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PM launches online visa regime!

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ISLAMABAD: In order to attract investment and promote tourism, PM Imran Khan has launched the online visa facility for 175 countries here today.

Speaking on the occasion PM maintained that issuing of online visa would open the country to the outside world for business and tourism. He said that mindset apropos allowing foreigners into the country needed to be changed in order to portray a positive image of Pakistan to the world. He pointed out that scenic region of Gilgit Baltistan was twice the size of Switzerland and there were still many unexplored regions. PM further observed that due to topography the country harbored unique skiing resorts. He said that a task force on tourism would make sure that proper facilities were provided to the tourists. 

Focusing on religious tourism PM said that was another major area and could attract tourists due to its relics sacred to Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, and Sufism. He noted that Peshawar was the oldest living city in human history and a historical part in the city developed with German cooperation would be opened for tourists soon. He said that work was also in progress in order to promote tourism on the unexplored coastal belt. PM said that foreign missions would be activated to play duet role in promoting tourism. 

Earlier, FM noted the launching of an online visa facility was a major step. Minister of State for Interior said multiple visas to nationals of 96 countries would be granted within 24 hours of applying. He said citizens of 175 countries could apply for an online visa while people from fifty countries would be granted visa on arrival. He said initially citizens of five countries (i.e. UK, Turkey, Malaysia, UAE, and China) would be granted online visas. He said foreign nationals of Indian origin would also be allowed to avail the facility of visa on arrival for religious tourism. Visa fee has also been reduced (22 to 65%). Nationals of many countries including UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain would be granted multiple-entry visas. 

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Asia

Tokyo bourse closes in the green

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Tokyo stocks gain on bargain-hunting

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.

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Business

Dep. PM of Uzbekistan arrives in Islamabad

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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.

He is scheduled to meet a number of Federal Ministers and Advisers. He will hold consultations with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. The talks will focus on discussing ways and means to further bolster the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

A relevant piece published earlier: 

Uzbek deputy PM due today on two-day visit

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Asia

Govt. to further strengthen Sino-Pak partnership

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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. 

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A relevant piece published earlier:

Vice President of China arrives in Islamabad

 

 

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