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Old November 19th, 2018, 09:16 PM   #5341
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The global halal trade: Is Belgium the next frontier for Pakistani exports?
A growing Muslim population and rising non-Muslim interest in halal products is a market waiting to be captured




The global halal trade, standing at $3 trillion, seems to be a lucrative market place for international investors, with non-Muslim majority countries increasingly expressing a willingness to play a more active role in the trade that has remained limited in scope to the Islamic world.

According to a report published by the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the global Islamic economy, Muslim consumers spent $1.2 trillion on halal food and beverages in 2016, a figure that is expected to reach $1.9 trillion by 2022. However, even though the halal food trade is primarily aimed at the Muslim market, the major exporters of halal products are interestingly countries that are not majority Muslim. In 2016, Brazil exported $5.2 billion worth of halal food and beverages – the highest by any country in the world – followed by Australia at $2.4 billion, India at $2.3 billion, and France at $0.8 billion.

In Europe alone, the halal market driven by a growing Muslim population is expanding at an estimated annual rate of 10 to 20%. Europe’s Muslim population is expected to grow from 5.9% in 2010 to 6.8% in 2020 and 10.2% in 2050, another sign of good things to come for the global halal trade.
And there is a clear connection between entrepreneurs in Wallonia and in Punjab, Delcomminette believes. “In Wallonia, the Southern part of Belgium, we have developed a very strong logistics industry. Its main objective is to improve the long-term performance of both individual companies and the supply chain as a whole. The halal supply chain approach is important to guarantee the halal integrity at the point of consumption. With this view, logistics service providers are progressively offering a halal supply chain service to meet the demand from halal industries throughout the world,” she explained. Similarly, in Pakistan’s region of Punjab, the Punjab Halal Development Agency (PHDA) has been established in a bid to formalize the halal sector. The agency works on halal certifications, capacity building and compliance regime of halal food safety standards.

It also seeks to brand Pakistan as the “Halal Hub” of the world and open new avenues for the country to expand into the global halal market. Currently, the halal market in the country is expanding rapidly under diverse areas of trade, including Islamic financing, food items, oil seeds, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, tourism and hoteling.

“An MoU was recently signed between Northport in Selangor, Malaysia, and Logistics in Wallonia, for a project to establish a Halal logistics route between Malaysia and Europe and thereby create a Halal Hub-to-Hub concept that will progressively be extended at both ends, from Malaysia to China and from Europe to Africa,” Delcomminette said. “Pakistan is ideally located on this new Halal Silk Road. The overarching objective is to optimize access to the global halal market.”

The high potential of halal products

According to a report published in 2017, food items consist 43% of the global halal trade, followed by media products at 23%, clothing at 23%, tourism at 8%, pharmaceuticals at 7% and cosmetics at 5%.

So what has led to such high demand for these products? First, the market for halal products is growing due to a huge Muslim global population that has reached almost 1.84 billion. This figure is expected to reach 2.2 billion by 2030.

Secondly, the market is still largely untapped. The global halal food market was worth $1.2 trillion in 2016 and is expected to reach $1.93 trillion by 2022. Similarly, the modest fashion market which was valued in 2016 at $254 billion is expected to reach $373 billion in 2022, and the halal travel and cosmetics markets that were valued at $169 billion and $57 billion respectively are expected to reach $283 billion and $82 billion in 2022.


Thirdly, a large chunk of the market share for halal products comes from the Asia Pacific where the Muslim middle class is becoming an area of opportunity not just in numbers but also in terms of income. As disposable incomes in Indonesia, Pakistan, and India, for example, have increased over several decades, their Muslim populations have also increased in tandem by almost 257%.
https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/...stani-exports/
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Old December 10th, 2018, 06:52 PM   #5342
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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has made his economic ideology very clear in a recent interview on a television network.

He has spoken against anti-profit and anti-investment thinking which has discouraged business activities in Pakistan. In the wake of this interview or simultaneously, the petroleum minister has also indicated that he is withdrawing his campaign against liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.

Yes, business and investment activity brings economic growth and employment. However, it should be in competitive sectors, where profit is earned in the market and not through government payout and subsidies or extraction from consumers and people, as generally the energy sector is currently composed of. This is, however, poised to change as there is now a consensus in policy circles that competition should be introduced.
Last government would not have come under criticism, especially in the LNG sector, had it resorted to competition and not have had a negotiated deal with Qatar. One can have G2G negotiations for an overall framework of cooperation, but finally procurement should be under competition, as much as it can be possible. The same is true for CPEC, wherein genuine competition among Chinese companies could have been ensured.

News is coming out about investment prospects in oil refineries. It is not for the first time that such initiatives have emerged. Latest is the news of Saudi investment in an oil refinery in Gwadar. There was similar news about Chinese interest in this respect as well.

The most important proposal is the Chinese one involving an oil refinery to be installed at Gwadar with a capacity of 21 million tons per year (500,000 barrels per day – bpd) and an investment of $12 billion. The output is to be shipped to Kashgar through a pipeline.

There are proposals to install deep refineries in Punjab. There is also an old proposal of an oil refinery of 300,000 bpd at Khalifa point under a UAE investment of $5 billion. Nothing has happened on these proposals that have been floated for more than a decade.


Oil refining is a capital-intensive business. Today, an oil refinery of 200,000 bpd would not cost any less than $4-5 billion. In comparison, a power plant of 1,000 megawatts costs less than $1.1-1.4 billion.

Pakistan consumes petroleum worth $12-16 billion annually, 85% of which is imported. Thus, it is the largest product in Pakistan’s import bill. It would be nice, if we can do away with these imports or reduce them considerably.

Would oil refineries make a significant impact in this respect? Not really. Refineries are a low margin business worldwide – $5 per barrel, while a barrel may be costing $70-80 on the average. This would amount to 5-6%.

This is not profit. It is value addition, out of which all expenses are to be paid other than the crude oil. Thus, savings in foreign exchange by oil refineries may be hardly $1 per barrel or 1-2%.


In our case, where oil refineries require protection of 2.5% or even more, the aforementioned savings may evaporate. So, it comes out that there is hardly any foreign exchange savings in this business.

Does it create employment? Hardly any. Billions of dollars worth of refinery may not create more than a few hundred jobs. There are other sectors in the economy in normal industries where tens of thousands of jobs may be created with this kind of investment.

The question is why not import high-quality environmentally acceptable finished products like gasoline, high-speed diesel, kerosene, etc. Oil refineries in Pakistan have been churning out low-quality dirty products having sulphur content of 5,000 ppm vs 10-50 ppm in most countries.

On every directive to improve, this industry has been dragging its feet. The latest is the manganese content, which is injurious to both car engines and human health. Outdated and used oil refineries are relocated from abroad which cannot meet quality and environmental standards in the parent countries.


Capital padding is practiced siphoning out the declared investment outlays. Approval for an oil refinery project is considered to be a gift to the participating elite from all sides.

Advantages

On the other hand, there are two major issues which go in favour of oil refinery investments.

One is energy security under which one would like to spread options so as not to depend solely on a fixed route or solution. There may be situations where supply bottlenecks may occur in the way of import of finished petroleum products. Thus, one would like to spread the options in terms of local production in oil refineries and imports.

Secondly, if foreign direct investment (FDI) is there and not causing any liability, why not? Also, the FDI is an investor’s priority and may not be prepared to divert investments in other sectors.

However, we should know, as it has come out, that oil refineries are not great investments to be strived for. If alternatives are feasible, resources should be diverted to better opportunities which may have much larger impact on economic activity and employment.

Governments should not award wholesale tax exemptions for long periods and provincial governments should charge adequate local taxes. The government should make it sure that products and technology meet the required quality and environmental standards. If large projects are implemented and taxation is not greatly reduced, it can generate some income. For instance, in India and elsewhere, large oil refineries are the order of the day producing zero waste and many byproducts and petrochemicals. An example is Jamnagar Oil Refinery Complex, with a capacity of more than 1 million bpd, which is compatible with the market situation pertaining in India.

In or around Gwadar, a similar refinery of 1 million bpd may be planned along with a petrochemical complex. This may cost $40 billion. A Saudi-Chinese joint venture can be expected.

Crude will come from Saudi Arabia and output will be pipelined to China. Pakistan can get 200,000 bpd at international prices which can be shipped to various parts through pipelines. Pakistan can charge for land, property tax, some corporate tax, security and other services fee.

Thus, a major policy question is whether to accept smaller proposals or go for larger ones involving world-scale refineries of 1 million bpd supplying Pakistan market as a byproduct?

The immediate priority in the petroleum sector today is elimination of furnace oil from the energy scene of the country. While LNG terminals are underutilised resulting in excessive capacity payments, (20-60%) expensive furnace oil has to be utilised, because oil refineries while producing gasoline and diesel also produce furnace oil.

Stopping furnace oil production would mean stopping gasoline and diesel production as well. Immediate solution is exports and the other is refineries’ balancing, modernisation and replacement (BMR) to add furnace oil conversion components such as Coker units.

Apparently, no action is there which should receive priority of the competent authority and the stakeholders. An incentive or disincentive would be to reduce purchase price of furnace oil by 20%, which would do away with the inaction or go-slow of the oil refineries.

Needless to say, policy announcements are required first, otherwise emergencies will be continually created and furnace oil will continue its ride.

The writer is former member energy of the Planning Commission

Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2018.
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Old December 31st, 2018, 12:17 AM   #5343
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Pakistan’s logistics market reaches $34.2bln

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s logistics market has reached $34.2 billion with annual growth of 18 percent, a minister said on Saturday, while unveiling a plan for state-owned postal operator to enter into ecommerce business.

Minister for Postal Services Murad Saeed said future initiatives of Pakistan Post would be compatible with the contemporary needs of existing times.

“This would include an entry into the ecommerce business,” Saeed said at a meeting.

The minister announced a pilot project for microfinance loan disbursement of Khushhali Bank through Pakistan Post. The project will be piloted by the first week of January and will formally be inaugurated by the mid of January.

The meeting was told that Pakistan Post has the capacity and commitment to deliver for online vendors for their cash on delivery products with proof of delivery and prompt reconciliation of their payments.

“Many international web portal operators have shown their interest to enter into the Pakistani market with Pakistan Post as their delivery partner,” an official statement said. “Apart from the business, Pakistan Post is expecting technology transfer and HR development from them.”

Pakistan Post is also targeting the parcel export market worth four billion dollars, which is catered by local and international private couriers at very high rates.

The postal operator is expecting up to $2.5 billion in foreign direct investment on public-private partnership model for the capacity building of Pakistan Post in the logistic sector.

“The revenue share of Pakistan Post in this endeavour is expected up to Rs100 billion per annum whereas the current loss of Pakistan Post is at Rs11 billion,” the statement added. The minister emphasised focus on the domestic money transfer market which was primarily the legacy of Pakistan Post as money order delivery “but ironically was captured by private entrepreneurs”.

Saeed envisaged to bring technology and investment in the market and is working to have a bigger share for Pakistan Post for the electronic money transfer market. At present, the market stands at Rs80 billion, while Pakistan Post only has one percent of the market share.

The minister for postal services also inaugurated the Pakistan Post mobile app for services featuring complaint handling, real time tracking, e-commerce delivery, post office locations, post codes and information about postal services.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/412...eaches-34-2bln
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Old January 2nd, 2019, 09:09 PM   #5344
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"entry into ecommerce business"
Someone ik who's running one says they're already in ecom and cheap but according to her they're "shit af", almost half the COD packages don't reach and she had to literally ask clients for their bloodgroups to fill the forms before dispatching packages O.o.
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Old January 17th, 2019, 08:00 AM   #5345
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Interesting article

Quote:
Currency management

THE policy of keeping the rupee-dollar exchange rate fixed over extended periods of time, despite manifest signs of currency overvaluation, has not served Pakistan well. The parity was held around 60 during the Musharraf era, and around 100 in the recent Dar era. In both cases, unsustainable external deficits emerged, culminating in balance-of-payments crises requiring large shock devaluations and foreign bailouts to fix.

These intermittent currency crises are a major impediment to Pakistan’s long-term prosperity. They incentivise businesses to focus on short-term returns rather than long-term investments to boost the country’s economic potential. They deter foreign direct investors demanding macroeconomic stability and policy continuity as prerequisites. And, they weaken Pakistan’s geopolitical standing and sovereignty (bailouts are never a free lunch).

....

The correct measure of a country’s external competitiveness is its real, not nominal, exchange rate; the more appreciated the real exchange rate, the lower the country’s competitiveness, ceteris paribus. A percentage change in Pakistan’s real exchange rate equals the sum of: (i) the percentage change in the nominal exchange rate (where a more depreciated nominal exchange rate raises competitiveness); and (ii) the inflation rate differential between Pakistan and its trading partners (where a positive differential reduces competitiveness).

Assuming the US was Pakistan’s only trading partner, a stable rupee-dollar parity would guard against a loss in Pakistan’s competitiveness only if the inflation rates for Pakistan and the US are aligned. This is far from true: between mid-2013 (when the last IMF programme began) and end-2017, cumulative inflation amounted to 21 per cent in Pakistan vs 6pc in the US, implying a rupee overvaluation of 15pc vs the dollar alone.

But Pakistan did trade not only with the US; 92pc of our recent trade was with other economies, led by China (20pc), the Euro Area (12pc), UAE (11pc). Unfortunately, inflation (21pc) was also higher than these other trading partners’ inflation (8pc), exacerbating the rupee’s overvaluation. Moreover, the currencies of these other trading partners depreciated on average by 9pc against a rising dollar, so with the rupee tied to the dollar, there was also a nominal rupee appreciation vis-à-vis these economies. The combined effect was a 22pc real effective (ie trade weighted) appreciation of the rupee between mid-2013 and end-2017. (A table and a chart, on Pakistan’s trade share with its major trading partners, and real effective exchange rate path, are included in Dawn’s web version of this article.)
....

Full Article
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Old January 19th, 2019, 06:37 AM   #5346
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Economic framework to be unveiled on January 23

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has endorsed the proposed ‘economic stabilisation programme’, which is aimed at putting the economy on a sustainable recovery path, the finance minister says.

“The macroeconomic framework will now be unveiled on January 23,” said Asad Umar while talking to The Express Tribune on Friday.

PM Imran gave his approval during a briefing on the macroeconomic framework by the Ministry of Finance, which was also attended by some members of the Economic Advisory Council.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1891715...veiled-jan-23/
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Old January 21st, 2019, 10:36 PM   #5347
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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and UAE leader Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan recently completed a trip to Pakistan where he pledged $3 billion to help ease Pakistan’s current account deficit left by the previous PML-N government. This comes after the UAE’s close ally Saudi Arabia pledged to invest over $10 billion for the construction of a new oil refinery at the port city of Gwadar. Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman who has already built a healthy working relationship with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, will shortly call on Imran in Islamabad to consolidate the Gwadar deal which comes after a $6 billion economic package for Pakistan delivered by Riyadh late last year. Now it has been reported that Saudi/UAE rival Qatar is also looking to invest in Gwadar as part of a wider push to integrate the Qatari economy into CPEC related projects.

While Qatar is still subject to a diplomatic and economic boycott led by fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and non-GCC member Egypt, Pakistan has remained neutral in respect of the inter-relational politics of the Arab world and as such, under Imran Khan, relations with Riyadh, Doha and Abu Dhabi continue to accelerate simultaneously. Likewise, as Imran’s recent successful visit to Turkey demonstrates, Pakistan’s long standing friendship with Turkey has not been negatively impacted by Islamabad’s positive relations with Turkey’s rival Saudi Arabia.



While Pakistan continues to function as a proverbial Switzerland of the Ummah (global Islamic community) by refraining from taking sides in the grievances between various partner nations, it is noteworthy that the US has not been successful in convincing Qatar’s GCC rivals to set aside their disputes which have raged since 2017. While on his recent visits to multiple Arab allies of the US, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attempted to convince the states currently boycotting Qatar to end the longstanding row. Yet in spite of Pompeo’s efforts, there is little evidence to show that he made any headway. Instead, the US is now faced with the embarrassing situation of the UAE and Bahrain restoring relations with US adversary Syria while still refusing to do so with mutual US ally Qatar.



The difference is that while America has a relationship with the wealthy Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf that involves cyclical purchases of energy followed by the sales of weapons, CPEC is able to offer cash rich Arab states with opportunities for long term sustainable investments that will help such economies to diversify their national portfolio – a strategic goal shared by Saudi Arabia and its partners along with rival Qatar.

Thus, while the GCC rivals will not talk to each other at home, their investments will soon be blossoming side-by-side in Gwadar and potentially elsewhere in Pakistan. This means that Pakistan holds the potential to smooth relations between the GCC rivals owing to the power of economic opportunity that is implicit in CPEC and in particular to Gwadar.







Geopolitical scholar Andrew Kroybko recently wrote that Iman Khan’s skilful diplomacy helped to affirm that the UAE will be a long term Pakistani partner that will help to invest in CPEC related projects, thus ending rumours that the UAE sought to rival Pakistan’s initiatives in Gwadar. Just as Imran has used CPEC’s southern maritime terminus to recast forward thinking win-win relations with Abu Dhabi, so too could Gwadar be the place where Qatar and its rivals eventually agree to de-escalate tensions in order to cooperate together on projects linking CPEC to important GCC shipping ports.

While Pakistan always held the potential to create win-win opportunities for its partners in the Arab world, prior to last year’s election which elevated Imran Khan to the position of head of government, it was not clear that Pakistan had the political leadership necessary to help its partners reach new win-win agreements. Now though, under Imran Khan’s leadership, Pakistan is at the forefront of helping its partners to de-escalate their rivalries by presenting a model of cooperation that encourages peace through prosperity. Furthermore, as all of the GCC is becoming more interested in intensifying positive relations with the economic superpower that is China, Pakistan can both geographically and more importantly, diplomatically and culturally act as the bridge between the Arab world and China.

In this sense, Gwadar specifically and CPEC more widely presents Pakistan not just with opportunities to elevate domestic living standards by following the Chinese model of sustainable long term economic growth, but CPEC is also a vital diplomatic tool that Pakistan can use to help resolve regional conflicts without firing a shot nor speaking a word in anger. This tool can consequently lead to new economic opportunities for Pakistan and in respect of Gwadar, these opportunities are already planting seeds that will soon begin to bear fruit.
https://eurasiafuture.com/2019/01/16...-but-cpec-can/
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Old February 9th, 2019, 10:47 AM   #5348
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Why Bangladesh overtook Pakistan

BANGLADESH is not some Scandinavian heaven. It is poor and overpopulated, undereducated and corrupt, frequented by natural catastrophes, experiences occasional terrorism, and the farcical nature of its democracy was exposed in the December 2018 elections. But the earlier caricature of a country on life support disappeared years ago. Today, some economists say it shall be the next Asian tiger. Its growth rate last year (7.8 per cent) put it at par with India (8.0pc) and well above Pakistan (5.8pc). The debt per capita for Bangladesh ($434) is less than half that for Pakistan ($974), and its foreign exchange reserves ($32 billion) are four times Pakistan’s ($8bn).

Much of this growth owes to exports which zoomed from zero in 1971 to $35.8bn in 2018 (Pakistan’s is $24.8bn). Bangladesh produces no cotton but, to the chagrin of Pakistan’s pampered textile industry, it has eaten savagely into its market share. The IMF calculates Bangladesh’s economy growing from $180bn presently to $322bn by 2021. This means that the average Bangladeshi today is almost as wealthy as the average Pakistani and, if the rupee depreciates further, will be technically wealthier by 2020.

Other indicators are equally stunning. East Pakistan’s population in the 1951 census was 42 million, while West Pakistan’s was 33.7m. But today Bangladesh has far fewer people than Pakistan — 165m versus 200m. A sustained population planning campaign helped reduce fertility in Bangladesh. No such campaign — or even its beginnings — is visible today in Pakistan.

The health sector is no less impressive — far fewer babies die at birth in Bangladesh than in Pakistan. Immunisation is common and no one gets shot dead for administering polio drops. Life expectancy (72.5 years) is higher than Pakistan’s (66.5 years). According to the ILO, females are well ahead in employment (33.2pc) as compared to Pakistan (25.1pc).


How did West Pakistan’s poor cousin manage to upstage its richer relative by so much so fast? It’s all the more puzzling because Bangladesh has no geostrategic assets saleable to America, China, or Saudi Arabia. It also has no nuclear weapons, no army of significance, no wise men in uniform running the country from the shadows, and no large pool of competent professionals. At birth, East Pakistan had, in fact, no trained bureaucracy; it received just one member of the former Indian Civil Service.

None should be more surprised at these new developments than those West Pakistanis — like me — who went to school during the 1950s and 1960s and grew up surrounded by unconcealed racism. Short and dark Bengalis were reputedly good only for growing jute and rice and catching fish. They were Muslims and Pakistanis, of course, but as children we were made to imagine that all good Muslims and real Pakistanis are tall, fair, and speak chaste Urdu. We’d laugh madly at the strange-sounding Bengali news broadcasts from Radio Pakistan. In our foolish macho world, they sounded terribly feminine.


The mega surrender of 1971 made West Pakistanis eat humble pie. But, even as the two-nation theory went out of the window, the overwhelming majority was loath to change its thinking. The west wing renamed itself Pakistan, many assuming this was temporary. They said Bangladesh could never survive economically and would humbly ask to be taken back.

Others optimistically imagined that the disaster had taught Pakistan a profound lesson making change inevitable. Responding enthusiastically to the popular roti, kapra, makaan slogan, they believed Pakistan would shift from pampering its hyper-privileged ones towards providing welfare for all. Equally, it was hoped that the rights of Pakistan’s culturally diverse regions would be respected. None of this happened. Instead, we simply got more of what had been earlier.

Thirsting for vengeance, Pakistan’s establishment could think of nothing beyond wounded honour and ways to settle scores with India. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s secret call for the nuclear bomb led to the famed Multan meeting just six weeks after the surrender. That centralisation of authority breeds local resentment remained an unlearned lesson. In 1973, Bhutto dismissed the NAP government in Balochistan and ordered military action, starting a series of local rebellions that has never gone away. In doing so, he re-empowered those who ultimately hanged him.

In a nutshell, Bangladesh and Pakistan are different countries today because they perceive their national interest very differently. Bangladesh sees its future in human development and economic growth. Goal posts are set at increasing exports, reducing unemployment, improving health, reducing dependence upon loans and aid, and further extending micro credit. Water and boundary disputes with India are serious and Bangladesh suffers bullying by its bigger neighbour on matters of illegal immigration, drugs, etc. But its basic priorities have not wavered.

For Pakistan, human development comes a distant second. The bulk of national energies remain focused upon check-mating India. Relations with Afghanistan and Iran are therefore troubled; Pakistan accuses both of being excessively close to India. But the most expensive consequence of the security state mindset was the nurturing of extra state actors in the 1990s. Ultimately they had to be crushed after the APS massacre of Dec 16, 2014. This, coincidentally, was the day Dhaka had fallen 43 years earlier.

Bangladesh is conflicted by internal rifts. Still, being more multicultural and liberal, its civil society and activist intelligentsia have stopped armed groups from grabbing the reins of power. Although elected or quasi-elected Bangladeshi leaders are often horribly corrupt and incompetent, they don’t simply endorse decisions — they actually make them. Ultimately responsible to their electorate, they are forced to invest in people instead of weapons or a massive military establishment.

For Pakistan, these are lessons to be pondered over. CPEC or no CPEC, it’s impossible to match India tank for tank or missile by missile. Surely it is time to get realistic. Shouting ‘Pakistan zindabad’ from the rooftops while obsequiously taking dictation from the Americans, Chinese, and Saudis has taken us nowhere. Announcing that we have become targets of a fifth-generation hi-tech secret subversion inflames national paranoia but is otherwise pointless. Instead, to move forward, Pakistan must transform its war economy into ultimately becoming a peace economy.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1462757
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Old February 9th, 2019, 10:55 AM   #5349
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Why we lag behind

THERE are several Southeast Asian countries fortunate enough to bring socioeconomic prosperity to their people within a generation. On the other hand, there are countries that, despite decades of high growth rates, are still chasing an elusive ‘take-off’. Pakistan is one of those countries.

In its early years, in spite of major handicaps, we achieved an intermittent growth rate of about six per cent over four decades. As hopes were raised for a better future, even countries like South Korea sought to emulate Pakistan’s planning model. By the end of the Ayub era, however, it became clear that this ‘golden age’ of development not only failed to impact the lives of millions of disadvantaged groups, but also created massive inequalities due to the regime’s discriminatory policies. It was no surprise that, far from a ‘take-off’, this led to the country’s dismemberment.

This article is not about Pakistan’s economic situation. It is about a ‘development surprise’. Recently, Bangladeshi economist Wahiduddin Mahmud predicted that his country is on the verge of becoming the next Asian Tiger. This is the same country that, prior to 1971, Pakistan’s ruling elite felt was dragging economic growth down. Far from mourning its separation, many thought it was good riddance to the ‘bottleneck’ that was holding West Pakistan back. Almost 50 years later, it is interesting to see where Pakistan and Bangladesh stand in terms of economic and human development.

First, the Bangladesh story. It wasn’t easy for a poor country to overcome the trauma of a costly ‘liberation’, and so it faced both political and economic instability. To add, being a deltaic country, it had a history of natural disasters, resulting in famines and persistent poverty. They also shared the same problems our rulers tend to cite to explain lack of performance: military interventions, poor governance, institutional vacuum, corruption and a polarised society. Despite these handicaps, from the 1980s onwards, growth picked up. Initially lacklustre, once it was on track there was no stopping it. To the surprise of many, at 7.28pc in FY-2017, its growth rate surpassed even India’s.

There are a few important factors to Bangladesh’s success. Its economic performance has been steady for the last 20 years. When its growth rate first exceeded Pakistan’s in 2008, many analysts treated it as an aberration whereas it was in fact a turning point. Besides GDP growth, the country has made significant progress in its social indicators. Given its level of economic development, it has actually over-performed in social development.

Bangladesh has maintained a 1.1 pc population growth rate — about half of Pakistan’s 2pc — and closed the gender gap in primary and secondary education by the mid-1990s. It has also had much success in child health and preventive measures such as immunisation. These factors have resulted in a rise in average life expectancy, surpassing India’s and Pakistan’s by four and six years respectively.


What is more surprising is that this remarkable progress was not achieved through large public expenditures on mega projects financed through domestic or foreign loans, but instead through mobilising resources at the grass-roots level: micro-financing, and active support of a committed and engaged civil society and intelligentsia. Bangladesh’s early growth came from the readymade garment industry, which not only proved to be a boon for women’s employment, but also their empowerment and inclusion in social development.

Coming back to Pakistan, in spite of early successes and great potential, it’s fair to say that both its economy and human development continue to face problems. As stated earlier, this isn’t a review of the current macro-economic situation, but anyone would admit that, even accounting for perennial structural problems, its growth is neither steady nor stable.

What is most worrying is Pakistan’s dismal performance in the social sector: 25 million children out of school (according to Alif Ailaan); continuing wide gender gap; poor quality of education and health; gaps in routine immunisation; the worst infant mortality rate in the world; rampant malnutrition and stunted growth in 40pc of the children. These issues do not bother either our political leaders or our intelligentsia. They think that a high growth rate for 10 or so years will automatically solve all our problems.

But Bangladesh’s experience has shown that its progress in social outcomes is neither a reflection of economic growth, nor public expenditure-led development. Would it be too much to ask of our planners, policymakers and civil society leaders to look at this ‘development surprise’, and perhaps learn a thing or two from it?


https://www.dawn.com/news/1411720
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Old February 9th, 2019, 06:20 PM   #5350
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A bit unfair comparing Pakistan and Bangladesh as Pakistan for 10 years suffered from economic loss of around $100 billion due to terrorism and 70,000 people were killed and there was no law in largest city of Pakistan, Karachi and due to all this FDI depleted also, as several countries were working against Pakistan. we forget history when things get better.

Things should be looked in context. But people like hoodbhoy are just whiners and they see nothing positive in pakistan.
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Old February 9th, 2019, 06:28 PM   #5351
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KARACHI: Pakistani exporters of fruits and vegetables have received export orders worth $15 million from foreign buyers during the Fruit Logistica 2019.

Patron in Chief of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA), Waheed Ahmed, in a statement, claimed that Pakistani

kinno, dates, value-added products of dates, fresh vegetables, mango and guava pulp and apple concentrate got overwhelming attention from the visitors.

Mr Ahmed said that Pakistan stands a bright chance to explore new international markets through this fair while the existing available markets would get further consolidated, adding that buyers from the UK, Italy, Germany, Russia, the UAE, China, Japan , Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Mauritius, Finland, African countries and other countries had expressed great interest in agri-produces of Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2019
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Old February 9th, 2019, 06:39 PM   #5352
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KARACHI: Pakistani exporters of fruits and vegetables have received export orders worth $15 million from foreign buyers during the Fruit Logistica 2019.

Patron in Chief of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA), Waheed Ahmed, in a statement, claimed that Pakistani

kinno, dates, value-added products of dates, fresh vegetables, mango and guava pulp and apple concentrate got overwhelming attention from the visitors.

Mr Ahmed said that Pakistan stands a bright chance to explore new international markets through this fair while the existing available markets would get further consolidated, adding that buyers from the UK, Italy, Germany, Russia, the UAE, China, Japan , Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Mauritius, Finland, African countries and other countries had expressed great interest in agri-produces of Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2019
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Old February 11th, 2019, 08:39 PM   #5353
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Intoxication Ji :

Please advise on which Thread you have moved my Post of 07:47 PM Yesterday, Sunday, 10-02-2019 in respect of the Revival of the Pakistan Steel Mills.

Thanks.

Cheers
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Old February 11th, 2019, 09:11 PM   #5354
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Sorry it's NOT me, ask one of the mods: Pak_Forever, m.sohaib98 or KB.
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Old February 11th, 2019, 11:21 PM   #5355
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KB Ji - Pak_Forever Ji - m.sohaib98 Ji :

Please advise on which Thread you have moved my Post of 07:47 PM Yesterday, Sunday, 10-02-2019 in respect of the Revival of the Pakistan Steel Mills.

Thanks.

Cheers
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Old February 12th, 2019, 08:42 AM   #5356
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Moved to Business and Investment News thread

https://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=459259
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Old February 12th, 2019, 09:06 PM   #5357
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Pakistan Post has always been criticized for being an unreliable service. Over the past many years, people have avoided using the services of the national postage of the country in favor of private courier companies.

Even the strong Pakistani e-commerce industry didn’t rely on Pakistan Post to send their parcels to customers. With e-commerce making billions in sales each year, it was a huge blow to the PKPost that their services were not being used.

With the new government, and a young minister spearheading operations at Pakistan Post, the organization has made a whopping 184% increase in its revenue in the past four months. An indication that people of Pakistan have finally started relying on the national courier of Pakistan.

Pakistan Post made this possible by launching services like E-commerce parcel, export parcel, urgent mail. same day delivery service, electronic money, and more.

Even Pakistan’s favorite German ambassador Martin Kobler was impressed with Pakistan Post services a few weeks ago.


Pakistan Post is now offering reliable services at rates that easily beat its competitor private companies. Now is the time to put your trust in the national courier and start using their services to further make it better!
https://instant.com.pk/pakistan-post...n-four-months/
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Old February 12th, 2019, 09:07 PM   #5358
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Pakistan Post has always been criticized for being an unreliable service. Over the past many years, people have avoided using the services of the national postage of the country in favor of private courier companies.

Even the strong Pakistani e-commerce industry didn’t rely on Pakistan Post to send their parcels to customers. With e-commerce making billions in sales each year, it was a huge blow to the PKPost that their services were not being used.

With the new government, and a young minister spearheading operations at Pakistan Post, the organization has made a whopping 184% increase in its revenue in the past four months. An indication that people of Pakistan have finally started relying on the national courier of Pakistan.

Pakistan Post made this possible by launching services like E-commerce parcel, export parcel, urgent mail. same day delivery service, electronic money, and more.

Even Pakistan’s favorite German ambassador Martin Kobler was impressed with Pakistan Post services a few weeks ago.


Pakistan Post is now offering reliable services at rates that easily beat its competitor private companies. Now is the time to put your trust in the national courier and start using their services to further make it better!
https://instant.com.pk/pakistan-post...n-four-months/
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Old February 14th, 2019, 10:31 PM   #5359
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During Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first state visit to Saudi Arabia fruitful discussion resulted in Pakistan extending an official invite to Saudi Arabia as the third “strategic” partner in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) vision. CPEC is a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI. CPEC’s scope is massive, with large infrastructure development projects such as rail and road networks spanning large distances. Since it’s inauguration in 2013, CPEC, a $60 billion project, has achieved a transformative status for the entire region and China considers it an important landmark in the chain of other BRI projects.

Saudi Arabia has shown a keen interest toward investing in several CPEC projects, with the construction of an oil refinery worth over $8 billion in Gwadar visited by the Saudi delegation is the most notable. The agreement is expected to be formalized during the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, scheduled in October. A Saudi delegation is expected to sign various Memoranda of Understanding with Pakistan in the sectors of energy and minerals as well as trade cooperation, and these will eventually extend China’s BRI from Gwadar to Africa through Oman and Riyadh.

China has pledged to spend over $1 trillion on infrastructure development and connectivity in the BRI countries. In a recent press conference by Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing conveyed a message that “China welcomes Saudi Arabia’s investment in CPEC”.

One of the greatest merits of CPEC is the elimination of the threat that any blockade to the Malacca straits would pose. Much of the world is dependent on the route through Malacca Straits for trade and this is a vital strategic weakness which is being addressed through the Gwadar sea port.

It is important to consider Saudi Arabia’s growing partnership with China as well as the existing relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to understand the reasoning behind its participation in CPEC projects. CPEC is ultimately providing access for China’s western region to international markets via Gwadar port. Saudi Arabia’s active participation in CPEC would provide China an open window of opportunity to gain access easily all the way to Africa and Eurasia through Oman and Riyadh. China also desires to link with Central Asia via Afghanistan through CPEC. Furthermore, China’s active presence in Gwadar and the Gulf would make China a “two oceans” power at the same time. Saudi Arabia’s participation can encourage other regional countries to join in this multibillion dollar project that has the potential to eventually shape the economic and geo-strategic landscape of the region and it will open new vistas of development and prosperity for decades to come.

China and Pakistan have shown satisfaction over numerous ongoing projects and have reached a new consensus on better promotion of the corridor. Successful completion of CPEC will play an essential role in achieving China’s dream of a Mmaritime Silk Route. Saudi Arabia’s participation in CPEC projects is timely as both China and Saudi Arabia are moving closer and the alignment of goals under BRI and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 which is to shift from an economy dominated by petroleum to a more diverse economy. In March, Saudi King Salman’s visit to China resulted in the strengthening of bilateral ties and cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia with signed deals worth $65 billion. The deals were signed to cooperate in the fields of technology, the energy sector and petrochemical refineries.
It is important to understand that China’s growing relations with the Middle East and other countries are partnership-based relations rather than the formation of any alliance. Through the BRI and China’s bilateral relations, China has emphasized a development based solution rather than through the use of hard power or power politics. China’s model has attracted further interest from Middle Eastern countries and brought them closer to China.

BRI is meant to link China with countries across Eurasia and Africa, and it is for this reason that the Middle Eastern is a geo-strategically critical hub for linkage and essential for the success of the BRI. Saudi Arabia’s agreement to participate in CPEC projects is a key example of China’s relations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries warming considerably and it is this involvement that is extremely beneficial for the region and the success of BRI. One of the main goals of China’s foreign policy is to maintain economic development, trade, and seek new markets; BRI provides Beijing greater leverage in international politics to achieve its foreign policy goals in the long term.

Asif Amin is a doctoral candidate at School of International and Public Affairs Jilin University in Changchun, China.

China Daily and China Daily website.
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Old February 17th, 2019, 02:25 PM   #5360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayaan View Post



Pakistan Post has always been criticized for being an unreliable service. Over the past many years, people have avoided using the services of the national postage of the country in favor of private courier companies.

Even the strong Pakistani e-commerce industry didn’t rely on Pakistan Post to send their parcels to customers. With e-commerce making billions in sales each year, it was a huge blow to the PKPost that their services were not being used.

With the new government, and a young minister spearheading operations at Pakistan Post, the organization has made a whopping 184% increase in its revenue in the past four months. An indication that people of Pakistan have finally started relying on the national courier of Pakistan.

Pakistan Post made this possible by launching services like E-commerce parcel, export parcel, urgent mail. same day delivery service, electronic money, and more.

Even Pakistan’s favorite German ambassador Martin Kobler was impressed with Pakistan Post services a few weeks ago.


Pakistan Post is now offering reliable services at rates that easily beat its competitor private companies. Now is the time to put your trust in the national courier and start using their services to further make it better!
https://instant.com.pk/pakistan-post...n-four-months/
I'm not surprised they'd turn a profit. In fact, they can easily turn a profit if the simply control the corruption in that organization.

Pakistan Post once sponsored an event in our university which I was organizing, because we found someone in the university who was the son Pakistan Post's DG at the time. Never in my life had I ever seen such rampant corruption and misuse of funds as I did during those couple of weeks.

They basically refused to transfer the sponsorship funds directly to our society's account and instead made us use his son's bank account. He also demanded that we make him the guest of honor, and invite his colleagues which were basically heads of other government and public organizations and throw them a lavish dinner.

Probably what irked me the most was that we needed 300 posters to send to basically promote in other universities around Pakistan, and his son insisted we get them printed from Pakistan Post's press since it would be cheaper. They ended up printing maybe 30,000 posters all on the government's dime because they wanted their name plastered everywhere in the city.
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