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Old September 13th, 2018, 02:09 AM   #5281
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Trade deficit shrinks as exports grow faster than imports
Finally!!

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Sources said the government expected new measures to result in over 18% increase in exports to $29.4 billion in the current fiscal year.

The federal government is also planning to let the rupee weaken by another 9%, enhance the additional customs duty rate and increase regulatory duty to cut the import bill to $58 billion.
What's the current level of imports & exports. I though exports were $22bn and imports like $58bn, so what do they mean by "cut the import bill to $58 billion", isn't it already at that high level?
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Old September 13th, 2018, 02:28 AM   #5282
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Playing Gas Firms Off Each Other Saved Pakistan $600 Million

Pakistan said it saved more than $600 million over the first 10 years of a natural gas supply deal by pitting some of the world’s biggest sellers against each other.

A report from the state’s oil marketing company presented two weeks ago to a senate committee, and reviewed by Bloomberg News, details how the 2016 deal came together with Qatar, the world’s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas. It also sheds a rare light on such high-stakes energy deals, which are almost exclusively settled behind closed doors and stay hidden from public scrutiny.

The maneuvering by Pakistan came after two years of negotiations hit an impasse as Qatar refused to lower its offer price for LNG. So Pakistan sought leverage on the open market in late 2015, publicly seeking 120 cargoes in two large tenders, which brought in bids from suppliers including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc.

While negotiations with Qatargas Operating Co. were under way, the tender was “issued to fetch maximum number of bidders and best price option,” the presentation said. “The strategy helped bring down prices with Qatargas and saved $610 million."

Pakistan then informed Qatar about the lowest bid, from Switzerland-based Gunvor Group Ltd., which the Middle East supplier agreed to match. Pakistan still purchased some LNG from Gunvor, awarding it the first tender. But the volumes it sought from the second tender ended up in the final Qatar deal, bulking it up by 25 percent.


The head of a senate committee now scrutinizing the deal, Mohsin Aziz, confirmed the details of the presentation in an interview last week. Pakistan State Oil Co. and Qatargas officials didn’t respond to requests for comment. Gunvor and BP declined to comment. Shell said it looks forward to future LNG options in Pakistan, without directly commenting on the tender.

The deal with Qatar, which was eventually settled for 3.75 million metric tons annually over 15 years, marked Pakistan’s emergence as an LNG buyer. The country turned to imports after its own declining production forced some factories to shut and caused blackouts. Imports have grown rapidly since early 2016, with Pakistan the seventh-largest LNG buyer globally in August, according to Bloomberg vessel-tracking data.

Negotiations between state agencies and foreign LNG suppliers have been a target of criticism by lawmakers in recent years, some of whom claim that the lack of transparency is hiding potential corruption. These concerns helped the nation’s new prime minister, Imran Khan, sweep to victory in July promising reform. Khan, a former cricket star, has also pledged to strengthen Pakistan’s accountability bureau, which is said to be conducting an inquiry into the country’s first LNG receiving terminal.

Against that backdrop, the Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum, which is also looking into other energy-related developments, brought in Pakistan State Oil officials Aug. 31 to explain the history of the deal. That the 2016 Qatar contract was negotiated in private and the only publicly available copy is redacted raised particular concern.

Despite Pakistan State Oil’s assertion that it saved money, Aziz, the committee head and a member of Khan’s party, said there are still concerns over the deal and will likely recommend the matter for further investigation by government agencies.

The redacted portions of the contract, which were also reviewed by Bloomberg, include the following:
  • The contract price of the LNG per million British thermal units is the equivalent of 13.37 percent of the average price of Brent oil futures for the preceding three months
  • Pakistan can increase or decrease the size of the contract by five cargoes a year, equivalent to about 8 percent
  • The parties can’t renegotiate the price for 10 years
  • Pakistan can sell cargoes to other buyers and divert to other terminals
  • Port charges to unload cargoes for seller can’t exceed $320,000

These details cover normal contract terms that are generally considered in the industry to be commercially sensitive, according to Fauziah Marzuki, an LNG analyst with Bloomberg NEF. The price and other terms of the contract were in line with in other deals reached around the same time, she said.

