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Friday, 18 April 2014

 

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World News
UN Envoy urges fresh talks with besieged Syrians, authorities -
UNITED NATIONS, April 17 (APP): Regretting the abrupt halt in talks between the Syrian authorities and the negotiating committee representing civilians and fighters trapped in the Old City of Homs, U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi Thursday urged all the parties to return to the negotiating table and complete the deal that had been on the verge of being signed.



On first visit to Gaza, UN official calls for end to Israeli blockade -
UNITED NATIONS, April 17 (APP):  On his first official visit to the Gaza Strip, the new head of the United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees across the Middle East underscored the need to lift the seven-year Israeli blockade and end the ‘illegal collective punishment’ unleashed on the population there.


US lauds Pakistanís economic upturn; hopes for Pak-India progress -
WASHINGTON, April 17 (APP): The United States has been encouraged by Pakistan’s economic turnaround over the past year and hopes for Pakistan-India progress after the Indian elections towards trade expansion, a senior American official said.  “We are encouraged by the economic progress that Pakistan has made in the past year, though it still faces many challenges ahead,”


Pak maritime trade to further boost as China accelerates planning to re-connect Maritime Silk Road -
BEIJING, April 17 (APP): The maritime trade of Pakistan will get further boost through inter-connectivity as the Chinese government is stepping up the planning of reviving the Maritime Silk Road in the 21st century, with port construction as the priority, according to local media.The plan is expected to focus on infrastructure construction of countries along the route, including ports of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the China Securities Journal said.China will coordinate customs, quality supervision, e-commerce and other agencies to facilitate the scheme, which is also likely to contain attempts to build free trade zones.


In memory of Naga Parbat tragedy, a women expedition team starts climbing Mount Everest -
BEIJING, Aril 17 (APP): A four members of the first ever private Chinese women expedition to Mount Everest (Qomolangma) left from Kathmandu Tuesday to fulfill their dream of conquering the world’s highest peak from the south, reports state media.Ma Liyamu, the team leader, is a Muslim woman from Xinjiang, which is located in the northwest of China. She started doing outdoor sports in 1996, and if she successfully reaches Everest’s 8,848-metre-high peak, she will be the first woman from her region and community to achieve such a feat, said Xinhua news agency in a dispatch from Kathmandu.


Sport News
Saqlian questions ďDoosaraĒ in present era
KARACHI, Apr 17 (APP): Master off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq indirectly questioned the legality of “Doosra” in the current era.  The inventor of the mystery ball, said that, due to his technique, he never felt any difficulty in managing the away going delivery,” he told a private television channel on Thurdsay. He declined to comment on the official rules, in this regard, saying that it was the job of the International Cricket Council (ICC) to look into the matter.
 
11th National Women Softball Championship from Friday
RAWALPINDI, April 17 (APP): A three-day 11th National Women Softball Championship-2014 will be held at Pindi Cricket Stadium from Friday. In a joint announcement here, District Coordination Officer  (DCO) Sajid Zafar Dall and Chairperson Senate Standing Committtee on Sports Kalsoom Perveen, said Six teams from all over the country including defending champions Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Islamabad and Police Department would participate in the championship.
 
National Shooting trials for Asian, CW Games on May 10
KARACHI, Apr 17 (APP): Second phase of trials to select Pakistan sharp shooters for this year’s Asian Games and Commonwealth Games will be held at Naval International Shooting Range here on May 10, National Rifle Association of Pakistan (NRAP) announced on Thursday. “Trials will be conducted in all events like Rifle, Pistol and Shotgun,” Executive Vice President NRAP Razi Ahmed Khan told APP here.
 
Army excels in National Taekwondo
KARACHI, Apr 16 (APP): Pakistan Army swept all the 30 gold medals at stake in the National Taekwondo Championship at the Rangers Training Centre & School here, said a news release issued here on Wednesday. Army martial arts players dominated the event from start to finish with superb technique and power.
 
First round of Inter-Media cricket tournament ends
ISLAMABAD, Apr 16 (APP): The Inter-Media Cricket Tournament organized by Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) continues in full swing here. The tournament, organized in collaboration with National Press Club, comprises of teams belonging to national and international print and electronic media. The first round saw thrilling matches between various teams which competed fiercely to reach the second round.
 
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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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