY08.
The government also allowed import of agriculture machinery at zero tariffs to facilitate farmers while it launched a project “Land and Water Resources Development Project” to bring more land under cultivation and help alleviate poverty.
Benazir Tractor Scheme, Awami Zarai Scheme and Rural Development Scheme were other important developments for promoting agriculture sector.
The government also took initiatives for the development of manufacturing sector of the country through technological up-gradation, provision of sophisticated machines, equipment, tools and spares in common facility centers and machine pools, Computer Aided Design (CAD), and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) facilities besides promoting research and development.
The other initiatives included launching of Benazir Income Support Programme to help the poorest of the poor of society for which the amount of Rs.70 million was allocated for the FY10 to target 5 million families.
The second phase of National Internship Programme was launched to create decent employment and human resource development.

Emerging Asian bond markets register strong growth in 2010, says ADB Report
ISLAMABAD: Emerging East Asia’s local currency bond markets expanded by 13.6% to $5.2 trillion in 2010, driven by strong growth in corporate bonds that helped to offset a decline in issuance by central banks and some governments in the last quarter of 2010, said ADB report.The latest edition of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) quarterly Asia Bond Monitor shows that growth has been broad-based.The region’s local currency bond markets, excluding the People’s Republic if China (PRC), expanded by 11.6% year-on-year in 2010. Meanwhile, total bonds outstanding in the PRC, the region’s largest market, grew 15.1% year-on-year to reach $3.1 trillion.
Total local currency corporate bonds outstanding grew by 20.3% year-on-year to reach $1.6 trillion in 2010, mainly driven by growth in the corporate bond markets of Viet Nam, the PRC, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea.
An analysis of corporate bond markets by country shows that the top 6-8 firms in each market issue bonds in very large sizes, while the remaining 30-50 issuers generally offer much smaller amounts. This results in an asymptotic curve for the distribution of corporate bonds outstanding by firm.
Emerging East Asia’s local currency government bond market expanded in the last quarter of 2010 by 10.8% year-on-year to $3.6trillion, accounting for about 70% of the total outstanding bonds, and was driven by growth in Malaysia,Thailand, and Viet Nam.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, however, the region’s government bond market grew by only 0.1% in the last quarter of 2010.
Growth in the region has been marked by improving maturity profiles for many individual corporate and government bond markets, the report said adding this reflects improving structural fundamentals as lengthened duration will attract a greater diversity of investors.
Local currency issuance totaled $3.8 trillion in emerging East Asia in 2010, a 10.2% increase over 2009. Government bond issuance expanded 12.3% to reach $3.1 trillion, while corporate issuance grew 1.1% to $634 billion.
Foreign participation in the region’s local bond markets continued to expand as investors hunted for yield and anticipated gains from appreciation of the underlying currencies.
The major risks to the market outlook are upward inflationary pressures due to rising commodity and oil prices, and the possibility of further interest rate hikes.
The “risk on-risk off” behavior of global markets could also add to these risks and the volatility of the outlook, the report added.

Investment in SME reduced in Pakistan: FPCCI
ISLAMABAD: President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Senator Haji Ghulam Ali citing a report of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said worldwide investment in SME sector is growing, but unfortunately it is reduced in Pakistan, coming down to Rs. 374 billion against Rs. 437 billions in last year. FPCCI President said Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector is playing pivotal role in development of the country and its importance cannot be ignored any way, he was addressing the first formal meeting of the FPCCI standing committee on SMEs at Federation House, Karachi.
Government, he stressed, must allocate funds to NBFIs and leasing companies on the patron of commercial banks and DFI for the development of SMEs sector.
He assured the committee that he would try to allocate funds by SBP and government agencies for leasing and modaraba companies for the development of SME sector.
Later, he appointed Syed Zahid Ali Rizvi and Haji Jamal-du-din Achakzai as the Chairman of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Standing Committee on Sports and Senior Vice chairman of FPCCI Standing Committee on Afghani Transit Trade respectively.
Syed Zahid Ali Rizvi is also President of the Sindh Amateur Athletics Association and Vice-President of Athletics Federation of Pakistan.
Haji Jamal-ud-Din Achakzai was appointed as Senior Vice Chairman of FPCCI Standing Committee on Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) for the year 2011. Achakzai has a vast experience in ATT.
Vice Presidents: S. Khalid Tawab, Shaikh Mohammad Usman, Dawood Usman Jhakora and Masood Alam Rizvi, Secretary General, Chairperson SMEs Standing Committee Arjumand Qazi and President NBFI and Mudaraba Association Bashir Chaudhry and members of the committee Abdul Umar, Mohammad Khalid Ali, Naeem Farooqi, Anwar Khalil Hasan, Mohammad Sami Ullah, Zaheer Mehdi and Mian Zahid Hussain were also present.

Intl. Seminar on ‘Investment Opportunities in Pakistan’ to be held in Malaysia
ISLAMABAD: Board of Investment of Pakistan (BOI) and Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) would jointly organise the seminar titled “Investment Opportunities in Pakistan”, on March 31, 2001, at Kuala Lampur. A delegation of more than thirty representatives of Pakistan’s top ranking companies led by Chairman Board of Investment (BOI) Saleem H. Mandviwalla will interact with over 200 representatives of the top ranking Malaysian companies in the seminar.
The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Malaysia Masood Khalid while commenting on the event said it is a land mark event in the context of bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.
This would provide unique opportunities to the private sectors of the two countries to interact with each other, he said of the seminar.
Besides, he added it would provide avenues to explore, evaluate and discuss the trade and investment opportunities Pakistan and Malaysia.
Participants of the conference will focus on four areas including agriculture and halal sector, Infrastructure development, power and energy, IT and education to discuss prospects of investment in these sectors.
They would come up with a way forward for mutually beneficial frame work of cooperation to bring about quantum jump in the existing level of trade and investment between the two countries.
Masood Khalid said the seminar will proceed in two sessions, inaugural and break out sessions.
In the inaugural session, Chief guest Deputy Minister MITI, Chairman BOI, High Commissioner for Pakistan, and Director General MIDA in their speeches will identify the areas of trade and investment opportunities between the two countries, followed by a press conference.
In the second session, the success story of Foreign Businesses in Pakistan will be discussed and presentation on Investment opportunities in Pakistan will be made.
This would be followed by break sessions wherein, the private sectors of both the countries will discuss sector wise trade and investment opportunities.
It would come up with recommendations to significantly improve the existing level of trade and investment between the two countries.
According to the Board of Investment of Pakistan there are seventeen (17) Malaysian companies working in Pakistan in different sectors including Housing & Construction, IT, Energy, Agriculture and various other sectors.
This reflect the vast potential of Malaysian investment in Pakistan which can further be exploited with the concentrated and targeted approach.
In 2008, Malaysia made an investment of US $ 656.4 million in Pakistan, which was the second highest foreign investment in Pakistan during the year 2007-08.
Malaysia-Pakistan Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (MPCEPA) was signed in Nov 2007 and it came into force from January,1, 2008.
It encompasses liberalization in trade in goods and services, investment, as well as bilateral technical cooperation and capacity building.

