Daily Archives: January 17, 2018

New law in the offing for effective resolution of trade disputes

Islamabad, January 17, 2018 (PPI-OT):The Trade Dispute Resolution Organization (TDRO) gave a detailed presentation on the draft law of Trade Dispute Settlement Act which envisaged formation of a Trade Dispute Resolution Commission (TDRC) that would work under the administrative control of Ministry of Commerce with same powers as vested in a Civil Court for swift and effective resolution of disputes relating to the export and import of goods and services including import and export through e-commerce.

Speaking at the occasion, Sajjad Hussain, Executive Director General, TDRO said that the purpose of drafting a law on trade dispute settlement was to provide for the establishment of a comprehensive regime in Pakistan for the swift and effective resolution of trade disputes.He said making such law was of paramount importance for better promotion of trade in Pakistan, protection of all trading interests and improvement of Pakistan’s standing internationally. He said the law would help in efficient and effective resolution of international trade disputes through negotiations, mediation, arbitration, determinations, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and referral of disputes to Commercial Benches that would be set up under the proposed Commission.

He said foreign parties would be given video conferencing facility to participate in trade dispute process. He said efforts were being made to make arrangements for acceptance of TDRC decisions in foreign countries, however, non-compliant foreign companies would be blacklisted in Pakistan.He said TDRC would also help chambers of commerce in their capacity building and trainings regarding mediation/arbitration of trade disputes. He asked the business community to give their proposals for further improving the draft law. Kausar Ali Zaidi, Director General, Laiq Daraz Khan and Irshad Ahmed, Directors and Mazhar Bangash, Consultant TDRO were also present at the occasion.

Speaking at the occasion, Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry appreciated the initiative of the government for drafting a new law for resolution of trade disputes. He stressed that the trade dispute resolution law should be comprehensive and flexible encompassing full range of dispute resolution methods, cooperation and assistance from the relevant government bodies as well as consistent with internationally accepted standards. He said the law should be equipped with enforcement powers and a streamlined procedure to carry out the purposes of the law.

He emphasized that the input given by the business community should be incorporated while finalizing the trade dispute resolution law. He hoped that the proposed law would help in further promoting business and investment activities in Pakistan leading to better growth of economy. Muhammad Naveed Senior Vice President, Nisar Mirza Vice President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry and many others also gave useful suggestions for bringing further improvement in the draft law.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +9251 225 2950
Email: icci@brain.net.pk
Website: www.icci.com.pk

PACRA Assigns Initial Entity Ratings to Al-Rahim Textile Industries

Lahore, January 17, 2018 (PPI-OT):Al Rahim Textile Industries (Al Rahim) is a family owned, textile entity that boosts a strong position in towel manufacturing followed by gradual entry in processed fabric. Al Rahim has managed to increase its business profile following expansion at its state of the art production site in Nooriabad, Sindh. Al Rahim is now a leading towel exporter of Pakistan. Al Rahim’s primary business remains towel oriented exports. However, it provides fabric and other processing facilities to its associated company – Al Rahim Retail and to other local manufacturers.

Textile industry overall is witnessing suppressed margins due to international lower commodity prices and higher cost of doing business in Pakistan. However, towel and denim industry continues to surge forward on the back of Pakistan’s cotton which is more suitable for coarse counts linked products. Towel industry continues to give good margins which is reflected in Al Rahim’s profitability.

However, on standalone basis, significant increase in inventory levels following increased production requires prudent working capital management. In FY17, Al Rahim procured long term debt to meet its Capex. Expansion and increased inventory levels caused build-up of financial risk. Nevertheless, it still carries adequate leveraging with good coverages. Going forward, in absence of any further debt-driven expansion and with better working capital management, financial risk profile is expected to become stronger.

The ratings are dependent on sustaining business margins while maintaining financial risk at manageable level. Prudent management of cash flows to meet financial obligations will remain critical. Strengthening of corporate and governance framework and timely completion of related exercise in a timely manner is critical to hold ratings.

