Italians meet PBIT CEO

LAHORE (INP): Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) Amna Zafar Cheema has said that in line with Punjab Chief Minister’s commitment to provide safe and clean drinking water to every citizen of the province, the PBIT is making focused efforts to gauge the interest of international investors. She expressed these views while addressing a five-member delegation, comprising of leading Italian and local businessmen at PBIT head office. Earlier, the CEO PBIT had met these businessmen during her visit to Italy in April 2016 and shared the lucrative investment opportunities present in Punjab. Detailed discussion regarding the Saaf Pani and Grain Silos projects was held.

PBIT team apprised the delegation that Saaf Pani project aims to install clean water plants in all districts of Punjab. Feasibility study, survey and planning task of 13 districts of Punjab have been completed through the help of professional consultants and sector experts. EPC contractors and investors are sought from across the globe to fulfill the technical and funding needs of the programme.

 Tevta inks MoU with Paapam

LAHORE (Online): TEVTA has signed an MoU with Pakistan Association of Automobile Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) to start demand driven courses for auto engineering sector. Short courses including sheet metal, casting, machining, injection moulding, blow moulding, forging and quality inspector will be offered. The MoU was signed by Chairperson TEVTA Irfan Qaiser Sheikh and Chairman PAAPAM Mumshad Ali here Tuesday at TEVTA Secretariat. Chief Operating Officer Jawad Ahmed Qureshi, Representative of PAAPAM Iftikhar Ahmad, Rehan Riaz, Mujtaba Qadoos, TEVTA Officers Hamid Ghani Anjum, Azhar Iqbal Shad, Akhtar Abbas Bharwana, Uzma Nadia, Maqsood Ahmed, Sarfraz Anwar, Umber Chattha and other officers were present on this occasion.

While addressing the participants of MoU ceremony, Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that TEVTA will design, develop, update and provide curricula and teaching learning resources for the training.  Due to its importance and huge business volume in the sector, auto engineering sector is also one of the important industries in the country.  But no course was started in the past for this industry.  In this connection, this MoU will be helpful to provide trained manpower to this sector.  In firs phase, these courses will be started at TEVTA Institutes in Lahore.  After successful launching in Lahore, these courses will also be started in other cities of Punjab.

Seminar on 'ease of doing business' held

LAHORE (APP): Business-friendly atmosphere and ease of doing business will highlight the image of Pakistan as an emerging economy therefore government should facilitate the business community to achieve the desired goals. These views were expressed by LCCI Vice President Nasir Saeed while speaking at a seminar here on 'Ease of Doing Business in Pakistan' at Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday. Secretary Board of Investment (BoI) Azher Ali Chaudhry, Head of Prime Minister's Delivery Unit Dr. Awais Siraj, LCCI Executive Committee Members Mian Abdul Razzaq, Mian Zahid Javed and Rizwan Akhter Shamsi also spoke on the occasion.

Nasir Saeed said that cost of doing business is one of the major hurdles hampering the growth of all sectors of economy whether it is manufacturing or agriculture. He said that Pakistani merchandise are best of the best in the world but fast losing their due place in the international market because of high input cost in Pakistan. He said that proposals would also be incorporated in the LCCI report on 'Doing Business in Pakistan' as to how costs could be curtailed in Pakistan without any loss to the revenue.

Scientists asked to develop improved cotton varieties

MULTAN (APP): Cotton Commissioner and Vice President Pakistan Central Cotton Committee (PCCC) Dr Khalid Abdullah has urged agriculture scientists to introduce such cotton varieties having immense resistance against pests and leaf curl virus. "Cotton varieties should come up to standard of textile sector," he added. He said this during inaugural meeting of agriculture research committee on Tuesday. Cotton Commissioner said, the Committee (PCCC) and different Research institutes played important role in introducing new varieties and strengthening country's economy. He informed that Seed Councils of Punjab and Sindh provinces had approved their BT and non BT cotton varieties.

 These varieties, he said, were developed under the auspices of PCCC. "Scientists should also work on varieties which consume low water and inputs and offer more production," he said.

Detailed discussion on preparation of soil, fertilizers, proper use of water, Dusky, Red bugs and CLCuV resistant varieties was also made.

 Oil prices drop further

LONDON (AFP): Oil prices lost more ground Tuesday as nagging worries about excess supplies kept them below 2016 highs after data showed Iran and Iraq increasing output. So-called black gold has rallied for four straight weeks thanks to a weaker dollar and hopes that the world economy is slowly turning positive. However, the oil market fell Monday as figures showed Iraqi exports hit a near-record 3.36 million barrels a day in April, while Iran's production reached 3.5 million barrels per day, the most since December 2011. Adding to demand concerns, data showed factory activity in world number two economy China slowed in April, leading to fears that a recent series of upbeat indicators may have been a blip.

At about 1000 GMT on Tuesday, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in June shed 18 cents to $45.65 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for July sagged 37 cents to $44.74 a barrel compared with Monday's close.

"Fundamentally, there are no changes (in the supply and demand balance). In fact the situation seems to be getting worse," said analyst Bernard Aw at traders IG.

He said that while the recent rebound seemed "intact", it would be a challenge for prices to return to $50 a barrel unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries takes firm action to ease the oversupply during its twice-yearly meeting next month.

CMC Markets analyst Margaret Yang said in a note that Iran's oil production was likely to hit 4.0 million barrels a day by next month. Iran has been ratcheting up its production since Western sanctions were lifted in January following a deal over its nuclear programme.

"Nonetheless, expectation has been gradually building that an agreement will eventually be reached at June's OPEC meeting, as low oil prices are hurting all the OPEC members," she said.

A meeting last month involving OPEC and non-OPEC producers and aimed at freezing output collapsed without a deal.

Traders will also eye the release of US stockpiles data Wednesday to gauge demand in the world's top oil-consuming economy.