February 2020




The Newspaper’s Staff Correspondent February 25, 2020

FAISALABAD: Traders have refused to join hands with exporters and the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) to observe a strike on Tuesday (today), saying they have been deceived repeatedly by them in the past.

However, Mian Naeem, chairman of the joint action committee formed to resolve the issues, claimed that some of the elements might not join hands with them, but most were ready for the shutter-down strike.

The joint action committee on Feb 22 had announced a strike against the government’s decision of enhancing gas and electricity prices, making provision of identity card mandatory and 17 per cent sales tax on them.

Mehmood Alam Jutt, the Anjuman-i-Tajiran City secretary, claimed that traders would stay away from the strike call given by the action committee.

Abbas Haider, a representative of the cloth board, said they would not support the strike call as they had not been taken into confidence. He said not a single member of their organisation would shut their businesses and continue in routine.

However, the committee’s Naeem claimed the cloth board was going to organise a protest gathering at the Clock Tower and did not mind if some elements did not support their cause.

To a question that the action committee had said the cloth board would organise the protest at the Clock Tower intersection, the board’s Haider said they had not given any assurance for the gathering. “We have categorically informed the action committee that we will not be part of the strike,” he added.

The action committee chairman said they were observing a strike by closing their units as they were not in a position to run them effectively due to surging prices of utility bills.

He claimed that the All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills, chamber of commerce members, the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PHMEA) and other organisations would also be part of the strike.

The central chairman of the PHMEA, Haji Salamat Ali, said his association would extend all help to the action committee as the issues being raised by the committee were haunting every business. He said the government had claimed level-playing field for the business community, however, practically it was doing otherwise.

He said they could not compete with the international community without having relief in Pakistan.

ARRESTED: Police claimed on Monday to have arrested two members of a cattle thief gang and recovered about 24 animals from their possession.

Police claimed a crackdown was launched in the areas of Saddar and Dijkot police and two gang members were arrested with stolen buffalos and cows worth of Rs2 million.

Police said an investigation into the matter had been launched to trace the absconding members of the gang.

City Police Officer Sohail Chaudhry said the police were actively working to wipe out criminal gangs from the district.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2020



By ALI HUSSAIN on February 27, 2020

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday claimed that with the visit of US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross a “new chapter” is being opened in Pakistan-US relations focusing on boosting bilateral trade, and insisted that US President Donald Trump will conduct an “exclusive” visit to Pakistan soon.

Speaking at a news conference along with Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, Additional Secretary Ministry of Commerce Javed Akbar, and Pakistan Ambassador to Washington, the foreign minister invited the US to invest in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well as in the food processing sector.

Qureshi said that US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, in his meetings in Islamabad, exchanged views on how to enhance bilateral trade and increase Pakistan’s exports under the existing arrangements.

He said that in his meeting with Prime Minister’s Adviser on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production, and Investment of Pakistan Abdul Razak Dawood, the visiting Secretary of Commerce Ross handed over a list of items that could be exported to the US on immediate basis under the existing arrangements.

“When we look back at the situation in 2008, the talks between Pakistan and US had to start on Afghanistan and ended on the counterterrorism operations, now the situation is changing and we are talking about how to enhance our bilateral ties and boost the two-way trade and investment. Today, a new chapter in Pakistan-US relations is being opened,” Qureshi said, while referring to the talks with Ross, who according to Qureshi came to Islamabad straight from New Delhi on President Trump’s instructions to talk on bilateral relations and trade.

He said that the US side had also given an indication to further relax the travel advisory and upgrade Pakistan with a view to increasing frequent travel of the US nationals businessmen and investors.

Qureshi said that Secretary Ross would share his assessment with President Trump of the talks with Pakistani authorities on the ways and means to provide opportunities to American investment in various fields. Responding to a question, Qureshi asserted that President Trump would conduct an “exclusive” visit to Pakistan soon.

“No, we did not want him [Trump] for a stopover for a few hours in Islamabad when he was visiting India. In fact, we want him to conduct an exclusive visit to Pakistan and we have already extended invitation to him and he would visit Pakistan soon,” the foreign minister added.

