ED: M. M. ALAM
KARACHI: To mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Swiss Business Council (SBC) in Pakistan, the Consulate General of Switzerland here in collaboration with the SBC hosted an exclusive event at the Swiss Consul General’s residence.
Consul General and Patron of the SBC – Philippe Crevoisier addressing the ladies and gentlemen in the audience (consisting of diplomats, senior management of Swiss/other multinational companies, and leading businessmen) said that only if Pakistan was able to present to the international community the country’s on-ground realities and business potential, many more foreign investors would consider investing in Pakistani market.
Mentioning that Swiss-Pak bilateral trade (CHF 518.5 Million in 2017) was promisingly increasing for the past three years, the Consul General also commended SBC’s efforts to further improve commercial ties between the two friendly countries.
SBC President Farhat Ali, (who is also the Council’s founding President and Chairman of the Board and Executive Managing Director of Polygal N.V. in Pakistan) gave an overview of the Council’s achievements over the past decade most prominent of which is the Council’s partnership with Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE); equivalent of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and Board of Investment.
Farhat Ali further added that SBC with support from S-GE is committed to link Swiss and Pakistani companies. “Thanks to our business network at home and in Switzerland, in the past two years six small and medium-sized enterprises from Switzerland have successfully entered the local market”, he further added.
The highlight of the event was keynote address by the Dean and Director of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi – Dr. Farrukh Iqbal who presented his views on Pakistan’s macroeconomic matters in perspective of the challenges and opportunities for foreign investors.
Dr. Iqbal held: “Pakistan has performed below its growth potential for many years now. In particular, the private investment rate has been stuck at a low level of 10% of GDP for almost a quarter century now.
“This reflects a pessimism on the part of domestic investors that go beyond energy shortages and security conditions.
“Among factors to consider more deeply are the quantity and quality of education and health services available to the population to enable them to play a more productive role in the economy of the future.”
Swiss companies in the past ten years have invested CHF 1.5 Billion in Pakistan making Switzerland stand among top ten foreign director investors.
Major exports from Switzerland to Pakistan are pharmaceuticals, textile machines, and watches. Main Pakistani exports to Switzerland are textiles and agro-foods.
On the occasion, recognition certificates were also awarded to member companies who have completed 10 years with the Council.
Tokyo bourse closes in the green
TOKYO: Shares edged up today with investors expressing relief as US President Donald Trump appeared to take a softer stance on his thorny trade dispute with Japan.
The key Nikkei 225 index rose 0.31 percent, or 65.36 points, to close at 21,182.58, while the broader Topix index was up 0.38 percent, or 5.79 points, at 1,547.00.
“Players were relieved as President Trump did not take a tough stance on the US-Japan trade issue,” Daiwa Securities chief technical analyst Eiji Kinouchi told AFP.
After a fun-filled weekend of golf and sumo, Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held formal talks Monday, with trade and tensions with North Korea topping the agenda.
Ahead of their talks, Trump hinted that tough negotiations on their bilateral trade could wait until after July elections in Japan.
Trump tweeted: “Great progress being made in our Trade Negotiations with Japan. Agriculture and beef heavily in play.”
In remarks after the closing bell, Trump also told reporters: “We hope to have even more to announce on the trade, very very soon.”
The dollar fetched 109.52 yen in Asian afternoon trade, against 109.29 yen in New York late Friday.
In Tokyo, Nissan was up 0.97 percent at 747.8 yen after news that its French alliance partner Renault and Italian-US auto giant Fiat Chrysler are weighing a potential merger.
Its rival Toyota gained 0.79 percent to 6,554 yen while Honda was down 1.11 percent at 2,759 yen.
Takeda Pharmaceutical jumped 2.46 percent to 3,942 yen while telecom and investment firm SoftBank Group was up 1.65 percent at 10,465 yen.
Dep. PM of Uzbekistan arrives in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD: Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Elyor Ganiev has arrived here today on a two-day visit to Pakistan.
Elyor Ganiev is accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Deputy Ministers for Investment and Foreign Trade, Transport and other senior officials. According to the Foreign Office (FO), the Deputy Prime Minister would hold consultations with the Foreign Minister and also meet several other Federal Ministers and Advisers including of Railways, Planning, National Food Security & Research, Health, Commerce and Board Of Investment.
“The visit of the Deputy Prime Minister will impart further impetus to the multi-dimensional cooperation between Pakistan and Uzbekistan in diverse fields,” the FO held. The visit is expected to reinforce Pakistan’s bilateral ties with Uzbekistan, contribute to building a closer economic partnership, and enhance possibilities for regional connectivity.
A relevant piece published earlier:
Govt. to further strengthen Sino-Pak partnership
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has expressed the govt’s commitment to further strengthen Sino-Pak strategic partnership.
He was addressing Friends of Silk Road Forum organized in honor of visiting Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan here today.
The Foreign Minister said both countries are observing 2019 as a year of mutual relations and it is expected that people to people contacts will reach a new level.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said CPEC has helped to strengthen bilateral relations and take economic and social development to new heights.
He said the CPEC has entered into its second phase which focuses on industrial, social and economic cooperation. He expressed the confidence that Special Economic Zones will pave way for the progress of Pakistan.
Foreign Minister said the government has a special focus on poverty alleviation, industrial development, education, technology, scientific innovation, and agricultural development.
He said both the countries have common thinking of improving the living standard of their people. He hoped that the development target will be achieved by mutually harnessing the capabilities of the two countries.
Foreign Minister paid rich tributes to the services of the Chinese Vice President in promoting the strategic partnership between the two countries.
A relevant piece published earlier: