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UNís ME envoy Ďoutragedí by attack on world bodyís Gaza compound -
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 28 (APP): The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process, Robert Serry, has expressed outrage by the assault on the UN premises in Gaza on Wednesday.


Pakistan figures above regional countries on economic freedom index -
WASHINGTON, Jan 28 (APP): Pakistan has greater economic freedom than other major regional economies, the latest worldwide Index of Economic Freedom determines while taking into account improvements the country has made over the last year.


UN agency halt programme for repairs to Gaza's destroyed homes due to funds' shortage -
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 28 (APP): The United Nations agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees across the Middle East announced Tuesday that a major funding shortfall has forced the suspension of its cash assistance programme that would have helped families in Gaza repair  their homes destroyed by last year's Israeli bombing raids and provide rental subsidies to people left homeless in the enclave.



Over 1.1 billion tourists travelled abroad in 2014 - UN -
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 28 (APP): The number of international tourists reached 1.13 billion in 2014, 51 million more than in 2013, on trend for  the fifth consecutive year of above average growth since the 2009 economic crisis, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced today.



Winter storm largely spares New York, pounds Boston area -
NEW YORK, Jan 27 (APP): The winter storm, predicted to be one of the worst ever to hit New York City, failed to deliver much of a blow, but slammed New England—the region consisting of the states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut --  burying the stretch with as much as two feet of snow.


Sport News
Young Mahin creates history for Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): Pakistan’s under 14 player Mahin Aftab Qureshi created history on Tuesday when she annexed the girls singles title of 2nd leg ITF Asian 14 and Under Tennis Championships - Division II in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
 
Sarfraz hopes for Amirís return soon
ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): Former Test Cricketer Sarfraz Nawaz hopes pacer Muhammad Amir would return to international cricket soon saying  the people who try to lure cricketers on the wrong path should be stopped.
 
Kamran, Faisal hit tons as PIA wins in Presidentís Silver Cup
KARACHI, Jan 28 (APP): Kamran Sajid and Faisal Iqbal hammered centuries as PIA launched their campaign in President’s Silver Cup One-day Cricket Tournament on a winning note beating Quetta by 37 runs here at Aga Khan Gymkhana Ground on Wednesday.
 
Pakistan victorious in Squash Championship
ISLAMABAD, Jan 28 (APP): Defending Champion Pakistan won their matches on the first day of the 17th Asian Junior Squash Championship at Malaysia.
 
Army, PIA, NBP, SSGC reach in semifinals of COAS hockey championship
RAWALPINDI, Jan 28 (APP): Army (seniors), Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and Si Southern Gas Company (SSGC) on Wednesday reached into the semifinals of the First Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Challenge Hockey Cup at the Army Hockey Stadium here on Wednesday.
 
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Pakistanís strong economic indicators, attractive for foreign investment in power, oil sectors PDF Print E-mail
By Shumaila Andleeb

TIANJIN, China, Sept 12 (APP): Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday, mentioning Pakistan’s strong economic indicators, said the country was an attractive zone for foreign investment, particularly in power, oil and gas exploration and infrastructure development sectors. The Prime Minister expressed these views while leading  a discussion of the Business Interaction Group on Pakistan at the Meijiang Convention Centre - the venue of ongoing World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions. Dilating upon Pakistan’s macro-economic stability and liberal investment policy, the Prime Minister said country’s economic consistency, openness and predictability in policies were vital factors in providing foreign businessmen an enabling environment for their investment.

He said his government was committed to facilitation of business, reforms and deregulation in pursuance of its economic philosophy.
He mentioned Pakistan’s strategic location next to three important regions - South, Central and West Asia, that provided a shortest access to the energy-rich and fast developing Central and Western Asia.
He said for the economic world, the country could prove a bridge, linking to multiple corridors of cooperation in energy, trade, investment, transportation and tourism.
Prime Minister Ashraf said due to macro-economic stability, the country’s economy was expected to grow by over four percent this year. He said country’s banking sector had withstood the global financial crisis of 2008 with the help of its exports that grew by 30 percent in 2011.
On liberal investment policy, he said all sectors of economy were open to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In addition, there was no restriction on equity as foreigners were permitted hundred percent foreign equity, statutory protection, and high rates of return accrued to investment.
He said there were institutional safeguards provided in the system like Competitive Commission, the Security and Exchange Commission and Central Bank. He said Pakistan had a non-discriminatory investment policy for all countries.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan was a country of 180 million with a growing middle class and an increasing demand for goods and services. He mentioned that abundant and unexploited natural resources including coal, oil, gas, water and irrigation systems and minerals had great potential of exploration.
He said investment in power sector could be made in the areas of solar, wind, renewable energy, solar tubewells, hydro and thermal power generation. He said opportunities also existed in modernization and refurbishment of ports and railways. He informed the Business Group that a Korean company had shown interest in constructing a 300 mega watt solar power plant in Balochistan.
He said recently an upfront tariff had been determined for solar energy plants which would help the investors.
To a question, the Prime Minister said Pakistan was working to have good relations with India including trade ties. He mentioned the recent visit of Indian External Affairs Minister S.M Krishna to Pakistan and the discussions carried out on easing the visa regime and cooperation in agriculture sector.
Regarding facilitating the overseas Pakistanis, Raja Ashraf said their confidence in the country was reflected through increase in remittances.
Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said the middle class expatriates could benefit from investment in stock exchange.  He said an investment fund was being set up for expatriates. He said housing schemes had been launched to attract investment from expatriates.
There were also a few questions about increasing cultural exchanges with India to which the Prime Minister mentioned a recent agreement. He said relations with India were being improved step-by-step in a positive way.
 

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