According to him, the US stance on Pakistan’s measures in light of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has largely been changed. “Those [Americans] who were earlier criticizing Pakistan are now recognizing Pakistan’s efforts and admitting that Islamabad has done a lot,” he said, while referring to the recent FATF plenary that was held in Paris.

He also hoped that Pakistan will come out of the FATF grey list in June. Qureshi also claimed that it was Pakistan’s diplomacy when US President Trump in his recent visit to India repeated his offer of mediation on Kashmir despite New Delhi had earlier rejected any such mediation.

“It was because of our diplomatic efforts, President Trump, while standing in India in a stadium praised Pakistan and stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan is a ‘good man’ and he [Khan] is his friend,” Qureshi added.

Referring to the riots in New Delhi and beyond and the continued attacks against Muslims and their properties by the Hindu extremists, Qureshi urged international community and the Muslim Ummah to take notice of the situation. On Afghanistan, the foreign minister said that Pakistan was only facilitating the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process.

He hoped that the upcoming signing of the peace deal between the US and the Taliban would lead to an intra-Afghan dialogue. Qureshi declined to comment on the results of the Afghan presidential elections, saying that it was up to the Afghans to decide about their internal matters.

He said that Pakistan wanted that the controversy did not affect the Afghan peace process. Meanwhile Wilbur Ross, secretary commerce of the United States, along with the accompanying delegation, called on the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh here at the Finance Division, said a press release issued on Wednesday.

The adviser welcomed the secretary commerce and said that Pakistan and United States had maintained a durable relationship over the years and there was a need to build it further.

The adviser said that the arrival of the delegation from the commerce sector was good news for Pakistan and would have positive consequences for the country. “This is at a time when the government is looking forward to a major boost in exports after offering concessions to the export-oriented sector of Pakistan.”

The adviser said that Pakistan was trying to carve out a new progressive image in the comity of nations.

“We have tried to follow the FATF action plan to a significant level, opened our markets to the foreign investors by providing ease of doing business and we are trying to build our image as a tourism-friendly and investment-opportunity country in the region,” Shaikh said.

The adviser also shared the updates on the economy with the US secretary of commerce. He said that though the country was trying to revive the economy through stabilization reform and inviting foreign investment to the country as well as taking care of its vulnerable, the rising prices of food items, high energy prices and slow revenue generation were issues that concerned him.

Shaikh said that the government’s efforts were directed towards providing ease to the common man and it would require guidance from its global partners as well.

“The trade between the two countries is only around $7 billion and the country has an urgent need to increase that to help in GDP growth, which requires long-term planning for economic development,” Shaikh said. He said that we have made a mistake in the past of not forming our alliances on the economic front based on our developmental requirements. Shaikh felt this was the time to enable the relationship to become more long lasting on a firm footing.

The US secretary commerce said they can help Pakistan in the energy sector and the details of the projects where economic cooperation could be enhanced are being worked on. The adviser said that he hopes that a healthy interaction shall continue in future as well.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020



AP Updated February 28, 2020

LONDON: Britain laid out its opening demands for upcoming trade talks with the European Union on Thursday, including a blunt threat to walk away from the negotiating table if there is no progress within four months.

The two sides appear headed for a rocky first round of negotiations as they try to forge a new relationship following the UKs departure from the now 27-nation bloc.

Britain and the EU both say they want to reach a free trade agreement, but have starkly divergent views on how it should be overseen and what constitutes fair competition bet­ween their two economies.

The EU says Britain must agree to follow the bloc’s rules in areas ranging from state aid to environmental protections, and give European boats access to UK fishing waters, if the two sides are to strike a good deal.

But the UK is demanding the right to diverge from the blocs rules in order to strike new trade agreements around the world, and to give the British government a freer hand to intervene in the UK economy.

In pursuit of a deal we will not trade away our sovereignty, Michael Gove, the minister in charge of Brexit preparations, told lawmakers in the House of Commons.