Since the launch of the LNG industry in the 1960s, long-term contracts have largely been priced as a percentage of oil, known as a slope. A 13 percent slope means that if the price of oil were $100 a barrel, gas would cost $13 per million British thermal units.

Spot LNG in the Japan & South Korea market traded at $11.52 per million British thermal units on Friday. Brent oil, the global benchmark, settled that day at $76.83 a barrel.

Qatar might have been feeling other pressures in early 2016 beyond Pakistan’s tactics. That was also the nadir of the oil bust, as crude crashed from more than $100 a barrel in mid-2014 to less than $30, bringing down LNG with it.

Reducing the contract’s price to 13.37 percent from 13.9 percent will save Pakistan $610 million over 10 years at an average Brent price of $60 a barrel, according to the oil company’s presentation.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...an-600-million
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Old September 13th, 2018, 07:23 AM   #5283
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I think the increase in exports is probably due to rupee depreciation and our goods becoming cheaper so most probably short, will need better efforts if you want to continue the upward trend. Just better marketing can improve exports a lot!

As for imports, I am against banning imports of the small stuff here and there that can provide competition to our locals. The biggest saving opportunity I see is converting the power plants running on furnace oil to LNG as it is cheaper(just my layman opinion. someone working in the sector can guide better on it)
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Old September 13th, 2018, 12:30 PM   #5284
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An "increase" measured just 2 months is not a statistically significant thing and can be simply random variation. It will take at least a year or more to determine if exports are actually higher or not and several years to see if this a trend.

So basically, "Fake news"!
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Old September 13th, 2018, 03:01 PM   #5285
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LAHORE: Ignite is a non-profit entity that has been rebooted from what was previously known as the National ICT R&D Fund. Owned by the Government of Pakistan and administered by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, it provides grants to startups, innovates projects, operates incubators and provides digital skills training programmes through private sector partners, academia, media, and key policymakers.

Ignite was set up in 2007, and since then has established National Incubation Centres (NICs) in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar and most recently, in Quetta.

Among the many projects that the organisation has funded, there are many which have the potential to make a mark in Pakistan’s inefficient energy sector.

An official at Ignite Islamabad, when asked about the methodology that the organisation uses after funding projects with high-potential to make sure they stay on track, said, “We have a monitoring team that basically evaluates each project as per the timeline provided by the group. Also, we never fund a single person. We look for projects run by a group of people who have relevant expertise. We make sure that the project we fund already has a base in a company, a university, or a known entity”.



“Our monitoring team evaluates the projects on a timely basis, and the approved funding is hence disbursed at different stages of the timeline initially provided by the group conducting the project”, the official added.

Here is a list of 8 approved energy projects at Ignite.

Electrocure – Governance tool for Electricity Management


Started at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) in Peshawar, this project aims to help address electricity theft and billing irregularities from transmission and distribution lines.

Pakistan’s power production and electricity supplying companies have an unaccounted for electricity loss of 21 per cent, worth $3.3 billion. This project, which has received a funding of Rs25.4 million, uses artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and big data to help the government address these issues.

The project reportedly has a MoU with the Chinese company, Huamet Technology Company, which is ready to invest in the rollout of this project in Pakistan, China, and other countries. The Military Engineer Service (MES) of the Pakistan Army is also supporting this project.



Efficient, Low-Cost Solar Inverters


This is a project of Shamsi Tawanai, a company comprised of engineers hailing from Mianwali. Shamsi Tawani can be translated to mean ‘Power from the sun’.

The project aims to develop an efficient and cost-effective inverter. Existing pure sine wave inverters are bulky and expensive. The proposed inverter will be based on an innovative technology whereby a sine wave is synthesized through multiple switches. The proposed design results in a more efficient, compact, low-weight and low-cost solution.

A 5KVA inverter costs anywhere from Rs57,000 to Rs187,000 in the local market. The company intends to market the developed 5KVA inverter for Rs30,000 (actual cost of the product would be around Rs10,000).

The product will be sold through online channels. Once sufficient revenue starts coming in, front offices will be established in major cities with dedicated staff.



A ‘Smart’ Electric Grid with 100% Renewable Sources


Hailing from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), this project with a funding of Rs26.8 million uses big data and AI to make electricity grids more efficient.

This project is primarily a Deeply Intelligent Distribution System (DIDS) that uses the elasticity of demand to match it with the available supply using Intelligent Forecasting and AI-based Demand Side Management.

Potential beneficiaries and customers include the Planning Commission, Ministry of Water and Power, PITC, LESCO, MEPCO, IESCO, AEDB, NTDC, NEPRA, Renewable Energy Generation Companies, Meter Manufacturing Companies etc.

Letters of support from the Power Information Technology Company (PITC – WAPDA) and the University of Cambridge have been provided by the company to Ignite, which shows the project’s massive potential.



A Multicore Re-Configurable Processor Platform for Energy


Established in the HITEC University in Taxila, this project (which generated Rs27.1 million in funding) uses big data for the development of advanced computer architecture which includes the latest computer architecture simulation software, high-end FPGA boards and PCs.

The project aims to realise an adaptive multicore system based on workload-throughput requirements and energy consumption, contribute in the global industrial initiative of ‘green’ computing, and provide a commercially viable system for high-end energy efficient applications such as onboard systems for satellites and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).



Simulation and Control of the Underground Coal Gasification on Process


This project generated Rs14.7 million in funding and uses modeling, simulation, control systems design, and real-time control. This project was started by professors from the Capital University of Science and Technology in Islamabad.

The process is safer and more energy efficient than the conventional combination of coal-mining and surface combustion. In addition, Underground Control Gasification (UCG) has some environmental performance advantages, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Potential beneficiaries: Industrial computer / PLC implementation framework will be developed and validated on the hardware-in-the-loop process simulator. The developed PLC hardware will be used by UCG Thar Project, Coal and Energy Development, GoS.

To introduce underground coal gasification in the Pakistan research arena. It is therefore entirely focused on the country’s immediate needs.



Intelligent Forecasting System for WAPDA Pakistan


This project, from the Al-Khawarizmi Institute of Computer Science in Lahore, aims to solve a major need of the power industry in Pakistan for a transparent and uniform implementation of WAPDA procedures and regulations with IPP’s.

Besides playing a key role in reducing the generation cost, it has a vital impact on reliability of power systems.

The precise load forecasting system helps an electric utility in making accurate unit commitment decisions, reduce spinning reserve capacity and a scheduled proper maintenance plan.

It provides a more accurate, real-time merit order list (merit order is the Sorted/ Prioritized list of an available surplus capacity of IPP and various costs), and solves an important need of WAPDA, where it could make optimal decision for cost-effective unit commitment with the cheapest offered surplus capacity by various IPP’s.



Self-Managing Energy Systems in Buildings (SES)


Coming from the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), this project was approved for funding of Rs12.9 million.

The project aims at energy conservation in buildings, which, is only possible if the energy usage is known in real-time.

With this information, one can plan energy usage, and thereby reduce energy consumption and essentially save bills.

Moreover, if the heavy duty devices could be controlled in an automated way then more energy could be conserved by adjusting the usage of these devices automatically.

Another possibility is to use low-powered alternate energy sources such as solar cells and wind turbines in buildings to reduce the dependence on energy purchased from power companies.



Secure Billing Framework-Real Time Detection of Malicious End Node


Hailing from the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) in Peshawar this project is about the design and implementation of a prototype system for electricity theft detection and avoidance, automatic billing, loss calculation and control. It primarily is an amalgamation of software and hardware design with wireless detection and transformation of data to a centrally managed database installed at an appropriate location.

The simplified network infrastructure would enable service providers to offer better services with less hassle. As this system offers automatic meter reading, billing and HR management, it therefore increases the speed and efficiency of the overall process with less need for human resource.

As a result, the reduction in electricity theft will improve the electric power generation and distribution systems in the country.

The prototype will be presented to the energy industry in Pakistan (WAPDA) and if approved will be installed in the whole country thus automating the whole industry on a large scale.
https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/...ing-at-ignite/
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Old September 13th, 2018, 07:09 PM   #5286
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I think the increase in exports is probably due to rupee depreciation and our goods becoming cheaper so most probably short, will need better efforts if you want to continue the upward trend. Just better marketing can improve exports a lot!

As for imports, I am against banning imports of the small stuff here and there that can provide competition to our locals. The biggest saving opportunity I see is converting the power plants running on furnace oil to LNG as it is cheaper(just my layman opinion. someone working in the sector can guide better on it)
As someone who orders things from other countries a lot, I also agree that imports shouldn't be discouraged until we impose new consumer protection laws to improve the quality of locally produced goods. I would gladly buy local if they offer similar or better quality.
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Old September 14th, 2018, 02:15 AM   #5287
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Why don’t we just put more taxes on imports so the taxes can go to improving the economy and also help with decreasing imports.
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Old September 15th, 2018, 12:58 PM   #5288
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Why don’t we just put more taxes on imports so the taxes can go to improving the economy and also help with decreasing imports.
There are already lots of taxes on imported stuff, a lot of imported products cost more than 2 times their local counterparts due to those taxes so imo the locals have enough of the "protectionism".
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Old September 15th, 2018, 01:16 PM   #5289
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It'll be really difficult to get a positive trade balance for a rapidly developing country like Pakistan but huge increase in exports is possible if you've the will and expertise plus the required marketing.

Don't remain dependent on these so called Pakistani business tycoons to move their assess themselves, they literally have "BBA" peeps sitting on Bod's cause it's a family business and don't really have the will or expertise to expand. Find out new markets instead of remaining dependent on only Europe and North America, literally every country out there is exporting to us but our bulk remains directed at these regions. Our clothe is better than both India and Bangladesh, just need to market it better, can earn a lot from stationery and equipment exports, we can't export electronics to developed countries but they can still earn a market in low income countries of Africa and a lot of other places, huge hilal food market out there etc etc. A lot of stuff India is exporting is shit in comparison to the same products made by Pakistani companies, india just markets itself better.
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Old September 15th, 2018, 03:01 PM   #5290
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"Rapidly developing"? I don't think we fall into that category.
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Old September 15th, 2018, 03:19 PM   #5291
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"Rapidly developing"? I don't think we fall into that category.
okay idk what the other word for it is but our fuel, heavy machinery and technology needs are rapidly growing and all of that will keep adding to the imports because we don't have considerable local supply for all of this here and we cant move on without importing them.

our top three imports make the bulk of imports as of 2017 and as pakistan developes the imports for these 3 segments are only going to grow

Mineral fuels including oil: US$13.7 billion (23.9% of total imports)
Machinery including computers: $6.9 billion (11.9% of total imports)
Electrical machinery, equipment: $4.7 billion (8.3% of total imports)

the only thing we can do to improve the trade balance is to push for an increase in exports of the stuff we can export.
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Old September 15th, 2018, 03:28 PM   #5292
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Old September 26th, 2018, 05:33 AM   #5293
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While Khan and Modi Feud, India and Pakistan’s Economies Miss Out


  • New World Bank report shows dismal South Asian economic ties
  • World Bank says two-way trade could jump from $2b to $37b

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India and Pakistan’s bitter rivalry is costing them $35 billion worth of annual trade, the World Bank said in a report.

Someone might want to tell the two countries’ leaders -- both of whom want to boost trade to battle widespread poverty. The World Bank called for South Asia, the world’s least economically-integrated region, to start cooperating instead of feuding. Trade between India and Pakistan, the region’s two largest economies, could jump to $37 billion from $2 billion if New Delhi and Islamabad tore down artificial barriers, last week’s report found.

The World Bank said total “intraregional” trade in goods could rise to $67 billion from $23 billion if South Asian nations eliminated tariffs and non-tariff barriers. The World Bank authors write that “trade liberalization in South Asia has not been smooth” and that numerous countries -- including India -- have reversed course by increasing tariffs.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...omies-miss-out
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Old September 27th, 2018, 03:13 AM   #5294
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While Khan and Modi Feud, India and Pakistan’s Economies Miss Out


  • New World Bank report shows dismal South Asian economic ties
  • World Bank says two-way trade could jump from $2b to $37b



https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...omies-miss-out
I get that the report was probably written by a group of World Bank economists who don't have a lot of grasp of the actual geo-political situation here, but simply calling the issues a "feud" and having an "artificial barrier" is quite reductive. He makes it sound like there are just egos at play here instead of actual deep-seeded issues that affect millions of lives directly.
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Old September 28th, 2018, 01:27 PM   #5295
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Last edited by Intoxication; September 28th, 2018 at 08:58 PM. Reason: No need. NVM.
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Old September 28th, 2018, 04:59 PM   #5296
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Where Super Rich Populations Are Growing Fastest



According to a report released by Wealth-X earlier this month, the United States boasts an ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI) population of approximately 80,000, more than the total of the next five countries combined - Japan, China, Germany, Canada and France. A UNHWI is defined as someone worth $30 million or more and the U.S. is home to 31% of the global population. Despite being the dominant country for the planet's super-rich, the U.S. lags behind other nations when it comes to UHNWI population growth.

Steady economic development across Asia has led to a burgeoning population of wealthy individuals, particularly in China where the number of UHNWIs increased 19% between 2016 and 2017 - twice North America's growth rate. Over the past five years, however, another and unlikely Asian country has been leading the world in super rich population growth. Between 2012 and 2017, Bangladesh saw its ultra-rich club grow by 17.3%. Over the same time period, growth in China was 13.4% while in Vietnam it was 12.7%. Kenya and India were among the other nations recording double-digit growth of 11.7 and 10.7% respectively. The U.S. came tenth overall for UHNWI population growth at 8.1% from 2012 to 2017.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmc.../#2b31ff584ce3
80,000 in the US vs maybe about 80 in Pakistan who could fit this criteria (with their legally declared net worth), so the 8.4% growth is even more alarming in Pakistan.
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Old September 28th, 2018, 06:45 PM   #5297
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In developing countries the rate of growth is alarming if you factor in corruption, black money, and money laundering.
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Old September 28th, 2018, 06:55 PM   #5298
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Where Super Rich Populations Are Growing Fastest

According to a report released by Wealth-X earlier this month, the United States boasts an ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI) population of approximately 80,000, more than the total of the next five countries combined - Japan, China, Germany, Canada and France. A UNHWI is defined as someone worth $30 million or more and the U.S. is home to 31% of the global population. Despite being the dominant country for the planet's super-rich, the U.S. lags behind other nations when it comes to UHNWI population growth.
Ain't that how it is supposed to be? The bigger you already are, the less the percentage increase is likely. Suppose the US has 1,000 already and adds another 100 more. That's just a 10% increase but if Pakistan had only 1 and adds just a single more, that would be a 100% increase.

So, useless statistics. Would have been if they had told us what percentage of the new Ultra rich each country got in this year, or a per capita ratio.
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Old September 28th, 2018, 08:57 PM   #5299
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Wow KB! You're a genius!!
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Old September 29th, 2018, 03:21 PM   #5300
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Pakistan is amongst the highest receivers of remittances

According to World Bank’s report in 2015, Pakistan stood at fifth place in terms of receiving most remittances, standing at $19.3 billion. Only India, China, Philippines and Mexico were ahead of Pakistan in terms of being largest remittance-receiving countries respectively with $72 billion, $64 billion, $30 billion and $26 billion.

A report compiled by Pew Research Center revealed over $574 billion was remitted by overseas migrants to their respective home countries in 2016, decreasing 1 percent from 2015 when it was $581 billion.

Remittances sent during August 2018 (in million USD)
==================================
- Saudi Arabia 465.53
- USA 316.89
- UK 278.84
- Dubai 321.51
- Malaysia 141.94
- Abu Dhabi 135.05
- Kuwait 70.65
- Other countries 67.81
- Oman 59.50
- Qatar 34.69
- Bahrain 28.33
- Australia 21.68
- Canada 21.31
- Spain 14.67
- Germany 12.92
- Italy 11.16
- France 5.56
- Ireland 4.86
- Greece 4.77
- Norway 4.27
- Sharjah 3.99
- Switzerland 3.30
- Belgium 1.81
- Sweden 1.75
- Japan 1.75
- Denmark 1.49
- Netherlands 0.65

Few strange (for me) figures.

1. Never knew there were so many Pakistanis in Malaysia, apparently well to do too, that they sent 141 million in one month. In total, they are about 120,000, including those with ancestral links, but they must be doing well to send this amount.

2. How come US sends more than UK as the latter have a much larger community?

3. Don't understand how Australia is larger than Canada? I would have thought Canada would be quite up there amongst the top destinations.
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