Belgium embassy mulling to bring trade mission to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (INP): Frederic Verheyden, Ambassador of the Kindgom of Belgium, has said that his Embassy was mulling over the prospects to bring a trade mission to Pakistan for exploring new avenues of promoting business relations between Belgium and Pakistan. He visited ICCI along with Abid M. Husain, Trade Commissioner, and Shaukat Nawaz Niazi, Trade & Commercial Officer, Embassy of Belgium. The Ambassador said that textiles products accounted for 75% of Pakistan’s exports to Belgium and stressed that Pakistan should think beyond traditional products to improve trade with Belgium. He said many Pakistani products have the potential to find good market in Belgium.

and private sector of Pakistan should accelerate its efforts to expand horizon of cooperation with Belgium.

He said Belgium was cooperating with Pakistan in energy sector which was a major constraint for its economic growth and stressed that Pakistan should focus on controlling its transmission & distribution losses to improve energy situation. He said with good moves of the government, Pakistan’s outlook was changing towards positive, however, it has to create a promising environment by addressing energy, security and other issues to attract Belgium investors for JVs and investment. He said CPEC was a game changer for Pakistan and it was also a big challenge for it in terms of its capacity to absorb huge Chinese investment. He said GSP + was not a free lunch for Pakistan as it has to honor its commitments on international conventions. He assured his full cooperation to the Chamber for strengthening the existing business relations between the two countries.

In his welcome address, AtifIkram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Belgium was the 5th largest trading partner of Pakistan within EU, but the bilateral trade of around $882 million was insufficient keeping in view the available potential of the two countries. He said both countries should fully cooperate with private sectors for taking volume of two-way trade up to the desired level of $ 2 billion.

He said Belgium should cooperate with Pakistan in improving value chain. He said Pakistan was an agricultural country and Belgium should help it in replacing its flood irrigation system to drip irrigation system to save water for future generations. It was discussed that commercial representatives of Belgium Embassy should hold fortnightly or monthly meetings with ICCI to explore new areas for improving trade relations between the two countries. Sheikh Pervez Ahmed Senior Vice President and Sheikh Abdul Waheed Vice President ICCI also spoke at the occasion.

Pak-Iran business opportunity forum on 24th

KARACHI (NNI): The Pakistan Business Council, in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce, is holding a forum on Business Opportunities with Iran on 24th March in Karachi. The removal of trade sanctions, along with Iran’s growing economy, has resulted in great interest in trade and investment possibilities amongst Pakistani businesses and industries. Minister of Commerce, Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan, will be the Keynote Speaker. The session will also include presentations by the SBP, the Managing Director of the Pak Iran Investment Company Limited, a joint venture between the Governments of Iran and Pakistan, trade specialists and leaders of the business community, including Atif Aslam Bajwa the Chairman of the PBC.

The Business Opportunities Forum is a follow-up to the recently published Iran Study by the PBC as well as setting the scene for the visit to Pakistan of the President of Iran.

Punjab govt to set up digitised mineral resource lab

Lahore (Online): Provincial Minister for Mines and Minerals Ch Sher Ali has said the Punjab govt has decided to establish a digitised mineral resource estimation laboratory. He said the government had also completed minerals mapping, which would help maintain and update information about all minerals in Punjab. The minister hoped the lab would assist the government in going ahead with the new exploration work by using the restored information, which would save the precious time and money. He informed database would be updated, standardised and validated at the lab, while section plotting, interactive geological modeling, geo-statistical analysis along with block modeling and block estimation would also be done.

First LPG chamber to be

established in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD (APP): LPG Distributors Association will establish first LPG Chamber at Islamabad in the month of June. Chairman LPG distributors Association, Irfan Khokhar told APP that the foundation of LPG Chamber was laid down in recently held LPG conference. He said that the Chamber would work for resolving the problems of LPG stakeholders and work for the promotion of the LPG industry. Sub-standard cylinders were causing losses to the Industry, adding that the govt should take strict action against the people involved in manufacturing poor quality cylinders and other equipments, he added. He demanded that Senate and National Assembly should bring legislation against the people involved in manufacturing of poor quality LPG accessories.

He said strict laws should be enacted in this regard.

Mobilink Digital Innovation Lab inaugurated

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Mobilink has inaugurated its Digital Innovation Lab. Minister of State for IT & Telecom Anusha Rahman was the chief guest at the ceremony held on Monday. The lab is an innovation center where key internal stakeholders, industry professionals and digital entrepreneurs would be able to benefit from Mobilink’s expertise to create and explore innovative products and services in Digital Space. “The government pursues the agenda of Digital Pakistan as a progressive member of growing global digital economy,” Anusha said, adding, “We are continuously pooling our resources with a very responsive private sector to strengthen our digital foundation through effective public private partnership.”

She reiterated the government’s support for all such initiatives.

“We appreciate the support being provided by our partners, such as Mobilink, to further the Digital Pakistan agenda. We are working to connect the unconnected on a apriority basis, and all our endeavours along with the industry are aimed at achieving this objective,” Anusha added.

While appreciating the renewed focus of the mobile industry on incorporating digital based services into the future business strategies, the minister noted, “The aim of this approach is to forge partnership with the industry players for introducing market innovation that impacts lives of our citizens.”

In a very interactive discussion with the Mobilink high-ups, there was an agreement on the effectiveness and utility of the upcoming USF Tele Centre Programme as well as the National Incubation Centre Initiative of MoIT for achieving the GoP-Industry joint objectives.

It was agreed that a workshop on possible implementation of mechanisms, with full participation by the industry as well as the USF, would be held to determine future course of action.