We will not be seeking to dynamically align with EU rules on EU terms, governed by EU laws and EU institutions.

That conflict will be one of the big hurdles in talks, which are due to begin Monday in Brussels. Fishing is likely to be another flashpoint. EU nations especially France wants Britain to grant European boats long-term access to UK waters. Britain wants to negotiate fishing quotas annually.

Britain left the EU on January 31 but remains bound by the bloc’s rules until a post-Brexit transition period ends on Dec 31.

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2020




The Newspaper’s Staff Reporter Updated February 18, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Textile and clothing exports increased 3.68 per cent year-on-year to $8.099 billion during the first seven months of 2019-20, from $7.812bn in same period last year, showed Pakistan Bureau of Statistics data on Monday.

The July-January figures showed marginal growth in textile and clothing ex­­ports emanated from the value-added sector.

This uptick in the value-added sector helped raise the overall exports by 2.2pc year-on-year to $13.05bn in 7MFY20, from $13.215bn in corresponding months the year before. In January, textile and clothing export proceeds were recorded at $1.19bn, higher by 2.25pc, from $1.16bn over similar month of 2019.

Product-wise details reveal exports of knitwear increased by 6.27pc in value and 4.57pc in quantity, followed by 2.77pc and 9.78pc in bedwear, respectively. Foreign sales of readymade garments rose by 10.84pc in value and 20.99pc in volume while those from towels dipped by 0.52pc in value but were up 6.3pc in quantity. Export of cotton yarn inched up 0.78pc during the period under review.

Moreover, export of cotton cloth lowered by 3.6pc, yarn other than cotton 8.44pc, and cotton carded 72pc while that of raw cotton rose by 9.99pc and art and silk 15.21pc

Oil imports: Meanwhile, the import bill of petroleum group plunged 17.91pc to $7.13bn during 7MFY20, with crude oil posting the largest drop of 11.32pc in total quantity to 4.56 million tonnes.

The cost of petroleum products declined 21.83pc with 10.52pc fall recorded in terms of quantity, bringing the total down to 5.49m tonnes. Liquefied natural gas imports decreased 6.26pc while those of liquefied petroleum gas rose 21.75pc.

Machinery imports inched up 0.66pc to $5.27bn, from $5.24bn last year led by electrical machinery, jumping by 36.64pc and telecom 31.36pc during the seven months.

In telecom sector, imports of mobile handsets soared 79.46pc to $760.58m while those of other apparatus plunged by 25.33pc to $268.54m. The increase in former was a result of crackdown on smuggling and doing away with free imports in baggage schemes.

Import of machineries related to agriculture, textile, construction among others declined. The overall transport group also witnessed a decrease of 44.95pc.

Meanwhile, food group imports fell by 11.81pc mainly due to imposition of regulatory duties on proceeds. The decline was noted in import of milk product, wheat, dry fruits, tea, soybean oil, palm oil, sugar, and pulses. On the flip side, foreign buying of spices increased by 6.15pc.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2020



The Newspaper’s Staff Correspondent February 23, 2020

FAISALABAD: Traders and industrialists refused to pay the electricity bills and announced a shutdown on Feb 25 once again against the government’s decision of increasing gas and electricity prices, imposition of computerised national identity card (CNIC) condition and 17pc sales tax on them.

Earlier, they had announced a wheel-jam strike in the city on Feb 10 and the call for strike was withdrawn on Feb 1 on getting assurance from Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar. The governor had visited the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) and convinced the traders and exporters to withdraw the strike call as the government would resolve their issues.

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, traders action committee chairman Mian Naeem along with the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Sikandar-i-Azam said they had demanded resignation of Prime Minister’s adviser on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood who was not capable of holding the portfolio.

“We are being pressed for the protest and this time we would go on a strike on Feb 25 for acceptance of our demands. The government should hold talks with us or the scope of the protest will be expanded,” they said and added that a large gathering would be held at Clock Tower Chowk on the strike day.

Mian Naeem said the industry would be shut down and it would not pay expensive electricity bills.