Value addition of agriculture products for bigger export urged
ISLAMABAD: The speakers at a seminar on Monday said that value addition of the agriculture products can help increase exports and earn maximum foreign exchange for the country. “In order to promote exports and reduce imports, it is imperative that there is a continuous development in the agriculture sector and the exports potential can be further realized by value addition of agriculture products for having great potential”, Zafar Mehmood, Secretary Commerce said while addressing a seminar on “Development Value Added Agriculture Export”.
He said that the event will bring together the official, policy makers, experts, researchers, growers and exporters to deliberate on the issue and evolve a pragmatic and viable strategy for enhancing Agriculture Export Development in the country.
Chief Executive of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), Taiq Iqbal Puri said that the agriculture value added products would be locomotive for export in future.
He said that TDAP is going to establish a cold storage and packing store for mangoes in Multan and Nawabshah and a Date Processing Centre in Khairpur.
Highlighting the importance of value added products of rice, Shahzad Ali Malik, President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries said that Pakistan is a big exporter of rice and by producing value added by-products of rice, the country can earn extra amount of billions of rupees.
He urged the government to bring basic research for hybrid rice seed in the country which could enhance the production capacity up to 100 maunds per acre which is double in quantity as compared to IRRI rice.
Taufiq Ahmad Khan, Vice Chairman of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan expressed the hope that in the coming years they would have a lot of value addition in rice industry.
He said that Rice Bran Oil is a costly oil which is being consumed widely in many developed countries but unfortunately we are not availing this opportunity of earning more foreign exchange by producing rice bran oil.
He, however said that measures are being taken to import machinery for producing rice bran oil in Pakistan and very soon the country would also become exporter of the oil.

Vegetable export witness about 50 percent increase
ISLAMABAD: The country’s vegetable export is thriving and registering an increase of almost 50 percent during last eight months of current financial year. The vegetable export increased by 49.42 percent during the period from July-February 2010-11 as about 201,621 metric tons vegetables of different varieties worth of US$ 89.31 million were exported as against 468,767 metric tons vegetables costing US$ 17.52 million during the corresponding period of the last year.
Meanwhile, the fruit export from the country also witnessed an increase of 1.21 percent during the period under review as about 308,635 metric tons fruit were exported which added about US$ 17.74 million in national foreign exchange reserves.
According to the data released by the Federal Bureau of Statistic (FBS) vegetable export during month of February 2011 registered an increase of 137.18 percent as compare to the same month of last year where as country exported about 48,755 metric tons vegetable during the period under review and earned US$ 2.05 million.
The fruit export during the month of February 2011 increased by 58.42 percent as compare to the same month of last year, as 47,700 metric tons fruit costing US$ 2.79 million exported.
The export of leguminous vegetables (Pulses) registered tremendous increase in last eight months of current financial year as about 418 metric tons of pulses were exported and earned US$ 188,000 as against 37 metric tons worth US$ 33,000 of same period of last corresponding year.
It may be recalled that Pakistan produces more than 40 types of fruit and varieties of vegetables which is highly demanded across the globe for their enriched natural taste and freshness.
The export of these commodities could be enhanced by facilitating the growers for use of modern techniques and preventing the post harvest losses as well as establishing cold chains and storage facilities in the country.

Call for signing Pakistan-China Transit Trade Agreement
ISLAMABAD: A member of Pakistani Diaspora and President of Gilgit-Urumqi Business Forum, Nazir Ahmed on Sunday called for taking steps to sign Pakistan-China Transit Trade Agreement (PCTTA) which would help Pakistan earn billions of rupees through bilateral trade with the Central Asian States. “Pakistan could earn billions of dollars if we reach out to the markets of Central Asia. China can provide us transit in reaching to markets of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan which ahve huge capacity for rice, textile and fruits,” said Nazir Ahmed in an exclusive interview with the APP.
Nazir, who is visiting Pakistan these days, said the Pakistani business community should explore new business endeavors in China which was host of major business activity and the traders from across the globe were engaged with Chinese markets.
Lauding the support from the people of China and the Chinese government, Nazir Ahmed said China was the most beautiful and peaceful country he ever seen and the Pakistani businessmen felt more secure and happy than anywhere around the world.
“The Chinese people are so loving and caring, that we feel even more secure in China than even in Pakistan. Moreover, China is a paradise on earth due to its delicious fruits, marvelous and healthy food and loving people,” he added.
He said the Pakistani businessmen could find a gracious host in China and especially Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, could be the center of their import and export business.
He said Pakistani businessmen may know that importing Chinese fruits, electronics, garments, cloth, pampers, mobile phone and computer accessories from China were the biggest option for them vis-…-vis business.
“But they should also know that there was a golden opportunity for Pakistani businessmen who could export China commodities like Halal food items for Muslims of Xinjiang Province, especially fruits including Cherries, Mangoes and Oranges,” he added.
He said there was a dire need for establishment of a Pakistani Consulate in Urumqi which could facilitate the Pakistani business community, students and visitors who face difficulty due to language problem.
He proposed that the government should also review the Pakistan-China agreement for bilateral trade, signed in 1987, under which the Pakistan-China border at Khunjrab Pass was closed for almost five months - from December 30th to May - which hampers the bilateral trade.
“There is a need for reviewing this agreement so as bilateral trade may continue unabated throughout the year which would benefit both friendly states,” he said.

New Industrial policy focusses on revival of 1909 sick units
ISLAMABAD: The government has drafted a new industrial policy with focus on the revival of about 1909 sick industrial units across the country in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders. Official sources told APP that in the light of the information provided by industries departments of all provincial governments, 1909 industrial units were sick due to variety of reasons. They attributed closure of these industrial units to financial crunch, outstanding liabilities of commercial banks , high cost of production , law and order situation, electricity and gas loadshedding and partnership disputes.
The official sources said that out of 1909 sick industrial units, 480 were in Punjab, 779 sick units were in Sindh, 568 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 82 industrial units were sick in Balochistan province.
They further said that a total number of 1579 industrial units have been closed down during the last five years.
Giving break-up of closed units in all provinces and in EPZA were in Punjab Punjab 115 units, Sindh 700 units Khyber Pukhtunkhwa 688 units Balochistan 29 units and in Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) 47 industrial units were closed down and become sick.
The official sources further said that approximately seven thousand five hundred and thirty (7530) workers rendered jobless due to closure of industrial units during the period.
They claimed that New Industrial policy, which will be announced shortly after in consultation with all stateholders including the owners of the sick units would help addressing the issues that have led to closure of the units and formulating measures to revive the sick units if found them viable for industrial growth in the country.
The sources added that manufacturing is the third largest sector of the economy , accounting for 18.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) , and 13 percent of the total employment while the Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) at 12.2 percent of GDP , dominates the overall sector , accounting for 66 percent of the sectoral share , followed by small scale manufacturing, which accounts for 4.9 percent of the total GDP. The expressed the hope that the new industrial policy after its approval and implementation would help revive sick industrial units, promote industrialization , increase productivity and exports, create more job opportunities for people in their respective provinces and enhance economic growth leading to poverty alleviation in the country. (APP)