For more information, contact:
Analyst
The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited (PACRA)
Awami Complex, FB1, Usman Block New Garden Town,
Lahore – Pakistan
Tel: +9242 586 9504 -6
Fax: +9242 583 0425
Email: hammad.rashid@pacra.com
Web: www.pacra.com

Zubair Motiwala lauded Secretary Commerce’s initiatives to improve ease of doing business

Karachi, January 17, 2018 (PPI-OT):Chairman Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI), Zubair Motiwala acknowledged Honourable Mohammad Younus Dagha, Secretary Commerce for his efforts in streamlining economic friendly policies along with constant engagement with private sectorstakeholders for effective implementation of the same for improving trade quantum of Pakistan.Motiwala commented that during his tenure, Secretary Commerce has taken several initiatives to expedite resolution of the long awaited matters and to further facilitate the business community in enhancement of exports and regional interactivity.

In alignment with the same, Motiwala reflected that recent political turmoil and frequent border closures with Afghanistan has significantly hurt both bilateral and transit trade whereby Pakistan-Afghanistan trade has dropped significantly in the last 2-3 years. Despite having the potential of $5 billion, lately trade has fallen from $2.5 billion to $1.6 billion because of bilateral tensions that caused other countries to penetrate in Afghanistan easily, as India has recently acquired a very strong hold both socially and economically in the Afghanistan, causing double damage to the Pakistani economy and neighbourly relationship.

Additionally the recent figures are showing rise in Afghanistan’s trade with Iran (both transit and bilateral) and a corresponding decline in business with Pakistan due to disturbing political ties accruing since long. He also added that even though Karachi is the most economical route for Transit Trade for Afghanistan; however, Iran’s facilitation to Afghan businessmen is pulling the business away.

Heemphasized that only fiscal reforms and rationalizing of tariffs will curb the tendency towards parallel trade and enhance the mainstream trade. That would not only improve the deteriorating trade balance of Pakistan with Afghanistan, but would also help wiping off the prevailing current account deficit of Pakistan.

He further elaborated that PAJCCI aims to help revive and strengthen long-standing business tiesbetween both the countries and reiterated that APTTCA and JEC meetings will play pivotal role inreviving confidence building measures across the border. In light of Motiwala’s recent meetings with Ambassador Afghanistan and the Finance Minister for better representation of the challenges faced by business communities across the border due to declining bilateral trade and shifting of transit trade from Pakistan, he showed faith that Secretary Commerce can play vital role in facilitating the process of joint discussions and specially aiding in holding the APTTCA and JEC meetings.

He further added that frequent border closures, heavy demurrages, waiting time, uncertainty and diversion of both bilateral and transit trade to other avenues is causing psychological rift and is resulting in long-run instability in relations with the prime neighbour of Pakistan. He believed that both the Governments should keenly follow-up the matter and develop measures of a long term nature, forensuring overall economic stability in the region. He once again requested the Secretary Commerce to consider the appeal of PAJCCI for waiver of any applicable port charges (detention / demurrage) applied to Afghan consignments / containers accruing from the closure of the border to limit the monetarylosses of the business community.

Motiwala also brought to light the issue of regulatory duties imposed on imports from Afghanistan, and requested it to be waived for the better connectivity amongst the neighbouring countries. He stated that heavy demurrages, waiting time, trust deficit is resulting in long-run instability in relations with the prime neighbour Pakistan.

He believed that both the Governments should keenly follow-up the matter and develop measures of a long term nature, for ensuring overall economic stability in the region.Chairman PAJCCI furtherrequested for convening a meeting between private sectors and government officials of both the countries for facilitating them in reconnecting with each other and identifying common grounds of peace, prosperity and strong economic ties.