“Those who are considered to be policymakers are the mafia,” Mian Naeem claimed.

FCCI President Sikandar-i-Azam said the government had deceived the traders and now the protests would continue until their demands were met. He said traders, power looms, textile mills and sizing industries would be closed on Feb 25.

Sikandar-i-Azam added that a few people were benefitting from the elimination of the zero-rating facility which is destroying the entire system by imposing the restriction of the CNIC. He said they would not go anywhere to have a talk with the government and would talk on their issues in Faisalabad.

“The government is talking about giving jobs while our business is being destroyed,” he added.

The governor assured the traders that their issues would be resolved, however, he did not contact them again, the FCCI president said and questioned about the promise of Imran Khan regarding the textile policy. He said the PM was not sincere even with his workers and the poor were being looted through sugar and flour rates.

Mian Naeem said during press conference, Mr Dawood had sent a message and invited the Faisalabad traders to Islamabad on Feb 26 for dialogue. However, the traders had refused to meet him.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2020



RECORDER REPORT February 23, 2020

LAHORE: The Friends of Economic and Business Reforms (FEBR) have urged the government to review its trade and export policies with a keen focus on value-addition for a sustainable economic trajectory.

FEBR President Kashif Anwar said that country’s exports fell by over three percent in January this year despite currency’s depreciation and several other measures. Moreover, export of merchandise recorded a negative growth rate over the last two consecutive months despite multiple currency depreciations, he said.

“So far none of the FTAs or preferential treaty agreements with any country has helped enhance exports from the country after its implementation while the volume of imports has seen a double-digit growth after those agreements with different countries,” he added.

Contrary to the expectations, exports entered negative growth of 3.17 percent to $1.97 billion in Jan 2020 as against $2.03 billion over the corresponding month last year. The drop in exports’ proceeds has started in December 2019 when it fell by 3.8 percent while a similar quantum of decline was seen in January 2020, he added.

The FEBR president said that the large-scale manufacturing sector of the country had already been in the mode of negative growth since July 2019 but still the commerce ministry’s focus was on negotiations for international trade agreements and market access. Between July 2019 and January 2020, the export proceeds’ growth fell by 2.14 percent.

Kashif Anwar said that country’s exports should have grown over the last few months owing to multiple currency depreciation, but this had not happened as the current figures clearly indicated.

The government projects exports during the ongoing fiscal to reach $26.187bn, up from $24.656bn in FY2019. On the external side, imports are still dropping, which is providing some breathing space despite negative growth in exports from the country, he maintained.

The FEBR chief appreciated the government’s efforts to narrow down the current account deficit but warned the authorities that the balance of accounts should not come at the cost of local industry’s growth.

The government’s strict import policy along with a high cost of doing business owing to multiple rise in fuel cost and energy tariffs had almost halted industrial production, he opined.

The current account deficit reduction should be based on growth in exports, resulting into growth in industrial production as well as employment generation.

But unfortunately the present turnaround was largely due to the fall in imports that accompanied a sharp slowdown in growth after currency devaluations and gradual increase in interest rates, which sent shock waves through the economy. The industry raw material which was not manufactured in Pakistan had also been included in the list of high import duties, he said.

The FEBR president said that the country’s trade deficit came down by 28.4 percent in the first seven months of the current fiscal. The decline was mainly due to a double-digit fall in imports. Another reason is the government’s corrective measures to slow down imports to reduce pressure on the foreign exchange reserves and a general worldwide slump in the overall demand for goods, he said.

In absolute terms, the trade gap narrowed during the period from July 2019 to January 2020 to $13.75 billion from $19.2 billion over the corresponding months in the last financial year. On a monthly basis, the deficit fell by 15.03 percent to $2.06 billion in January from $2.43 billion during the same month last year, he said.




Saleem Shahid Updated February 11, 2020

QUETTA: The Balochistan Special Economic Zones Authority (BSEZA) in its meeting held on Monday reviewed the plan of establishing of 13 border markets at Pak-Iran and Afghan national boundaries and agreed to provide infrastructure including communication, water and power and other facilities with the cooperation of federal government.

The meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, approved the the agenda of the authority with some amendments after discussing in detail, which was presented by Secretary Industry and Trade, Ghulam Ali Baloch. A grant in-add of Rs40.7 million was also approved for the BSEZA and allowed to establish Balochistan Economic Zones and Industrial Estate Development and Management Company.

Rules and regulation, establishing technical section, vacancies of c-suite executives for the authority have also been approved. The meeting also okayed the building laws of Gadani, Hub and Bostan Special Economic Zones.

The meeting, while agreeing with the lease and allotment policy in the SEZ of Hub and Bostan, directed to ensure provision of basic infrastructure, including water, electricity, gas and other facilities.

The bylaws of economic zones were also approved and meeting was informed that the process of registration of BSEZA in the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan would be completed soon. The concerned authorities informed that in the industrial zone of Quetta, located at the eastern bypass, 70 units were functional and PC-1 has prepared to provide more facilities there.

The chief minister said that with the approval of investment policy at provincial level, the confidence of the industrialists would be restored.

He added that Balochistan is rich in natural resources, which are not utilised due to incompetency. “We have to take hard decisions if we claim good governance,” said Kamal.

He said the port facility is also available with the SEZs of Hub and Gadani, which will boost industrialisation there and increase the revenue of Balochistan.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2020



The Newspaper’s Staff Reporter February 15, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Turkey on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on trade facilitation and customs cooperation matters.

The MoU was signed by Turkish Minister of Trade Ruhsar Peckan and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Sheikh on behalf of their respective governments.

The areas wherein Customs cooperation would be undertaken with Turkish Ministry of Trade and Customs Agency under the MoU include support for establishment of Electronic Data Exchange for swapping information and documents regarding international movement of goods and vehicles between the parties.

It also includes assistance to each other in order to improve Customs practices between the two countries. Both countries shall communicate, share and exchange all available information relating to imports, exports, and transit operations. The two countries will cooperate in combating different smuggling methods and customs offences. To ensure the implementation of the provisions of the MoU, a Joint Technical Committee has been constituted.

The benefits arising from the signed MoU include an institutionalised information exchange mechanism between Pakistan and Turkey. It is expected to bring reduced risk of evasion of duties and taxes.

Further, it is expected to have reduced clearance time for import or export cargo through application of risk-assessment techniques on the basis of available information. The MoU would assure assistance by Turkish Customs Agency and would promote bilateral trade, including transit trade, in the region. The signing of this MoU would also increase confidence of Pakistan’s international trading partners.

An official statement issued here said that Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has identified a number of countries, including Turkey, for cooperation and mutual assistance in order to strengthen Customs controls and meet the challenges arising from expansion and diversification of Pakistan’s international trade.

FBR Acting Chairman Nausheen Javaid Amjad said the implementation of this MoU will have a number of benefits for the FBR and Turkish Customs Agency.

The relevant organisations would be able to exchange vital information seamlessly which would go a long way in facilitating and securing bilateral trade between both countries, she added.

Published in Dawn, February 15th, 2020



By Agencies Published: February 15, 2020

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during Pakistan-Turkey Business and Investment Forum in Islamabad. PHOTO: APP

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during Pakistan-Turkey Business and Investment Forum in Islamabad. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD.: Pakistan and Turkey on Friday signed over a dozen pacts, particularly the declaration of the Strategic Economic Framework, which is aimed at increasing the bilateral trade volume between the two countries from the existing $800 million to $1 billion in the short-term and eventually the target of $5 billion two sides had agreed on earlier.

The two countries will hold further negotiations to finalise a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in April.

The documents, including agreements, protocols and memorandums of understanding (MoUs), to boost existing bilateral ties in the fields of trade, energy, tourism, defence and infrastructure development were signed at a ceremony held at the PM House in the presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The ceremony was held after a one-on-one meeting between PM Imran and President Erdogan followed by the Plenary Session of the 6th round of Pakistan-Turkey High Level Strategic Cooperation Council co-chaired by the two leaders.