Pakistan participates in 14th Asian Investment Conference (AIC) at Hong Kong
ISLAMABAD: A two-member Pakistan delegation led Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhary Federal Secretary Ministry of Privatization, participated in the week-long 14th Asian Investment Conference at Hong Kong, which strated on March 21 and concluded on Friday. The delegation briefed the delegates regarding the economy of Pakistan and the Public Private Partnership Programme in the area of privatization and the government’s plans to address the challenges, being faced by the country, including in the area of infrastructure and the role of privatization policy in this regard, said a message received here from Hong Kong.
The conference was held under the auspices of Credit Suisse.
The Pakistan delegation briefed the delegates regarding the economy of Pakistan and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme being undertaken in the area of privatization and the government’s plans to address the challenges facing the country, including in the area of infrastructure, the role of Privatization Policy in this regard.
The Government of Pakistan is presently actively considering privatization related capital market transactions and the AIC will prove to be an ideal forum to provide in-depth information to investors on Pakistan’s economic development and to obtain investors’ feedback.
The AIC is now considered to be the premier event on the annual investor conference calendar in the Asia Pacific region.
Over 1,400 institutional and high networth investors, 260 Asian companies, and top officials from governments, central banks, multilateral agencies and a number of leading academic institutions from around the world participated in the conference. (APP)

Brazil ambassador woos Pak businessmen
LAHORE: Ambassador of Brazil, Alfredo Leoni, invited Pakistani businessmen to tap multiple opportunities of mutual trade between Brazil and Pakistan as Brazil is the 8th biggest consumer market in the world. Speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) here, he said that promotion of commercial and economic ties between Pakistan and Brazil would further boost bilateral relations.
He proposed that Pakistan could share experiences of the Brazilian success story in the areas of economy and development achieved through the implementation of “Real Plan” which was introduced in 1994, to tame inflation and stabilize the economy.
He said that 18-year inflation was brought down to 4.4 percent per year and 46 percent per month and Brazil also converted itself from a borrower to a lender economy.
The ambassador said that Pakistani businessmen could share technical aspects and general information regarding production of ethanol (bio-fuel) by sugarcane and its usage in cars and power generation with their Brazilian counterparts.
This will help Pakistan in reducing dependence on petroleum products, he said, adding Brazil was the first commercial partner of Pakistan in Latin America and bilateral trade was about $400 million.
The ambassador pointed out that the long distance between the two countries had always been the biggest disadvantage for the improvement of trade relations between the two countries. But, he said it was not a hurdle.
“This fact is less important today with multiple means of communication, such as the Brazil Trade Net and facilities of flights to Brazil,” he added.
He said that Pakistani businessmen interested in doing business with Brazilian partners must register on braziltradenet.gov.br and become a member and a player of the biggest database available in Brazil involving international trading companies, market studies and information on fairs, Brazilian companies and trade offers.
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik suggested that cooperation could be enhanced in agriculture, energy and pharmaceutical sectors. Serious consideration should be given to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers, he added.
The LCCI President said Brazil had a highly developed industrial base and its diversity ranged from automobiles, steel, petrochemical to computers, aircraft and consumer durables.
The LCCI will like Brazilian companies to join hands with the private sector in Pakistan and make best use of our technically qualified human resource through joint ventures, he added.
The private sector of Pakistan can take advantage of exporting to Brazil various types of consumer goods like ready-made garments, fabrics, knitwear, hosiery, towels, leather and leather products, sports goods, pharmaceutical, surgical instruments etc. Brazil offers a huge potential for exports of high quality footballs, he added.
Shahzad Ali Malik said that Pakistan could also supply agro products including rice, pulses, fruits and vegetables etc. For this, both sides need to work closely to find right partners, he added.
Vice President Sohail Azhar, former President Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Honorary Consul General in Lahore Ejaz Ahmad and Executive Committee members also spoke. (APP)

Pakistan to get US $ 3 billion loan from IDB
ISLAMABAD: Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group pledged the indicative financing of around US $ 3 billion during next four years to support socio-economic development program in Pakistan. Head of the mission, Eng. Muhammad Jamal Al-Saati, Director, Country Department of the IDB and Additional Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Hassan Nawaz Tarar also signed an agreement in this regard.
“The IDB Group will support multi-sector and area-focused programs in Pakistan during the next four years (2012-2015)”, Eng. Muhammad Jamal Al-Saati said while briefing the media persons here.
A high level technical mission from the Jeddah-based IDB Group visited Pakistan during the period 13-22 March to embark on developing Member Country Partnership Strategy (MCPS) that will lay out the partnership and cooperation between Pakistan and the IDB Group over the next four years (2012-2015).
Eng. Muhammad Jamal Al-Saati said that the IDB Group MCPS mission took place at a critical juncture in Pakistan’s development Journey, at a time when large parts of the country have been devastated by the recent unprecedented floods with severe socio-economic implications.
“In these hard times, it is reassuring to observe that the government of Pakistan has a coherent plan and remains committed to undertaking necessary reforms and measures to address the daunting challenges of advancing socio-economic development”, he added.
He further said that the IDB attaches great importance to its already well-established and close partnership with Pakistan that spans over the last 35 years.
Al-Saati also revealed that among 56 member countries, Pakistan, which is a founding member of the Bank, is the second largest beneficiary of the IDB Group financing.
So far the IDB Group has approved US $ 7.5 billion in project and trade financing for Pakistan, he added.
The MCPS process is intended to help the government in its ongoing efforts to reduce poverty and generate more employment opportunities through achieving sustainable socio-economic development.
Eng Al-Saati also announced that the IDB will consider expanding its local office in Pakistan to improve and speed up the implementation of the IDB-funded projects. (APP)

Tax net needs to be broadened: Hafeez Shaikh
KARACHI: Finance Minister, Dr. Adbul Hafeez Shaikh, has sought cooperation of the business community to broaden the tax net and revenue generation equally from all sectors of economy. “There is also a need to eliminate undue tax exemptions,” the Minister said while talking to a group of the representatives of business community and office bearers of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) here at the KCCI office.
He underscored the need to devise mechanism to curb smuggling under Afghan Transit Trade (ATT).
He stated that people who are earning should pay their due share of taxes.
The meeting was also attended by prominent business community leaders and KCCI President also discussed the changes in law and promulgation of SROs on 15th of this month.
The Minister appreciated the role of KCCI to coordinate effectively across Pakistan with all sectors and furnishing meaningful proposals for revenue generation.
Siraj Kassam Teli, leader of business community. Chairman, Businessmen Group & former president KCCI, Zubair Motiwala, Advisor to Chief Minister Sindh on Investment, Chairman, Council of All Pakistan Textile Associations (CAPTA) & President KCCI, Saeed Shafiq, discussed proposals for sustainable policies for tax revenue generation to avoid budget deficit and balance of payments position.
The Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Salman Siddique, on the occasion, agreed that the consignments of commercial importers that reached ports before March 16, will be taxed as was position before promulgation of the SRO on March 15 while GST will be charged only when sale will be made to unregistered persons for consignments reached after March 15th.
According to the statement of KCCI issued after the meeting late on Sunday, by virtue of SRO 230(I)2011 dated 15th March, 2011, SRO 549(I)/2008 was amended and sales tax zero-rating on plant, machinery and equipment was withdrawn.
The said matter was also discussed and request was made to Finance Minister to rescind amendment as this was capital investment and must not be subject to any front loading to promote industrialization and create job opportunities, the statement added. (APP)

Halal products attracts non-muslims countries: Changez Jamali
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Mir Changez Khan Jamali has said Halal business is not limited to Muslim communities and the countries rather owing to its high hygienic values, these products are attracting non-Muslims as well. He expressed this while chairing the first meeting of National Steering Committee for promotion and development of Halal products, here.
The Minister said that Halal market and Halal branding is now a global phenomenon and it has the potential to make Pakistan proud and prosperous, said a press release here.
He said that this would help Pakistani experts, producers and exporters to capture larger share in Halal international market and build Pakistan economy through safeguard of integrity of Halal and highest level of performance.
The Minister said that without research and development (R&D), no industry can go too far in this competitive world.
In this respect a national level integrated effort will be required to give direction to all R&D segments and bridge the gap between the industry and researchers, he maintained.
He appreciated the efforts of a Pakistan Technology Board for taking such a timely initiative.
Secretary Science and Technology Irfan Nadeem said that the Steering Committee will perform as regulations, implementation, media coordination, training and awareness raising program.
Officials of Ministries of Religious affairs,Food and Agriculture, Live Stock and Dairy Development, Industries and Production, Commerce, and Law, Board of Investment representative of each province, Lahore and Karachi Chamber of Commerce were also present in the meeting. (APP)

Gilgit Baltistan to be made attractive for Investors
ISLAMABAD: Chairman Board of Investment Saleem H. Mandviwalla had a meeting with Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah here on Thursday, in which both the sides vowed to make the area attrative for Investors.
On the occasion the Chief Minister GB Syed Mehdi Shah said that the region has all the opportunities to become an investment hub and the present government is evolving new policies to facilitate both the local and foreign investments.
He emphasized that unlike the past, the present government had given a serious concentration to the power generation, infrastructure development, education and health to alleviate the sufferings of the people that had been facing multiple problems for the last many decades.
He said that an era of development had been started in Gilgit-Baltistan with serious work on Basha Dam, detailed engineering of Monji Dam and in the shape of expansion of Karakorum Highway.
He further said that apart from Tourism, Mining, Food preservation, the area has a very huge potential for Cement and Herbal sectors therefore the business community should come forward to explore these opportunities that offer a huge revenues.
He also informed that the present government had given a development package to the area with a view to facilitate the investors and all measures were being taken to turn the area an investment hub.
Chairman BOI informed the Chief Minister GB that South Korean investors are interested in power generation and this investment could overcome the shortfall of 80MW of the region.
He also said that “we need to develop the roads and infrastructure in the region and investors are already keen to invest in construction of all weather airports in Gilgit and Sakardu”.
He further added that investment in Gilgit-Baltistan would not only be beneficial to that particular area but it would also help strengthen the economy of the country.
The Chairman BOI informed the Chief Minister that the board is working for evolving a tax free policy for investors very soon.
At the end of the meeting the Chief Minister assured the BOI Chief to extend maximum cooperation to all the investors who would be making investment in Gilgit-Baltistan. (APP)

ICCI for equitable, fair taxation policy
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Saturday stressed the need for implementing a free and fair taxation policy to raise revenues by broadening and simplifying the tax base.“Unfortunately taxation has not been given proper attention in Pakistan so it became an ineffective tool to form and influence socio-economic policies,” ICCI President Mehfooz Elahi said while addressing business community here.
He was of the view that many people avoid filing tax returns due to their fear of harassment by tax department adding that taxpayers also feel insecure because of complications in the current taxation policy and lack of trust in the present tax system.
ICCI President was of the view that the government should bring tax evaders into the tax net instead putting further burden on the existing taxpayers.
He said that the country has a potential of increasing tax to GDP ratio by 3.5 per cent in next five years by making the system, public-friendly and equitable adding widening tax net will allow reduction in tax rates, without reducing revenue.
Elahi said that the encouragement of tax culture can only take place through removal of corruption from the tax departments, which will encourage and mobilize new taxpayers who are hesitant to contribute and continue to remain outside the tax net.
Once people see the tangible benefits of the taxes they would pay and there would be a better response to tax compliance, he added.
He was of the view that public confidence could be won by improving governance, eradicating corruption and pursuing equitable tax policies. (APP)

EPZA shows 69 pc growth during July 2010-February 2011
ISLAMABAD: The Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) has done tremendous job as the Authority has shown a record growth of 69% during July 2010-February 2011 as compared to July 2008 -February 2009, said Secretary Ministry of Industries and Production, Abdul Ghaffar Soomro.
Secretary Industries and Production Abdul Ghaffar Soomro in a statement lauded that EPZA’s efforts in enhancement of export would help in recovering the economy of country.
The management of Export Processing Zones Authority has done tremendous job as the Authority has shown a record growth of 69% during the current period July 2010-February 2011 as compared to the period July 2008 -February 2009, he remarked.
He added that exports were 41% higher when compared with the corresponding period of 2009-10. This progress reflectd a confidence of the investors in EPZA and its investors’ friendly policies.
Abdul Ghaffar Soomro further said that despite economic challenges prevailing in the country and economic recession in the world as well, EPZA has shown resilience. Resultantly, exports have registered a phenomenal growth.
It has also contributed in creating employment opportunities, generating revenues for the Government and increasing investment by the investors in EPZA, he said.
He attributed the enhancement in exports to good performance in several sectors such as garments, garment accessories, P.P/PVC plastic products, Paper/Printing & Packaging, Chemical & Allied products and worn clothing. (APP)

Govt extends financial guarantee to maintain wheat reserve upto 6.6 mln metric tons
ISLAMABAD: Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet(ECC) here decided to extend financial guarantees of the Provinces and Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO) to maintain and stabilize reserve of wheat upto 6.5 million metric tons. The ECC met here under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.
The summary for the procurement of wheat by the public sector was moved by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and ECC considered it at length in light of the recommendations of the review meeting for the purchase of the wheat policy headed by the Deputy Chairman Planning commission.
That meeting (held on February 3) had recommended that the wheat procurement target will be 6.57 million tons, PASSCO 1.30 metric tons, Punjab 3.5 metric tons, Sindh 1.3 tons, Khyber Paktunkhwa 0.4 metric tons and Balochistan .07 metric tons.
The Committee was also apprised of the sugar stock situation. The Committee was informed that sugar stock is sufficient for the coming October 2011.
The Ministry of Industries and production in its summary gave a detailed outline of the local sugar production. Up till March 15 the production remained 33,33,950 metric tons whereas the already stocked position is 16,846 metric tons.
The Trading Corporation of Pakistan has the stock of 4,45,984 metric tons which make the total stock position as 25,74,610 metric tons. (APP)

PC Board approved roadmap for capital market transaction
ISLAMABAD: The Privatization Commission (PC) Board approved the roadmap for the capital market transaction upto June 30 and also allowed to initiate the process for the hiring of financial advisor (FA) for the Exchangeable Bonds for Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL). The Board met here under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Privatization, Syed Naveed Qamar decided that a committee comprising of Finance Division, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources and the Privatization Commission will jointly administer the Exchangeable Bonds for OGDCL.
Naveed Qamar said that on privatization front, there was a major shift from strategic sale to the Public Private Partnership (PPP) to bring in professional, efficient management from the private sector for enhancing the production, making value addition to national assets by making them profitable and creating more jobs through expansions in the Public Sector Entities (PSEs).
The government was determined to put Pakistan on the map of global capital markets, he added.
The roadmap for the capital market transactions include exchangeable bonds of OGDCL and initial public offering (IPO) of State Life Insurance Company (SILC), Pak Arab Refinery Company (PARCO), Government Holdings Petroleum Limited (GHPL), National Insurance Company Limited (NICL), Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO), Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO- after approval by the Council of Common Interest (CCI), Secondary Public Offering (SPO) of Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and Global Depository Receipts (GDR) of Kot Adu Power Company (KAPCO), Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).
Prior to undertaking these Transactions, road shows will be organized at Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, London and New York in next 2-3 months.
The PC Board constituted a Committee for formulating its recommendations under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode prior to initiating the process for Jamshoro Power Company Limited (JPCL).
While reviewing the implementation status of the decisions of the earlier Board meeting, the PC Board was informed that a committee constituted to review the Supreme Court’s judgment before proceeding ahead regarding any privatization related issue of Pakistan Steel Mills Corporation (PSMC), opined that the PC being petitioner before Supreme Court of Pakistan cannot undertake any such exercise, however, the efforts should be made to evolve an approach for early disposal of the case pending since long.
The PC Board reviewed the privatization of Heavy Electrical Company (HEC) and modalities for finalizing the transaction. The possibilities of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the other Public Sector Entities (PSEs) on the active list were also considered.
The PC board members, senior officials of Finance, Petroleum & Natural Resources, Industries and Privatization Commission attended the meeting. (APP)

Ministry of Commerce to propose amendments in TDAP Ordinance
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Commerce here directed the Ministry of Commerce to propose amendments in Trade Development Authority Pakistan Ordinance 2007 latest by March, 31, 2011. The meeting of the Standing Committee on Commerce was held in the Committee Room of Parliamentary House in chair with MNA Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan. The Committee also asked the Ministry of Commerce to include the input of parliamentarians and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Board should be reconstituted and its size should also be reduced.
According to the agenda of meeting, the Committee was briefed on trade concessions offered by the European Union after 2010 floods and subsequent negotiations in World Trade Organization.
It was also briefed on Export Development Fund allocation in Financial Year 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 to date and a Preliminary discussion on Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Ordinance 2007, to be held in-camera.
Nawab Abdul Ghani Talpur, Mrs. Tahira Aurangzeb, Haji Muhammad Akram Ansari, Ms. Shireen Arshad Khan, Hamid Yar Hiraj, Iqbal Muhammad All Khan and Mrs. Jamila Glllani attended the meeting.
The Committee appreciated that despite flood, war on terrorism and law and order situation, the Pakistani exports have reached to US $ 02 billion per month, this was due to tremendous role Pakistani Businessman/Farmers/Exporters and traders.
However, the Ministry of Commerce was advised to watch other factors of increase in exports like rise in prices of raw cotton, yarn, rice and other commodities.
The Committee expressed concern as mostly raw material of cotton, rice and other commodities of Pakistani agriculture is exported thus local industry is facing difficulties in domestic production.
Due to this reason, the prices of local cloths have increased, the Committee noted.
The Committee urged that although cotton trade have been made free but efforts should be made to promote the trend of value addition in cotton/ textile and other items, which can be done jointly by local Industrialists/ Ministry of Commerce.
The Committee advised to promote exports of other commodities like Kinoo, meat etc.
The Committee expressed satisfaction that now Pakistan grower is getting international prices and appealed local businessman/traders to participate in global trade system and free market regimes.
The Committee expressed concern that major and massive failure to Pakistani exports was done due to war on terrorism, resultantly, WTO trade regimes could not be run in letter and spirit.
The Committee also noted that this is for the first time that concessionary proposal of 75 items have been submitted by Ministry of Commerce to European Union which will be considered in March, 2011.
In this regard, the Committee urged, to utilize all efforts to get these concessions by the confidence of all allied countries like India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and other countries.
A proper mechanism and course of action should be launched.
The Committee appreciated that vital interests of exports have been look-after efficiently through political wisdom and trade diplomacy at all levels.
The Committee expressed concern that allocation for Export Development Fund (EDF) for the year 2010-11 is Rs. 2097.925 million where as only Rs. 839.170 million have been released.
The Committee emphasized to, bring transparency, rational and productivity in various ongoing projects.
Ministry of Commerce should ensure before disbursement of funds that objective of ongoing projects would be achieved. The Committee recommended that preference should be given to run the projects in the remote and rural areas.
The Committee recommended that as handicraft is a vast and attractive field for exports, therefore, Chairman Handicraft Association maybe welcomed in the Board.
The Committee recommended that for promotion of the Pakistani exports, EDF funds should only be utilized for Trade Development Authority Pakistan. (APP)

Remittances rise over 20% to 6.96 bln
KARACHI: Remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis continued to show a rising trend as an amount of $6,963.28 million was received during first eight months (July-February) of the current fiscal year 2010-11.According to SBP statistics, the inflow showed an increase of $1176.17 million or 20.32 percent when compared with $5,787.11 million received over the same period of the last fiscal year.
The inflow of remittances in the July-February period from UAE, Saudi Arabia, USA, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) UK and EU countries amounted to $1,627.09 million, $1,563.00 million, $1!298.26 million, $820,02 million, $770,91 million and $220.24 million respectively as compared to $1,318.33 million, $1,148.86 million, $1,173.21 million, $826.94 million, $596.26 million and $171.42 million, respectively, in the July-February, 2010 period.
Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during the first eight months of the current fiscal year amounted to $663.73 million as against $551.10 million in the same period last year.
The monthly average remittances for the July-February 2011 period comes out to $870.41 million as compared to $723.39 million during the same corresponding period of the last fiscal year registering an increase of 20.32 percent.
In February 2011, an amount of $845.28 million was sent home by overseas Pakistanis, up 43.50 percent or $256.25 million, as compared with $589.03 million received in the same month last year.
During the month of February 2011, remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman) and EU countries amounted to $209.60 million, $190.04 million, $152.55 million, $101.21 million, $98.55 million and $24.58 million respectively as compared to $149.45 million, $138.09 million, $111.32 million, $45.91 million, $89.22 million and $13.49 million in February 2010. Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during February 2011 amounted to $68.75 million compared with $41.55 million in the same month last year.
It may be pointed out that the State Bank, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis had undertaken a joint initiative called ‘Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI)’ with a view to facilitate the flow of remittances through formal channels. This initiative has started to materialize and remittances through formal channels are showing considerable growth, the Central Bank maintained. (APP)

Chemicals import from Vietnam is increased; Commercial Counsellor of Vietnam

Commercial Counsellor of Vietnam, Nguyen Hong Tien, stressed on the need to enhance Pak-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Cooperation and regular exchange of trade information while addressing the members of Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association.
Commercial Counsellor of Vietnam also asserted upon the importance of frequent exchange of trade delegations and stated that Pakistani businessmen can easily get the business visa on the basis of sponsorship of their Vietnams counterparts. Commercial Counsellor was invited by the Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association, Muhammad Haroon Agar at PCDMA where he addressed the members and informed that Vietnams exports were 71 billion USD in year 2010 while imports were 84 billion USD, whereas the Vietnam exports to Pakistan were 143 million USD and imports from Pakistan were 109 million USD. Commercial Counsellor appreciated
that the import of Chemicals from Vietnam is increased and Vietnams Government desires to facilitate the importers.
He said that at times the business visa delayed as it is issued by the Vietnam Immigration Authority. He suggested that if tourist visa applied it will be issued in short time, as the Vietnam Government prefer to issue Tourist visas.
Muhammad Haroon Agar, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association apprised the Vietnams Commercial Counsellor about the problems faced by the members in the issuance of business visas and urged to simplify the procedures for swift issuance so that the bilateral trade volume may increase. Agar stated that the business visas be issued on priority on the recommendation of PCDMA.

