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Food exports surge 29.28pc to over $4.797 billion

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ISLAMABAD: The food exports from the country surged by 29.28 percent during the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18 against the exports of the same period of last year.
The food exports from the country were recorded at $4797.936 million during July-June (2017-18) against the exports of $3711.159 million during July-June (2016-17), showing growth of 29.28 percent, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics(PBS).
Among the food products, the exports of rice increased by 26.78 percent by growing from $1606.834 million last year to $2037.075 million. Among the rice varieties, exports of basmati rice increased by 19.14 percent while the exports of other rice commodities increased by 29.78 percent.
Meanwhile, the exports of fish and fish preparations from the country increased by 14.57 percent by growing from $393.662 million to $451.026 million while the exports of fruits increased by 5.08 percent by going up from $184.016 million to $241.426 million.
Likewise, the exports of vegetables increased by 30.56 percent, from $184.916 million to $241.426 million whereas the exports of tobacco increased by 76.01 percent, from $14.813 million to $26.073 million.
Sugar exports from the country increased by 215 percent, from $161.039 million to $508.333 million while the wheat exports went up from $1.038 million to $236.339 million, showing growth of 22668 percent.
Exports of meat and meat preparation increased by 2.26 percent by growing from $220.662 million last year to $225.646 million during July-June (2017-18), the PBS data revealed.
The food products that witnessed negative growth in exports included leguminous vegetables, exports of which declined by cent percent. The exports of oilseeds, nuts, and kernels also decreased by 21.35 percent.
It is pertinent to mention here that the overall merchandise exports from the country surged by 13.74 percent during the fiscal year 2017-18 as compared to the previous fiscal year (2016-17).
The exports from the country during July-June (2017-18) were recorded at $23.228 billion against the exports of $20.422 billion in July-June (2016-17), showing growth of 13.74 percent, according to the latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
Imports into the country during the period also increased by 15.10 percent by going up from $52.910 billion in FY 2016-17 to $60.898 billion during FY 2017-18.
Based on the figures, the external trade deficit during the outgoing fiscal year 2017-18 increased by 15.95 compared to last year.
The trade deficit during FY 2017-18 was recorded at $ 37.670 billion against the deficit of $32.488 billion in FY 2016-17.

 

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Improving ease of doing business

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Imran Khan on solution to poverty

ISLAMABAD: PM has today directed Board of Investment (BoI) chairman to present a comprehensive plan, listing all the issues in various sectors and their sub-sectors and how the processes could be streamlined to simplify procedures related to government approvals, addressing taxation issues, dispute resolution and facilitating investors/businesses. 
He said this while chairing a high-level meeting to review progress on improving ease of doing business and creating an enabling environment to facilitate the conversion of interest of the local as well foreign investors into actual investments in the country. The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Asad Umar, Law Minister Dr. Farogh Naseem, Commerce Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood, BoI Chairman Haroon Sharif, federal secretaries and senior officials. 
BoI Chairman Haroon Sharif while briefing the prime minister about the steps taken so far said the Board would be serving as an agent of change for facilitating business transactions, removing impediments in the way to the materialization of investors’ interest into actual investments and smooth functioning of the businesses in the country. He also briefed about various issues being faced by the business community including taxation, access to finance, regulation and policy issues and red-tapism.
He said the BoI was also actively working with the provinces and relevant ministries for removing barriers in the way of establishing Special Economic Zones.  He said special efforts were being made to bridge the gap between private and public sector and to reach out to the private sector to revive their confidence in government policies and put in place a framework that facilitates business community in its business pursuits.  The BoI chairman also briefed about Naya Pakistan Diaspora Fund which was being set-up to promote SMEs and rural development in key areas of education, health, and infrastructure development.
He also apprised the prime minister of the investment framework which had been structured for attracting and materializing investment from UAE, KSA, China, Japan, and Malaysia.   It was decided during the meeting that the prime minister would chair a review meeting every month on ease of doing business in the country.

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Business

KARACHI: Removal of encroachments

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KARACHI: The Anti-Encroachment Department of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) demolished more than 35 shops and other constructions in front of shops and footpaths with the help of heavy machinery in district West and Korangi on Tuesday.
Metropolitan Commissioner Dr. Syed Saif-ur-Rehman who is monitoring anti-encroachments drive in the city, said that footpaths are for pedestrians and no one can be allowed to block the footpaths by extending shops or putting stuff to create problems for citizens, said a statement. He said that the anti-encroachment drive was meant to bring improvement to the city and make it clean and beautiful.
Traders community have so far cooperated with the KMC in its action against encroachments and removed their stuff and an additional portion of their shops.
He said that the city roads, streets, and footpaths are widened after the removal of encroachments. Meanwhile, senior director anti-encroachments Bashir Siddiqui with his team took action in districts West and Korangi.
They removed the encroachments from different areas including Pak Colony in district West and Malir Saudabad in district Korangi where walls, shops, and other structures were demolished.

 

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Asia

Tokyo stocks close lower

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Tokyo stocks close down

TOKYO: Shares here closed lower today as uncertainty caused by factors including Brexit and trade tensions weighed on the market, wiping out early gains.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.34 percent or 71.48 points to 21,148.02 while the broader Topix index was down 0.91 percent or 14.50 points at 1,575.31. Tokyo shares opened higher, rebounding from sharp drops the previous day, with investors apparently relieved that Wall Street eked out gains after a volatile session.
“But sentiment worsened as investors remained cautious amid uncertain elements such as the postponement of Britain’s Brexit vote and the US-China trade war,” Daiwa Securities senior technical analyst Hikaru Sato told AFP. European stock markets and the pound slid Monday after British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was delaying a parliamentary vote on her deal to leave the EU after conceding it would not win sufficient support.
“The market is concerned that the postponement uses up valuable time before the 29th March exit date, and the risk of a no-deal scenario is growing,” David de Garis, director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank said in a commentary. The dollar slipped to 113.10 yen in late Asian trade from 113.35 yen in New York Monday afternoon. In individual stocks trade, SoftBank Group jumped 2.44 percent to 8,827 yen after announcing Monday it aims to raise over $23 billion by listing its Japanese mobile unit next week.
Nissan kept falling, down 3.10 percent at 915.7 yen after tumbling 2.90 percent on Monday as ousted chairman Carlos Ghosn was charged and faced new allegations of alleged financial misconduct. Prosecutors also charged Nissan for filing documents that allegedly understated Ghosn’s earnings. The Nikkei daily reported Tuesday that Nissan plans to book years of under-reported compensation paid to Ghosn as expenses in the year to March 2019 all at once, a move that could worsen the automaker’s balance sheet. Toyota lost 1.09 percent to 6,745 yen but Sony rose 0.72 percent to 5,735 yen.

 

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