The declaration of the Strategic Economic Framework was signed by the Pakistani prime minister and the Turkish president themselves.

“We have to benefit from the experience of Turkey especially in the tourism sector through which it generates $35 billion revenue per year,” PM Imran said while addressing a joint news conference with the Turkish president.

The premier said Pakistan also wanted to benefit from Turkey’s achievements in the construction sector for providing affordable housing.

“We also want to benefit from how it [Turkey] has boosted its economy, checked debts, including the IMF loans, and achieved a turnaround,” he added.

“Giving jobs to the youth is very important for Pakistan and it will also benefit from Turkey’s experience in industrialisation.”

Speaking on the occasion, President Erdogan recalled PM Imran’s visit to Turkey and noted that the two sides had agreed to increase the bilateral trade volume to $5 billion by 2023.

“The Strategic Economic Framework provides a road-map to what the two countries should do for an economic partnership,” he added.

“Turkey is ready to support Pakistan in the areas of transport, energy, tourism, healthcare, education and law enforcement. This will help boost its socio-economic development.”

Earlier speaking at a joint session of Turkey-Pakistan Business Forum, the Turkish president said no one who had invested in Turkey had regretted the decision so far.

“The current trade volume of $804 million between Pakistan and Turkey is not sufficient, he noted, adding that the bilateral trade volume must first increase to 1$ billion and then achieve the target of $5 billion.

Speaking at the forum, Adviser to the PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said work on the Strategic Economic Framework would be completed by March. In April, he added, the two countries would further negotiate on the FTA.

Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan told the participants of the forum that the President Erdogan’s visit to Pakistan would accelerate bilateral investments.

She stressed the importance of Turkish contractors’ participation in Pakistan’s infrastructure and superstructure investments.

“We will utilise the sources of Turk Eximbank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to finance these projects,” she added.

At the ceremony at the PM House, the two countries signed an MoU to boost cooperation in the energy sector, especially in the areas of hydrocarbons, exploration and production (E&P) joint ventures, sharing natural gas distribution and transmission practices and LPG wholesale market expertise. Energy Omar Ayub and his Turkish counterpart Fatih Donmez inked the document in the presence of PM Imran and President Erdogan.

The Turkish Petroleum International Company and the Pakistan State Oil, which have been nominated for increased cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector in the MoU, will create “supply and trading opportunities for petroleum and petroleum products mainly gasoline, fuel oil, bitumen and other products”.

The Oil and Gas Development Company Limited/Pakistan Petroleum Limited and Turkiye Petrolleri Anomium Ortakligi will cooperate for E&P joint ventures

The two countries also inked a bilateral agreement on military training cooperation. It was signed by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Turkish National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar.

Lt Gen (Retd) Naweed Zaman, the rector of the National University of Science and Technology of Pakistan, and Tamel Kotli, the CEO of the Turkish Aerospace Industries, signed an MoU for cooperation between their respective institutions.

The Turkish Standard Institutions (TSI) and the Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) signed an MoU for cooperation in the fields of standardisation, conformity assessment, meteorology and training. It was inked by PSQCA Director General Abdul Aleem Memon and TSI President Dr Adem Sahin

An MoU was signed between the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and the Turkish Ministry of Culture, Tourism on Cooperation in Diaspora Policy inked by Overseas Pakistanis Secretary Amir Hassan and Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities President Abdullah Eren.

To enhance media and cultural cooperation, a cooperation protocol between Turkish Radio Television Corporation (TRT) and Pakistan Television (PTV) was signed by PTV Managing Director Amer Manzoor and TRT DG Ibrahim Eren. Similarly, another such protocol was also signed by Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation DG Samina Waqar and the TRT DG to enhance cooperation and share expertise in the field of radio,

Pakistan and Turkey signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation for development of tourism. The signatories were Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Dr Fahmida Mirza and Turkish Deputy Minister for Culture and Tourism Dr Serdar CAM.

Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan signed an MoU for cooperation in the field of Halal accreditation between the two countries.

