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Trade volume between Pakistan, Sri Lanka declines in lat seven-year

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Pakistan Sri Lanka

KARACHI: Despite Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Sri-Lanka, the trade volume between the two countries currently stands at mere US$ 373 million.

During a meeting between the Consul General of Sri Lanka, G.L. Gnanatheva and officials of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), here the other day,it was observed with concern that a decline of US$ 139 million could be registered between two countries during past seven years.

Sri Lankan CG who had visited the FPCCI office to discuss bilateral trade, investment and FTA potential to improve trade relations between the two countries was joined by FPCCI’s Senior Vice President, Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig in taking exception to the fact that trade volume between two countries in 2011 was 512 million as against US$ 373 in 2018.

Exports from Pakistan to Sri Lanka was said to be currently US$ 270 million whereas imports from Sri Lanka to Pakistan stood at US$ 103 as against exports worth US$ 442 million and imports of US$ 70 million in 2011.

Mentioning that FTA between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was in place for past 13 years, Dr Baig said Pakistan had huge potential to export rice to Sri Lanka, however, it was compromised due to import quota restrictions imposed by the later.

As per the Sri Lankan restrictions rice only upto 6,000 tons per anum could be imported. FPCCI officials Ismail Suttar, Muslim Mohammadi, Waqar Mehmood Khan, Jamal Khan Achkazai, Kamal A. Mehmoodi and others present on the occasion joined their vice president, pleading raise in the duty free quota of rice from Pakistan to 25,000 tons per anum.

The Sri Lankan Consul General expressed his desire to increase the exports of Sri Lankan Tea to Pakistan.

He also mentioned that a seminar scheduled for February 2019 will be attended by the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and senior officials of Sri Lankan Tea Board to apprise local exporters about optimum utilization of FTA between Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

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Dollar extends losses, Asia markets rally after Fed’s dovish tilt

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US Dollar

HONG KONG: The dollar extended losses and Asian markets enjoyed another day of gains Thursday after the Federal Reserve indicated it could soon cut interest rates.

The softer slant from the US central bank provided more support to global investors, who were already in buoyant mood after Donald Trump flagged positive talks with China’s Xi Jinping and raised hopes of a trade deal between the economic giants.

After a much-anticipated meeting, Fed boss Jerome Powell said officials felt the case for a reduction had “strengthened”, citing the trade standoff with China and weak inflation, adding it would “act as appropriate” to support growth.

The bank also dropped the word “patient” in describing its assessment of economic data, fuelling speculation of a reduction as soon as July.

“The forward guidance from the Fed was no longer about being patient but being pragmatic,” said Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management. “As inflation is taking longer to return to target and trade uncertainty is weighing on the global outlook, the Fed is singing a dovish tune.”

He added that Powell “walked a fine line, highlighting a level of confidence in the US economy, even as growth is expected to slow and vulnerabilities from global politics increase”, which was enough not to cause concern to traders.

Analysts at NAB bank said “the change in the Fed’s bias has encouraged the market to increase its expectations that a new round of easing is just around the corner”.

The news hit the dollar, which fell across the board on foreign exchanges with the South African rand 1.6 percent higher, Canada’s dollar rising one percent, South Korea’s won up 0.5 percent and the Indonesian rupiah 0.3 percent stronger.

It was even down against the euro, which has come under pressure since the European Central Bank hinted Tuesday at its own rate cuts, and the Brexit-battered pound.

 

 

 

 

 

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U.S. China trade tensions likely to disrupt global economy: Kenyan official

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Raphael Tuju

NAIROBI: The U.S.-initiated trade war against China is likely to disrupt the global trading system and economic growth, a Kenyan official said here Monday.

“The trade disputes between the world’s two biggest economies will affect Kenya negatively,” Raphael Tuju, Kenyan secretary general of the ruling Jubilee Party, said in an interview.

The United States has imposed a 25 percent tariff on 250 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of Chinese imports in May and has threatened to impose additional tariffs on another 300 billion dollars’ worth of Chinese imports.

In addition, the United States has blacklisted a number of Chinese technology companies from doing business in the North American country.

Tuju said that China’s white paper titled “China’s Position on the China-U.S. Economic and Trade Consultations” is an important piece on public diplomacy, which will guide the trade talks between the two countries.

Kenya supports multilateralism because it is the future and the global community should promote it as much as possible, he added.

The former foreign affairs minister revealed that the world is truly interdependent, hence it needs to promote more trade and less barriers.

“I think there is some middle ground that ought to be investigated and negotiated to seek a permanent solution,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pakistan, WB sign $918 mln loan agreements to support revenue mobilization, higher education

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Hafeez Sheikh 1 1

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and World Bank (WB) Tuesday signed three loan agreements worth US$ 918 million to help support revenue mobilization and higher education development in the country.

The agreements were signed by Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Noor Ahmed on behalf of federal government, WB Country Director and World Bank, Patchamuthu Illangovan while the representatives of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa signed their respective Project Agreements.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, witnessed the signing ceremony.

 

 

 

 

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