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French businessmen willing to invest in Pakistan: Envoy

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ISLAMABAD: French Ambassador  H. E. Dr. Marc Baréty today said French businessmen were willing to invest & explore possibilities for investment in different sectors in Pakistan.
He expressing his satisfaction over the security situation in Pakistan, which, he said, had improved a lot.
The French ambassador expressed these views in a meeting with acting Senate Chairman Saleem Mandviwala here at the Parliament House.
The acting Senate chairman welcomed the remarks of French envoy, saying trade needed to be diversified as the current volume of trade between the two countries was much below the mark.
Saleem Mandviwala said trade provided better opportunities to bring people of the two sides closer. “Business chambers and associations have a huge potential to boost trade,” he said, adding business and trade chambers were the powerhouses generating business activities and consolidating bilateral ties.
He said trade volume between Pakistan and France needed to be increased and trade chambers could play an active role in that regard. The trade associations needed to be connected to their respective counterparts to explore the possibilities for bilateral trade and investment.
He said Pakistan valued its bilateral relations with France and desired to further expand the same through enhanced interactions at parliamentary and other levels.
The acting Senate chairman also raised the issue of the travel advisory. He said the travel advisory needed to be reviewed so that people to people contacts and bilateral trade and investment opportunities could be explored.
The ambassador said, “I have a very positive view of Pakistan as far as security is concerned.” France had reviewed its travel advisory for Pakistan, he added.
Regarding parliamentary cooperation, the acting Senate chairman said parliamentary cooperation between the parliaments was another area through which people to people contacts could be boosted. He also underscored the need for making the friendship groups of the two sides more active and vibrant. 
Senator Sana Jamali, a member of the Pakistan–France Friendship group, also emphasized the need for increased linkages.
She proposed for establishing French Language centers in Balochistan to enable the youth of Balochistan to learn the French language.
The acting Senate chairman also extended an invitation to his counterparts in the French Senate to visit Pakistan and interact to learn from each other’s experiences and exchange ideas for strengthening bilateral cooperation.

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Economy

IMF Executive Board approves FY2020–2022 Medium-Term Budget

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ISLAMABAD: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the fund’s administrative and capital budgets for financial year (FY) 2020, beginning on May 1, 2019.

According to IMF press statement received here Tuesday, the board had approved the budget on April 5, 2019 besides taking note of indicative budgets for FY2021–22.

The net administrative budget for FY2020, which covers all administrative expenses less receipts (primarily from external sources to help support capacity building activities and excluding lending income), has been set at US$1,158 million, it said.

The FY2020 budget represents an unchanged resource envelope in real terms for the eighth year in a row, measured relative to the IMF’s budget deflator, with the exception of a small (0.6 percent) increase in FY2017 to meet rising cyber and physical security costs.

The budget priorities for FY2020 include increased resources to country work, notably in low-income countries and fragile states, the work on governance and the fight against corruption, and macro-financial surveillance.

 

 

 

 

 

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Economy

Asian markets cautious ahead of major corporate earnings

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HONG KONG: Stocks were generally lower in Asian trade on Tuesday as investors move cautiously ahead of a deluge of corporate results later in the week.

Tokyo stocks were trading down with profit-taking before 10 days of holidays in Japan weighing on the market.

With many markets opening after an extended Easter break, Hong Kong Shanghai, Taiwan, Singapore were all down, while Australia and Seoul were trading up.

“Some of the world’s biggest technology companies are reporting earnings this week as well as a raft of the big European banks,” Nick Twidale, chief operating officer at Rakuten Securities Australia, said in a note to clients.

“Investors will be hoping for some better-than-expected results from both groups to keep the topside momentum in global equities, however if the data starts to show a significant slowing across these key industries then expect both stocks and risk trades to start to come under some heavy pressure.”

Major earnings releases expected this week include Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Exxon Mobil and auto maker Tesla.

Aerospace giant Boeing will report earnings on Wednesday for the first time since a deadly March 10 plane crash plunged the company into crisis-mode.

Financial analysts have already slashed their 2019 profit forecasts after Boeing announced earlier in April it was cutting its monthly production of the 737 by about 20 percent. Lower plane deliveries directly affect revenues.

Traders are also looking ahead to the first-quarter gross GDP data due Friday in the US.

 

 

 

 

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Macron all set to announce reforms to contain Yellow Vest protests!

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PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron will reveal his long-awaited response today (at 6 pm) to Yellow Vest manifestations in a reform plan that could prove decisive for his presidency and long-term political future.

Macron, 41, swept to power in 2017 on hopes he would be a youthful breath of fresh air for France. But since November he saw the momentum sucked out of his presidency by the weekly “yellow vest” protests against social inequality. 

He is scheduled to hold a Presser in order to announce a series of reforms drawn up after a vast listening exercise he launched in response to the protests.

Macron is expected to announce reforms such as tax cuts for middle classes, as well as the abolition of the ENA administration school. He is expecting that such reforms, which could not be termed as revolutionary, would assuage the unrest. 

 

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