ENROLMENT AS A MEMBER OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE
Dear Members, Subsequently to Circular no: 30 dated 5th November, 2010 regarding the formation of the Sub-Committee, Chairman PCDMA Mr. Mohammad Haroon Agar likes to draw the attention of the members to join the Sub-Committees at their own choice to serve PCDMA.
In this regard interested members are requested to come up with their interest in writing either to Chairman or Secretary General not later than February 25, 2011 so that they may be accommodated in their desired Sub-Committees to serve the members with their best abilities and satisfactions. SYED SHAKIL AHMED Secretary General

Colossal loss feared; imports from China under FTA: Haroon Agar
Unwarranted delay in clearance due to signature issue is contrary to the spirit of FTA

Muhammad Haroon Agar, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association (PCDMA) has expressed deep concern on inordinate delays in the clearance of imported consignments from China under Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and stated that Customs authorities are delaying the clearance of consignment due to unavailability of new signatures in respect of Pak-China FTA, and therefore, importers fear colossal losses owing to delays.
Agar held responsible the Ministry of Commerce and conveyed his contention that Commerce Ministry, since 2009 till date, has not acquired new signatures of Pak-China FTA, while the Pak importers are facing its consequences in the form of losses which has also increased the cost of doing business. Agar urged Commerce Ministry to ensure prompt clearance without delays of Pakistan-bound consignments at Chinese ports and demanded immediate measures accordingly.
Agar, in a meeting at the Chinese Economic Commercial Section apprised the Chinese Commercial Counsellor Wang Qihui the said matter threadbare. Agar highlighted that both countries and their traders were facilitating each other in respect of FTA, however, due to unavailability of new signatures with the Pakistan Customs Authority, the facility of FTA is somehow, suspended and consequently, imported consignments are facing excessive delays in clearance. The imposition of demurrage on imported has increased the cost of doing business and importers are fearing colossal financial losses, he added.
Agar focused that unwarranted delay is contrary to the spirit of Pak-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that is to promote trade between two countries as it is causing financial losses and increasing the cost of doing business. Agar urged the Chinese Commercial Counsellor to play productive role and ensure timely exchange of signatures so that traders of both countries be facilitated as per the spirit and soul of FTA.
Chinese Commercial Counsellor Wang Qihui ensured Haroon Agar about swift contact with Chinese Commerce Ministry to resolve the said issue. Wang sought details of problems being faced by Pakistani importers at Chinese ports and ensured for needful solutions. Wang also suggested the Pak importers to pursue Pakistan’s Commerce Ministry in this regard. Haroon Agar was also accompanied by Shaikh Imran Saleem, Vice Chairman PCDMA, Ghayassuddin, former Vice Chairman PCDMA and Shakil Ahmed, Secretary General PCDMA to meet the Chinese Commercial Counsellor.

PAKISTAN ATTRACTIVE COUNTRY FOR INVESTMENT & JOINT VENTURES:
Chinese Trade Delegation Proposed Pak-China JV will provide low cost raw materials to cater national need: Haroon Agar
Frequent Exchange of trade delegation will multiply bilateral trade: Saeed Shafiq

Pakistan is an attractive destination for investment and joint ventures,” stated by Wang Zhuo, President of China Dyestuff Industries Association, in a B2B meeting held with the Office Bearers, Executive Committee Members and members of Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association and Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The 24-members Chinese trade delegation visited Pakistan on the invitation of Muhammad Haroon Agar, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association, to explore the possibilities of joint ventures and setting up the industrial base for chemical, dyestuff raw materials in Pakistan.
Earlier, Muhammad Haroon Agar, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association, also arranged a visit of Chinese delegation to three important industrial concerns, Gul Ahmed Textiles, Yunus Textiles & Al-Karam Textiles, where they analysed and appreciated the production and manufacturing capabilities.
Wang Zhou, President, China Dyestuff Industries Association, termed the visit of Chinese delegation successful for gathered incisive insight of raw materials and declared it as a significant development in the bilateral trade between two countries. Zhou underscored the possibilities of joint ventures and invited the business community to participate in the 11th International Dyestuff Exhibition to be held in China this year. Zhou also asserted upon the need of frequent exchange of trade information and delegations.
Muhammad Haroon Agar, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association, while speaking with the delegation said that Pak-China joint ventures will provide raw-material on low cost which will also increase the cost of manufacturing and doing business.
Agar appreciated the visit of delegation and said that it will shun the negative perception of Pakistan due to law & order around the globe. Agar while ensuring the Chinese delegation his best support articulated that Pakistan imports from China Chemicals, Dyes, Plastics, raw materials worth around 3 billion USD every year whereby a great amount of foreign exchange is exhausted in this import, therefore, Pak-China Joint Ventures will lead to visible enhancement in the foreign direct investment, decrease in the cost of manufacturing and saving of foreign exchange.
Mahmood Salam, Coordinator-PCDMA pointed out some complaints substandard chemical import and suggested for establishing a “Joint Dispute Resolution Committee” to address the problems.
Muhammad Saeed Shafiq, President-KCCI, while presiding over the said meeting announced the session productive, stating that regular exchange of delegations with open new avenues of bilateral trade and exploration of trade prospects.
Saeed said that exchange of trade delegations are imperative to multiply bilateral trade. Saeed also invited the Chinese counterparts to participate in the KCCI’s 8th My-Karachi Exhibition to be held in July 2011. Sheikh Imran Saleem, Vice Chairman PCDMA, Co-leader of Chinese Delegation Li Yan and other Executive Members also participated in the meeting.

