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PM for enhancing Pak-UK ties 

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday emphasized that Pakistan and the United Kingdom should enhance the existing ties into long-term and multifaceted strategic partnership especially post-Brexit.
The prime minister was talking to Brandon Lewis MP, Chairman of the Conservative Party and Minister who called on him here at the Prime Minister’s Office. He was accompanied by Bestway Group Chairman Sir Anwar Pervez OBE and Chief Executive Officer Zameer Choudrey.
Terming Pakistani diaspora a connecting bridge between the two countries, the prime minister expressed satisfaction that the British Pakistanis were contributing positively to British society. Prime Minister Imran Khan also gave an overview of the regional situation, especially India and Afghanistan. He said Pakistan wanted peaceful relations with all its neighbors and resolve all issues through dialogue.
He also highlighted the grave human rights violations committed by the Indian forces in Indian occupied Kashmir on a daily basis. The prime minister said Pakistan and the UK had a longstanding relationship, based on historical linkages and shared perceptions on a broad range of regional and international issues. Pakistan considered the UK a major trade and investment partner in Europe.
The Chairman of the Conservative Party agreed with the prime minister that irrespective of Brexit, both Pakistan and the UK had great potential to strengthen trade and investment ties. He lauded the leadership of prime minister in handling the post-Pulwama situation.  He reiterated the invitation by British Prime Minister Theresa May to Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit the UK at a mutually convenient date.

 

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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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