For more information, contact:
Pakistan Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI)
Tel: +92-21-99218024-7
Fax: +92-21-99218028
Email: info@pajcci.com

FPCCI condemns murder of minor girl Asma in Mardan

Karachi, January 18, 2018 (PPI-OT):Mr. Ghazanfar Bilour President FPCCI has vehemently condemned the murder of minor girl Asma in Mardan. He expressed his shock and grief over this incident in which the innocent child was subjected to brutality, which is intolerable. He demanded immediate arrest of culprit and asked the Government to take a serious note of such incidents, which are on the rise.

The Police have to be vigilant and keep an eye on such elements, which have tendency to commit such heinous crimes. The entire business community is in shock and also deeply concerned over deterioration of law and order. He urged the Parents and other social organization for awareness campaigns and vigilance to keep our innocent children safe and falling victims to such brutal incidents.

For more information, contact:
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Shahra-e-Firdousi,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +92-21-35874332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk

Strategic Swiss Partners Group asked to bring investment projects to Pakistan

Islamabad, January 18, 2018 (PPI-OT):Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called upon the Strategic Swiss Partners (SSP) Group to bring business and investment projects to Pakistan as Pakistan was emerging as a lucrative destination for business and investment. He was talking to Dato Ahmad Hisham Zainal, Partner Investments of Strategic Swiss Partners based in Malaysia.

Sheikh Amir Waheed said that CPEC has enhanced prospects for business and investment in Pakistan due to which many foreign countries and investors were looking at Pakistan with great interest for joint ventures and investment. He said that it was the right time for SSP Group to set up its sub office in Pakistan and explore new business and investment opportunities in Pakistani market.

Talking about prospects of bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Malaysia, he said that both countries have great potential to set up joint ventures in the fields of pharmaceuticals, livestock and dairy, food processing, energy, chemicals, Halal products and particularly light engineering. He said being one of the leading financial advisors, SSP Group should play role to connect private sectors and investors of both countries for JVs in above fields.

Speaking at the occasion, Dato Ahmad Hisham Zainal, Partner Investments of Strategic Swiss Partners (SSP) Group said that his company was a leading financial advisory firm with multiple years of industry experience of both initiating new and enhancing existing business opportunities and investments.

He said headquartered in Switzerland with sub offices in Malaysia and the UAE, SSP Group brought world-class expertise in business with a valuable understanding of the current and future status of the economy and transforming this knowledge into profitable investments. He said SSP Group delivered solutions to its clients with optimum investment performance by realizing the full potential of the market through its integrated platform.

He said SSP Group worked with a large global network to effectively deliver business and investment projects. He said SSP Group has worked on a wide range of projects from green field developments to the investments in established corporate companies. He said he was on a study visit to Pakistan to explore how SSP Group could contribute in initiating new and enhancing existing business opportunities and investment in Pakistani market. Muhammad Naveed Senior Vice President ICCI, Dildar Abbasi and others were also present at the occasion.

Both sides discussed various options for further improving bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Malaysia through enhanced interaction between the private sectors of both countries.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +9251 225 2950
Email: icci@brain.net.pk
Website: www.icci.com.pk

FPCCI hails decision of Prime Minister for one-time tax amnesty scheme on offshore assets

Karachi, January 18, 2018 (PPI-OT):Mr. Ghazanfar Bilour President FPCCI welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision of one-time tax amnesty scheme to bring back the offshore wealth of Pakistanis deposited with foreign banks. They have invested in Middle East, Far Eastern countries, Western Europe and off shore companies, while net inflows of investment are declining in Pakistan.

Several countries have introduced One-time Amnesty Scheme for acceleration in the economic growth through production and utilization of hidden liquid assets in the main stream of the economy. He also stated that the inflow of FDI is directly associated with the trend of investment by local investors that gives confidence to the foreign investors.

Mr. Ghazanfar Bilour also proposed that the objective of this One-time Amnesty Scheme should not be to provide a shelter to illegal practices but to bring the isolated liquid assets into main stream of economy for its utilization to provide funds for the growth of national economy, development of basic business infrastructure and to provide employment opportunities at large scale.

For more information, contact:
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Shahra-e-Firdousi,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +92-21-35874332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk