Pakistan and Italy Are Looking at Ways to Enhance Trade and Economic Ties

Ambassador of Pakistan to Italy, Jauhar Saleem, has said that Pakistan and Italy are looking at new dimensions to enhance mutual cooperation and economic activities in different sectors.

He said this while talking to the media through a 2nd series digital ‘Zoom Link’ webinar organized by the embassy of Pakistan in Rome.

The ambassador added that negotiations between both sides on enhancing cooperation in the fields of trade, labor market, tourism, agriculture, energy, investment, innovation and skills, and media sectors are in the final stages.

Jauhar Saleem said that Italy and Pakistan have agreed in principle to negotiate a labor agreement that will give Pakistan comprehensive market access to the Italian labor market.

He informed that Pakistan had been included in the Italian Seasonal Work Visa for 2022, which would offer an immense opportunity for or labor force working in the agriculture and services sector to come and work in Italy with legal entry mode.

He informed that Italian firms are investing in energy, food processing, leather, textile, construction, and furnishing.

He added that the Mission is promoting a Joint Venture model for Italian investment in Pakistan that will help in technology and skill transfer to our businesses.

Jauhar Saleem said that once the travel restrictions are eased, there will be an increased number of Italian investor delegations to Pakistan.

He also highlighted the initiatives that have been taken to promote tourism, especially the capacity building of Pakistan’s tourism sector stakeholders through Italian experts.

On the multilateral front, Ambassador Jauhar Saleem informed that Pakistan has been elected President of IDLO for two years which would help in promoting Pakistan’s leading role in different forums along with taking advantage of IDLO’s technical assistance for Pakistan.

Meanwhile, he informed that Pakistan had posted a trade surplus of $300 million with Italy in the fiscal year 2020-21, which is 49 percent higher than the previous year of 2019-20.

The Ambassador informed that Pakistan’s exports to Italy had reached an all-time high, i.e., $786 million in FY 2020-21. The trade surplus has been created by export enhancement and import contraction, the Ambassador said. The value-added sectors were the main drivers of this growth, he added. Moreover, Italian imports from non-EU countries declined 14 percent.

Pakistan posts record trade surplus and export growth in the COVID-19 hit Italian market, he said. The Ambassador said that Italy has been among the first countries in Europe that were severely hit by the pandemic. The Italian GDP fell as low as 9.6 percent in 2020, which is the highest fall since World War II, he informed.

However, despite these difficult conditions, Pakistan has not only recovered from the pandemic-led export challenges, but it has registered an impressive growth of 9.1 percent in FY 2020-21.

While responding to a question, the Ambassador stated that despite the Indian false claim over Basmati’s exclusive Geographical Indication (GI) rights in the EU and the Italian market, Pakistan maintained its position as the market leader in rice with 37.4 percent share, whereas India supplied only 12 percent of the total imported rice in Italy.

He informed that Italy hosts the largest Pakistani diaspora in the EU countries.

In FY 2020-21, workers’ remittances from Italy reached $601 million which is an all-time high figure, he added. He said it is 66 percent higher if compared with the annual figure of FY 2019-20 which was $369 million. It has made Italy as Pakistan’s 7th largest destination for workers’ remittance globally and No. 1 from the EU. He expected this growth streak to be continued in the FY 2021-22.

 

Source: Pro Pakistani

Federal Cabinet to Reduce Kamyab Pakistan Program Loan Guarantee to 50%: Report

The Federal Cabinet has decided to revise the guarantee for Kamyab Pakistan Program (KPP) loans from 100 percent to 50 percent, reported a local newspaper.

The decision to revise the guarantee downwards was taken on the proposal by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor, Dr. Reza Baqir.

The guarantee in concern is provided to banks, DFIs, and Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Companies (PMRCs). The Finance Division requested the ECC to approve Kamyab Pakistan Program on July 16, 2021.

During the ensuing discussion, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, who is also Chairman ECC, clarified that the program would uplift the low-income groups by providing them small loans through microfinance institutions, primarily in the agriculture sector and for housing.

He also clarified that the target market for these loans would be those identified under the “Ehsaas Program.” The overall debt servicing burden for these loans would be limited up to 33 percent of the borrowers’ total income for the housing loans and up to 50 percent for non-housing loans.

For the agriculture sector, it was suggested to keep the loan limit of Rs. 150,000 per crop.

Governor SBP, Dr. Reza Baqir, suggested that government guarantees for loans may be kept at 50 percent so that sustainability of the credit market can be ensured.

It was also suggested that approval of the SECP be required for allowing direct debit. The ECC agreed to both suggestions.

As a result, an increase of 0.50 percent will be observed in applicable interest for banks.

After a detailed discussion, the ECC approved the summary of the Kamyab Pakistan Program. The Federal Cabinet also ratified the decision of the ECC on July 27, 2021.

 

Source: Pro Pakistani

Pakistan’s Exports Are At Their Highest Level for July: Adviser to PM

During the first month of the current financial year FY21-22, July 2021, Pakistan’s exports have grown by 17.3 percent, to $2.35 billion, announced Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood, through his Twitter account on Monday.

This figure is up from $2 billion exports recorded in July 2020, he informed, adding, “These are the highest ever exports in the month of July.”

The adviser wrote, “I urge our exporters to move full speed ahead to make 2021-22 another record-breaking year for our exports.”

Notably, the official figures for imports and trade deficit are yet to come. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) also has yet to release official import, export figures.

 

Source: Pro Pakistani

SECP Issues Draft Cloud Adoption Guidelines For Companies

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), to support Digital Transformation (DX) in its regulated sector, has issued the draft of the “Cloud Adoption Guidelines for Incorporated Companies” to solicit feedback from all stakeholders.

The guidelines provide an easy and efficient procedure for the transition to cloud computing. Companies will be able to get a clear understanding of the risks and benefits involved in moving to the cloud compared to traditional computing solutions.

Cloud offers convenient, on-demand access to a shared pool of resources such as servers, storage, and applications over the Internet. Looking ahead into the future of cloud computing and the industry’s most intriguing trends, cloud computing has proved to be very useful in different sectors in terms of better resource utilization, scalability, business continuity, improved collaboration and speed to market, etc. It provides computing resources with higher reliability at a reduced cost.

The SECP’s draft of Cloud Adoption Guidelines is in compliance with the draft, “Pakistan Cloud First Policy (PCFP) 2021,” issued by the Ministry of IT & Telecommunication. Feedback on draft Guidelines can be provided at cloud.feedback@secp.gov.pk till August 13, 2021.

 

Source: Pro Pakistani

Only politics of development and public service will prevail in Pakistan now: Buzdar

Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has said now only the politics of development and public service will prevail in Pakistan.

Talking to the Member National Assembly Riaz Fatyana and Punjab Minister for Women Development Ashifa Riaz who called on him in Lahore today (Sunday), the Punjab Chief Minister said the government will continue to respond to the negative politics of propagandists through public service.

Riaz Fatyana and Ashifa Riaz congratulated the Chief Minister on the victory of the PTI candidate in the by-election in PP-38 Sialkot and lauded the his vision of a separate development package for each district to advance sustainable and composite development in Punjab.

 

Source: Radio Pakistan

Eight new dams to be built in Barkhan district, Balochistan

Under the federal PSDP, eight new dams are to be built in Barkhan district.

During an exclusive interview with Radio Pakistan today (Sunday), Balochistan Minister for Food and Population welfare Abdul Rehman Kethran said work on the construction of the water reservoirs has been started with the release of the first instalment of the allocated funds.

The provincial minister said the federal government has also approved a grant of Rs. two billion and 900 million for the construction of Hun dam in the Barkhan district.

He said that with the completion of the water reservoirs, water level would raise besides ensuring availability of water for the agricultural crops throughout the year.

 

Source: Radio Pakistan

Punjab govt giving priority to technical education for creation of jobs: Firdous

Punjab Government is giving priority to technical education for creation of large scale job opportunities.

In a tweet, Chief Minister’s Special Assistant for Information, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said that all possible measures have been taken to boost working capacity of Technical Education & Vocational Training Authority.

She said that Apprenticeship Act 2021 has been passed, under which youth will be provided training in industrial sector.

They will also get On Job Training under the same Act.

She said Punjab Government has prepared country’s first Skills Development Policy.

She said, a budget of three billion rupees has been allocated for TEVTA during current fiscal year while Skills Punjab Portal has been prepared to provide jobs to skilled youth.

 

Source: Radio Pakistan

Zong Brings Amazing WhatsApp Offer for My Zong App Users

Offering customers exciting discounts, Pakistan’s cellular and digital services leader, Zong, has introduced an unbeatable WhatsApp offer for MZA users, as part of its newly launched flash sale on My Zong App.

Under the promotion, Zong subscribers can now get a massive 35% off on the popular WhatsApp offer if subscribed via My Zong App. The required balance to subscribe to the offer is as low as PKR 35 only instead of the previous cost of PKR 55.
The offer will be available on My Zong App on July 31, August 1, and August 2, 2021. Zong customers can subscribe to many other exclusive offers available on My Zong App, as part of the flash sale.

“We’re always on the lookout for innovative ways to facilitate our customers and deliver them more than they expect from our products and services,” shared Zong’s official spokesperson. “The flash sale on My Zong App is a testament to our commitment and we hope that the WhatsApp discount bundle will make connectivity easier and more affordable for our valued customers.”

Zong recently announced a flash sale of up to 70% on My Zong App, giving Zong users all the more reason to make the most of the app that regularly brings incredible offers.
The flash sale brings mega discounts on all favorite products and bundles on the My Zong App. Customers will get huge discounts on various products and services every month from now onwards, making their presence on the platform even more rewarding.

 

Source: Pro Pakistani