Committed to Public Service & Steadfast to Resolve the Problems of Business Community: SIRAJ TELI
Businessmen Group (BMG) is playing a productive role with a sincere enterprise to resolve the problems of the business community”, expressed by Siraj Kassam Teli, Chairman, Businessmen Group & former President-KCCI, while addressing at the inauguration ceremony of expansion & renovation of Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association Head Office at Karachi.
Siraj Teli focused that BMG will never leave alone the business community and raise voice to protect and promote its genuine and legal rights with the high-ups of the government. Teli underlined the importance of unity and harmony amongst the business community for resolving the problems. Teli stated that collective efforts are required on RGST issue and without consultation and removal of the apprehensions, RGST would not be acceptable at all, as it will have a destructive impact on the economy ; commercial and industrial activities will face another slowdown. Teli stated that the Bolton Market Tragedy was a difficult task and a challenge for KCCI, however, compensation amount of 1.4 billion to 1751 affactees became possible, we find no such example in the history of Pakistan where compensation was provided within one-month time.
Teli expressed gratitude and compliments to the members of the business community and said that with their support BMG is winning the elections at KCCI since last 13 years and never lost one single seat. Zubair Motiwala, Advisor to Chief Minister on Investment and Vice Chairman BMG said that due to political uncertainty, deteriorating law & order situation, and weak policies of the government the business situation is becoming difficult, whereas, such protest of the business community is also increased, therefore, Govt should take serious notice accordingly.
Motiwala commented that RGST imposition will have a negative impact on the legal business while smuggling will multiply. If the Govt impose RGST the there will be a gap of 15 percent between the real business person and smuggler and the cost of doing business will increase, he said. Saeed Shafiq, President-KCCI ensured best support and cooperation to PCDMA on their issues with the government.
Haroon Agar, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association (PCDMA) paid glowing tribute to Siraj Kassam Teli and Zubair Motiwala for their priceless services and efforts to promote trade & industry and resolve the problems of business and industrial community. Agar highlighted the proactive role of Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry for supporting other trade bodies; recommending solutions for their problems to the concerned quarters.
Agar said that RGST will have destructive repercussions on the commercial activities and without consultation of stakeholders RGST is not acceptable. Abdul Razzak Agar, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh, Talat Mahmood, SVP-KCCI, Shaikh Imran Saleem, Vice Chairman PCDMA, Muhammad Idrees, Karachi Electronics Dealers Association, prominent businessmen Rafiq Bilwani, Amir Abdullah Zaki, Younus Bashir and Managing Committee Members of PCDMA also participated in the meeting. Siraj Teli also inaugurated the new office of PCDMA.

Indian High Commissioner ensures swift visa to businessmen
Sharat Sabharwal, Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan has ensured swift issuance of business visas, in a meeting held with Chairman and Members of Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association. Sharat Sabharwal, Indian High Commissioner along with R.K. Sharma, Economic & Commercial Counsellor, Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, Visa Counseller visited on the invitation of Muhammad Haroon Agar, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association.
Indian High Commissioner while addressing the PCDMA Chairman & members assured that business visa will be processed and issued on priority to the Association’s members. He stated that Pakistan is an important country for India in respect of trade and subsequently the business community of both countries are maintaining cordial relations. He said that Pakistan imports chemicals, dyes, spices, plastics products etc. in large quantity from India. He highlighted that the Indian export has crossed 600 bn, while the bilateral trade volume with joint efforts can rise to the level of 10 to 12 billion USD.
Indian High Commissioner stated that they treat all trading partners equivalent and efforts are underway to enhance bilateral relations as well. Referring the SAFTA agreement, he said that it would act productive if Pakistan accords India MFN status. Muhammad Haroon Agar, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association (PCDMA) drew the attention of Indian High Commissioner towards delays in the issuance of business visas to members and requested to simplify the visa procedures. Agar requested the Indian High Commissioner to grant visas to members on priority on association’s recommendation.
Agar during welcome speech stated that as per the figures of State Bank of Pakistan, India Trade Volume in 2009-10 was $ 1.38 Billion. Bilateral trade has a potential to increase upto US$ 5. He said that Trade between India and Pakistan is less than 0.5% against their total trade and this should be increased. He quoted that as per information Pakistan Exported goods valued US$ 268.33 Million and Imported US$ 1.03 Billion in 2009-10 whereas, Pakistan suffers a trade deficit with India and Trade is in Indian favour. Agar observed that Pakistan imports some Indian items through informal trade via Dubai & Singapore which is estimated around US$ 2-3 billion per year, and this trade could obviously be undertaken bilaterally at significant lower cost. Removing non tariff barriers from Indian side could pave the way for Pakistan to enhance its trade and to narrow down the trade deficit, he added. Agar said that there is an unlawful trade amounting to US$ 2 to 3 Billion, if legal trade is enhanced, illegal trade and smuggling could be checked.
Agar also stressed upon the need of Pakistan and Indian Chambers and Associations frequent interaction. He said that PCDMA believe to enhance bilateral trade between two countries, with regular exchange of trade delegations and interaction between the leading trade associations with active participation in exhibitions of two countries. Shaikh Imran Saleem, Vice Chairman PCDMA, and Managing Committee Members of PCDMA also participated in the meeting.

RENEWAL OF ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP OF THE PCDMA FOR THE YEAR 2011-2012
This is for general information of all members of the Association that under the Trade Organization Ordinance, 2006 and subsequent to “Trade Organization Rules, 2007”, subscription for the current financial year has become due for payment and expiring on 31st March 2011. Under clause 46(iii) of the Article of the Association of Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association, any member who does not pay this subscription by 31st March 2011, shall be deemed to have been automatically removed from the membership register of this Association.
Please make it convenient to renew your Membership (which is starting from 1st February 2011) within the due dates by remitting us a sum of Rs. 1000/= (Rupees One Thousand only) by Cash, Cheque, Demand Draft in favour of “Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association” Karachi. It is further requested that please don’t forget to bring your Membership No…and IT Return copy of June, 2010 at the time of Renewal. All the members of the Association may contact the Head Office at Karachi for their renewals of Membership.
The members belonging to Faisalabad may contact Mr. Muhammad Younus Convener Faisalabad M/s. Universal Chemical Store, P-79, Street #4, Inside Kutchery – Chiniot Bazar, Faisalabad. Ph: 041-2615486 Members belonging to N.W.F.P. and other Cities of Punjab please be contacted to Mr. Talha Bin Zaheer, Secretary, Northern Regional office Suite # 205-206, Ainak Mahal, Shah Alam Market, Lahore or Mr. Amir Munir, President, Northern Regional office at M/s. Al Hamd Corporation H-1223 Inside Akbari Mandi, Lahore Ph: 042-37660851-37666686 As per DTO orders dated 24-02-1997 the Membership will be renewed only upon providing the copy of filing of return or statement under section 115(4) of the Income tax Ordinance 2000 (previously section 143-B of the Income Tax Ordinance 1979) for the latest proceeding year i.e. assessment year 2010-2011, (year ending June 30, 2010). The last date of payment for Renewals of Membership is 31st March 2011 for the year 2011-2012. SYED SHAKIL AHMED Secretary General

IMPORTERS RECORD PROTEST AGAINST CLAIMING OF ADDITIONAL CHARGES BY SHIPPING LINES
Currency Adjustment Factor & other additional charges claimed culminating to increase in the cost of doing business, PCDMA condemns the raise and appeals MoC for rectification
Muhammad Haroon Agar, Chairman, Pakistan Chemicals & Dyes Merchants Association, has appealed the Ministry of Commerce, to devise some mechanisms or impose regulations to shun the abusive dominance and cartelization of shipping lines/agents stating that shipping lines/agents claim from importers and exporters, unwarranted additional charges in different headers.
Haroon Agar while expressing deep concerned has appealed the Federal Commerce Minister to take notice of such possessive practices by shipping lines/agents and apprised the Minister that Shipping-lines/agents, keeping their eyes wide shut towards the incentivizing policy of this democratic government, are stubborn to impose their abusive dominance and cartelization while enforcing various unprovoked additional charges from time to time, which increases the cost of doing business and resulting financial losses to importers/exporters who are contributing a major chunk in the government revenue. Copy of said letter is also sent to Federal Finance Minister, Federal Minister for Ports & Shipping, concerned Federal Secretaries, Chairman-FBR, DG-FIA and Federal Tax Ombudsman informing about the new practice of claiming additional charges started by few Shipping Companies/Agents claiming additional unprovoked charges in the headers of Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF), Karachi Port Surchage (KPS) US$50, Splitting Charges etc. in recent new imported consignments and urged to stop such activities as it would become vogue practice being followed by other shipping lines/agents.
Agar, in a press statement, further elaborated that due to unfair practices for earning high profits, the shipping lines/agents are generating billions of rupees whereas as importers/exporters face losses as counter effect. Agar said that in the wake of claiming additional charges by shipping lines/agents the per container charges are now raised from Rs.18000 to Rs.23000, nevertheless, alongside, the terminals are also collecting handling charges Rs.16200 per container. Agar voiced that shipping lines/agents even in the adverse economic scenario in the country are earning billions of rupees whereas the importers/exporters are being penalized in the presence of manifold problems viz. High cost of doing business, multiples taxes and levies etc.
Agar feared that since the inflation is already touching the sky, such unfair acts bring an inflationary effect and upshot in the prices of commodities, essential items and raw materials. Agar appealed the Federal Ministers and concerned quarters to look into this long withstanding matter and suggested a formation of vigilance committee to monitor the shipping lines/agents. Agar further recommended that imposing/withdrawing of regular or additional charges should only be enforced with consent of commerce ministry and consultation of stakeholders/ trade bodies and unfair and adamant practices of shipping lines/agents be eradicated.
   
 
International News
   
 
LANXESS on expansion course in India
Groundbreaking for high-tech plastics facilities
LANXESS is continuing the expansion of its Indian production site in Jhagadia, Gujarat state. The specialty chemicals group broke ground for new compounding facilities with an initial capacity of 20,000 metric tons per year. These facilities will start producing the high-tech plastics Durethan (polyamide) and Pocan (polybutylene terephthalate) at the beginning of 2012. The investment of more than EUR 10 million will create 60 new jobs.
"Jhagadia provides the perfect platform to strengthen our position as a premium supplier to our customers not only in the rapidly-growing local market but also in the Asia-Pacific region," said Rainier van Roessel, LANXESS Board Member at the groundbreaking ceremony.
India is on course to become the third largest consumer market for high-tech plastics after the United States and China, driven by the automotive industry that is set to grow by more than six percent per year. Global automakers, as well as their suppliers, are already active in India or are investing in new plants in the subcontinent. It is above all the growing middle-class in India that is driving the trend towards greater mobility

AkzoNobel invests €90m in growth strategy to supply world's largest pulp mill
AkzoNobel has signaled its strategic intent to accelerate growth by investing close to €90 million in a new facility being built in Brazil. The plant, operated by the company's Pulp and Paper Chemicals business, Eka Chemicals, will supply the world's largest pulp mill.

The agreement - with Eldorado Celulose e Papel - emphasizes the importance of high growth markets to AkzoNobel and will help drive the medium-term strategy of doubling revenue in Brazil to €1.5 billion. It also underlines the value the company attaches to securing long-terms partnerships with customers.

The investment - AkzoNobel's biggest ever in Latin America - is centered on further expanding Eka Chemicals' sustainability focused Chemical Island concept. It will involve supplying, storing and handling all chemicals for the 1.5 million tons per year green field mill, which is being constructed in the northern part of Três Lagoas City. The mill is expected to come on stream in September 2012.

"This 15-year agreement confirms our intention to accelerate growth and expand our activities in the world's high growth regions," said Rob Frohn, the AkzoNobel Board member responsible for Specialty Chemicals. "We are about to make one of the biggest investments in our history, which emphasizes both the importance of Latin America to our growth ambitions and our commitment to the pulp and paper industry."

Added Pulp and Paper Chemicals General Manager Jan Svärd: "Future demand for pulp and paper chemicals in Latin America is projected to increase substantially over the next 15 years. This agreement therefore represents an exciting opportunity for us to expand our operations in the region and further underlines the value our customers attach to our Chemical Island concept."

He went on to explain that Eka Chemicals will be building a world scale sodium chlorate production unit to supply the projected demands of the Eldorado mill, which has been designed to accommodate three pulp lines. The new Eka Chemicals facility will also supply other key customers in Brazil. Work on the new pulp mill site started in June last year.

Commenting on the agreement, Eldorado President Rogerio D'Alcantara Peres, said: "Building the world's largest pulp mill requires working with reliable partners who can provide the best technology. AkzoNobel's proven Chemical Island concept, together with the company's world class expertise and strong commitment to sustainability, meant that they were a natural choice for this major project."

The new facility will expand Eka Chemicals' well established pulp and paper activities in Brazil, where the business already operates its Chemical Island concept at several mills, as well as running production units in Jacareí, Eunapolis, Três Lagoas, Rio de Janeiro and Jundiaí.

Huntsman Announces Capacity Expansion at Singapore Polyetheramines Plant
THE WOODLANDS, TX – The Performance Products division of Huntsman Corporation (NYSE:HUN) today announced that it is going ahead with the engineering design for a 40,000-ton capacity expansion program at its world-scale polyetheramine facility in Singapore.

Huntsman plans to invest more than $70 million at its Jurong Island plant in a move that will more than double the site’s manufacturing capabilities, help satisfy increasing global demand for polyetheramines and strengthen the company’s leadership position in this technology. In the last five years, Huntsman – the world’s leading polyetheramine producer – has seen interest in its JEFFAMINE® amines accelerate dramatically.

Polyetheramines are typically employed in epoxy coatings or in additives that enhance the performance of fuels, concrete and pesticides. With new amine applications emerging all the time, Huntsman is forecasting significant mid-term growth in the sector.

Stu Monteith President of Huntsman’s Performance Products division said: “When our Jurong site first opened in 2007 it was designed to produce 16,000 tons of polyetheramines per annum. However, in the last few years demand has begun to outstrip production capabilities across our three main production sites in Singapore; Conroe, Texas; and Llanelli in Wales. Adding this extra 40,000 tons of capacity in Asia is in line with our regional growth projections for the next decade and will optimize our global manufacturing footprint for specialty amines, enabling us to flex and respond more quickly to customer requirements.”

Although Huntsman already has a significant position in the market, it expects demand for its JEFFAMINE® amines range to intensify across all regions over the next decade, particularly in Asia-Pacific – where volume is set to grow by at least 10% per year.

About Huntsman:
Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. Its operating companies manufacture products for a variety of global industries, including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging. Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging and, later, for rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, Huntsman today has 11,000 employees and operates from multiple locations worldwide. The Company had 2009 revenues of approximately $8 billion. For more information about Huntsman, please visit the company’s website at www.huntsman.com.

DuPont Protection Technologies Announces Global Price Increases
Across-the-Board Increases Include DuPont™ Kevlar®, Nomex®, Tyvek®, Sontara®
RICHMOND, Va., DuPont Protection Technologies announces price increases of 5 to 10 percent on all product lines depending on product type and geographic location. The increases include key brands DuPont™ Kevlar®, Nomex®, Tyvek® and Sontara® and are being implemented immediately or as contracts permit. Details surrounding the new prices will be communicated locally in each country.

DuPont Protection Technologies is a leader in technologies and products that protect people, the environment and critical assets worldwide.

DuPont (www.dupont.com) is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.


 
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