The Turkish trade minister and Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh inked an MoU between the Turkish trade ministry and Federal Board of Revenue on trade facilitation and custom cooperation.

Communications Minister Murad Saeed and Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Minister Mehmet Cahit Turan signed an MoU for cooperation between the Pakistan Post and the Turkish Post.

Similarly, another MoU was signed by Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and the Turkish transport and infrastructure minister to increase cooperation in the field of train transportation.

A joint declaration issued at the conclusion of the 6th session of Pakistan-Turkey High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council welcomed the finalisation of the landmark Pakistan-Turkey Declaration of Strategic Economic Framework.

The two sides reiterated their resolve to transform bilateral fraternal relations into an ever-expanding, mutually beneficial, strategic partnership between the two countries.

They also reaffirmed that the time-tested and unparalleled relations between the two countries were embedded in a common historical, religious and cultural heritage.



By RECORDER REPORT on February 16, 2020

Indonesian Ambassador to Pakistan Iwan Suyudhie Amri has said there is huge potential to increase bilateral trade between the two Muslim brotherly countries. Speaking at the ‘Palm Oil Seminar’ jointly organised by Indonesian Embassy and Apical Pakistan here on Saturday said that both countries were enjoying very good trade relations however there was a huge potential to increase these relations to higher level.

He pointed out that there were many sectors where cooperation could be increased. He said palm oil was playing a big role in bilateral trade between the two countries as Pakistan was one of the big importers of palm oil from Indonesia.

Advisor to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs Mahmood Moulvi said the government was focusing in development of shipping industry. In the new shipping policy the government of Pakistan is inviting private sectors to invest in this sector that has potential to grow further.

He said Pakistani and Indonesian investors could invest in that sector that would be beneficial for both of them. Naveed Gilani, Country Head, Apical Pakistan also spoke on this occasion and highlighted the trade issues. Indonesia is the largest palm oil exporter in the world with its total shares of over 54.5 percent in the global trade of palm oil. Large number of businessmen, importers, exporters and other attended the seminar.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020




Bhagwandas Updated February 07, 2020

KARACHI: The federal government has issued a special permit to Saudi Arabia’s Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud to export 50 rare falcons from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia during the 2019-20 season, it is learnt.

According to sources, the falcons of highly rare species — Saker and Peregrine — are used for hunting the internationally protected houbara bustard during winter in the country. Oil-rich Arab hunters keep a large number of falcons to pursue their houbara bustard hunting.

As falcons age with time, hunters need to change their aged falcons with younger ones that could hunt houbara bustard more efficiently. Hence, an export permit was requested by the kingdom and duly issued by Pakistan. The sources said that by issuing falcon export permits the government was promoting and patronising underground black wildlife market as falcons could not be trapped, sold and purchased here legally. The falcons for export would have to be purchased from traders dealing in wildlife illegally.

The sources said that Prince Fahd, who is also governor of Tabuk province, had requested for the export permit through the Saudi embassy.

Subsequently, the foreign ministry’s deputy chief of protocol Mohammad Adeel Perviaz issued the permit and delivered it to the Islamabad-based Saudi embassy.

Mr Pervaiz, in a letter (DCP – P&I) 2019-20 to the Saudi embassy, says: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan presents its compliments to the Embassy of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Islamabad and with reference to its Note Verbale regarding export of falcons has the honour to inform that the esteemed embassy may export Fifty (50) falcons from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia for personal use of Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Governor Tabuk of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“In this regard, the concerned authorities have been requested to accord facilitation for the export of Fifty (50) falcons from Pakistan to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The ministry of foreign affairs of Islamic Republic of Pakistan avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the esteemed Mission of the assurances of its highest consideration.”

The sources said that Prince Fahd had attracted global media attention sometime back when, according to Balochistan Wildlife Forest Depart­ment’s Chagai district officer Jaffer Baloch, Prince Fahd and his party had hunted 2,100 houbara bustards in 21 days that was in violation of the hunting permit that prescribed the bag limit to 100 houbaras in 10 days.

Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2020