Auto sales show 23pc growth

ISLAMABAD (APP): The automobile industry sales have exhibited 23.29 per cent growth, reaching 1,54,732 production of units during first eight months of this fiscal year. The production of jeep and cars during the same period of last year 2016-17 was 125,503 units. Official statistics on Monday showed that tractors sales growth during period of this year recorded at 39.5 per cent, buses and trucks 15.4 per cent and motorcycles and three wheelers 17.7 per cent. In light of on-going infrastructural undertakings in the country, the auto sector looks primed for another healthy performance while imposition of regulatory duties on automobile sector is expected to create a favorable situation during the year as it may further enhance domestic production. Moreover, the data showed that automobile sector also recorded 19.58 per cent growth in first eight months of this year and its sub sectors such as tractors 44.68 per cent, trucks 24.41 per cent, jeeps and cars 23.29 per cent, LCVs 19.73 per cent and motorcycles 14.15 per cent.

During the period, buses posted a negative growth of 39.35 per cent. The sector will gain more growth due to entry of new variants such as Hyundai, Renault, Nissan, coupled with rapidly growing ride hailing services like Careem and Uber.

In addition the strong demand for automobile arrived as rising income levels, together with low interest rates led to a significant boom in auto financing.

Recently, Prime Minister attended ground breaking of Hyundai-Nissan vehicle assembly plant in Faisalabad. In addition, Nishat Mills offered 18 per cent stake to Millat tractors in its car venture, while Renault signed new agreement to assemble cars in partnership with Al-Futtaim, a Gulf-based business dealing with automobile sector.

Hattar Estate to have $10m gypsum plant

PESHAWAR (APP): Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC) achieved another achievement by bringing $10 million investment to Hattar Industrial Estate. KPEZDMC provided one window operations to Lodhia Gypsum Industries, Karachi to set up a $10 million gypsum processing plant in Hattar Industrial Estate. The investment will bring 200 direct and 600 indirect jobs for the province. With a Factory in Karachi, Lodhia Gypsum Industry is a market leader and largest exporter of Gypsum Products in Pakistan. The factory in Hattar will serve market of India and Afghanistan. The ceremony held in this regard was attended by Deputy Chairman, Senate Salim Mandiwala as chief guest, while KPEZDMC CEO Saeed Ahmad Khan was guest of honour, Vice Chairman, KP Board of Investment, president Hattar Industrial Association and prominent industrialists also attended. Addressing the ceremony Salim Mandiwala said that industrialization is backbone of the economy.

He said that the local people from the district should be given preference in jobs.

The KPEZDMC CEO said that due to excellent customer services provided by the company to Lodhia Gypsum Industries, the issues of Governmental procedures, NOCs, and land were solved on fast track basis.

He said that their focus is on attracting further investment from Karachi as we hope the directors of the plant will encourage other industrialist from Karachi to follow the suit owing to their pleasant experience in KP.

Managing Director, Lodhia Gymsum Industries, Faisal Lodhia, MD Lodhia thanked KPEZDMC and said that this is a momentous day for him and for the province as this industry will not only generate many jobs but will also be a landmark for investors from as far as Sindh to invest in KP.

Japanese firms to invest in Pakistan

KARACHI (APP): With improvement in security situation in the country especially in Karachi, Japanese companies are coming back to Pakistan, many have already come back and number of others are ready to find business opportunities. This was informed by Consul General of Japan Toshikazu Isomura while speaking at an interactive session with members of Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), at the association's secretariat, said a KATI statement on Monday. KATI President Tariq Malik, Senior Vice President Salman Aslan, Vice President Junaid Naqi, Head of KATI's Standing committee on Diplomatic affairs Masood Naqi, Chairman and CEO KITE DMC, Zubair Chhaya, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan, Ghazanfar Ali Khan were also present. Japan's Consul General said large auto manufacturers and food companies had re-established their activities. Many small companies were looking for space to start business. He said that Japan was investing in social sector including health and education sectors in Pakistan.

The Consul General assured that he would be playing every possible role in strengthen the ties between private sectors of both countries. Japan International Coordination Agency (JICA) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) were also playing a proactive role in this regard, he said.

Tariq Malik said the trade between Japan and Pakistan had freezed to certain level. There was a lot of potential to bring increase in the bilateral trade.

KATI Chairman, Masood Naqi said government-to- government contacts and economic cooperation was intact, but there was dire need to bring both the private sectors closer to each other.

IT, telecom services get Rs 487m for CPEC

ISLAMABAD (APP): The government has allocated Rs 486.726 million for Expansion and up gradation of NGMS (3G/4G) services and seamless coverage along KKH (In support of CPEC) in Gilgit Baltistan. The project is one of the important on-going projects of ministry, total Rs. 2658.713 million have earmarked for eight on-going schemes of Information Technology and Telecommunication Division for the fiscal year 2018-19 in the PSDP. Talking to APP spokesperson of ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication said, ongoing scheme regarding CPEC include, Construction of Cross - Border OFC System Between China and Pakistan for International Connectivity of voice/Data Traffic (SCO) and Provision of Seamless GSM Coverage Along KKH for Proposed Gawadar -Kashighar Economic Corridor in Gilgit Baltistan (SCO). He said, CPEC trade corridor, which includes the building of roads, ports, dams, connecting cities, serving the unserved areas has provided a much needed booster dose to the economy which will bring benefits to the IT industry too.

The CPEC which is part of China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project, is bringing in $46 billion in investments, and this has also given a boost to the local IT and telecom industry, he added.

Pakistan's domestic Information Technology (IT) market is expected to multiply due to the CPEC.

The government is making all possible efforts to enhance exports of Pakistan's IT sector and has extended major incentives to the IT Industry which include a variety of tax exemptions, permission to operate foreign exchange accounts, profit repatriation.