ISLAMABAD, Oct 18 (APP):Chinese Ambassador, Yao Jing, Friday said Special Economic Zones (SEZs) especially functioning under Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) will create new business opportunities for Chinese companies in many economic sectors as they are planning to invest $5 billion in Pakistan during the next three to five years.
Talking to FIEDMC Chairman Mian Kashif Ashfaq here Friday, Yao Jing appreciated the government’s friendly business policies and pledged Chinese investment in various small and medium sized industrial sectors,” says a press release issued here.
The ambassador said Pakistan was a longstanding trade and strategic partner of China and “we have plans to invest more under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and buy more from the Pakistan to make it economically stronger and independent country,” adding that they look forward to speedy completion of the projects, included in the CPEC plan. They hope with its implementation, it will help create more jobs, provide better health and educational facilities.
He hoped Punjab would be hub of investment in future. He said that cooperation would also be extended for the development of human resource.
He said that shifting manufacturing sector to Pakistan would be an important step.
Welcoming the ambassador’s remarks, FIEDMC Chairman Mian Kashif Ashfaq said it reflected the trust of the Chinese side in Pakistan’s growing economy and a strong desire to translate the Pak-China equation into a win-win economic partnership.
He said the government was facilitating investors and reducing impediments in ease of doing business.
He also asked Chinese companies to shift plants to Pakistan to overcome their high labour cost.
Mian Kashif said new businessmen and investors were also investing in the industrial estate, particularly overseas Pakistanis from Dubai, United Kingdom, United States and other countries.
The estate would play host to textile, pharmaceutical, food, cereal, cosmetics, electrical panel and power industries as well as rice processing factories, he said.
“The good thing is that PIEDMC is led by private sector so that it can be more flexible, able to respond to the changing environment and designed to be financially self sustainable in order to maintain desired impetus or developmental works,” he added.
Later, Mian Kashif Ashfaq also extended invitation to Chinese ambassador Yao Jing to bring Chinese furniture manufacturers in upcoming 3-day mega Interiors Pakistan Exhibition commencing from Nov 22 in Expo Center Lahore in which more than 100 local and international brands will display their products.
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 18 (APP):New labour laws in Qatar that allow foreign workers to freely change jobs and leave the country without the approval of their employers has been praised by the International Labour Organization (ILO), a UN agency, as “a momentous step forward” in upholding the workers’ rights.
The ILO said the reforms, which will enter into force by January, mark the end of an employee sponsorship system, common across the whole Middle East, known as kafala.
The Gulf state has also endorsed a new law establishing a non-discriminatory minimum wage: a first for the region.
There are more than 1.9 million migrant workers in Qatar, about 90% of the country’s total population, according to the ministry of development planning and statistics. Most are from south and south-east Asian countries including Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and the Philippines.
“The ILO welcomes these reforms and recognizes the commitment of the State of Qatar to transforming its labour market. These steps will greatly support the rights of migrant workers, while contributing to a more efficient and productive economy,” ILO chief Guy Ryder said after the Council of Ministers unanimously endorsed the draft laws on Wednesday.
Under the new laws, workers will be able to change jobs following an initial probationary period. Previously, they required a no-objection certificate (NOC) from their employers.
The removal of exit permit requirements for all workers, except military personnel, means that they also will be free to leave Qatar, whether temporarily or permanently, without the permission of their employers.
The non-discriminatory minimum wage will apply to all nationalities and all sectors of the labour market. The level will be set later this year.
The ILO said it has been working with the Qatari authorities since November 2017 through a three-year technical cooperation programme. An ILO Project Office there, established in April 2018, has been supporting the labour reform agenda.
“Qatar is changing. The new tranche of laws will bring an end to ‘kafala’ and put in place a modern industrial relations system,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, which supports the partnership.
“We recognize that a new evidence-based minimum wage rate will ensure dignity for migrant workers. We urge the government to announce this as quickly as possible.”
ISLAMABAD, Oct 18 (APP):Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Friday said the bye-election had proved that Larkana was no more the fort of Pakistan Peoples Party.
In a tweet on social media platform Twitter, she said change had occurred in Larkana.
The narrative of those who were shedding tears over rigging had been punctured, she added.
She said the defeat of PPP in Larkana should be an eye opener for it, adding that this bye-election should be a lesson for those demanding new elections.
The success of candidate of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) Moazzam Abbasi with support of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against the fake accounts party was due to the rebellion of people.
Peoples Party was reduced from a province to districts because of its corruption, she observed.
The Special Assistant said, “Mr Bilawal people have rejected you in your home.”
It was hoped that Bilawal would not declare the election rigged as it was held under his and chief minister Sindh’s supervision, she said.
ISLAMABAD, Oct 18 (APP):The South Asia Vision 2030 of SAARC Chamber is poised to usher an era of prosperity, progress, development and welfare for the people in the region which mainly aimed at accelerating the pace of economic activities in all member countries.
Leader of Pakistani delegation SAARC Chamber Senior Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik Friday while inaugurating session of SAARC Women Business Leadership Summit in Colombo said that all due efforts would be initiated to materialize the vision of 2030 besides accelerating efforts towards forging closer bilateral and regional partnerships and economic integration within the subcontinent and beyond with special focus on promotion women entrepreneurship,” says a message received here from Colombo Sri Lanka.
Iftikhar Malik said summit focused on enhancing trade among all the SAARC member countries: Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, and Afghanistan to fully encourage the women entrepreneurs which constitute more than 50 per cent of total population.
The matters pertaining to free trade in the SAARC region, the proposal of harmonization of customs procedures and documentations in the region to facilitate movement of goods across the borders are also under discussion.
Despite challenges, he said, SAARC region holds immense trade and investment potential and to actualize that potential special focus and effort is required for regional integration.
He said SAARC member countries must focus on removal of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and must work for enhancing B2B interaction to boost trade.
He said that the increasing interdependence and the notion of shared goals and common concerns were the genesis of SAARC.
”By realizing the commitment of leaders enshrined in SAARC Charter, the region can progress and bring economic prosperity and social uplift for our generations,” he added.
He also highlighted that SAARC region holds immense trade and investment potential, being home to 21 percent of world’s population.
Iftikhar Malik said they will have to develop an agenda for South Asian cooperation, driven broadly by economic concerns where we are seeking to take advantage of optimality and economic relations.
He emphasized on restructuring production and export processes to improve trans-boundary trade in South Asia.
He said the rising disposable incomes, improving consumer lifestyles, and a significant increase in the GDPs largely supplement the growth of the market in the south Asian region.
He said region cannot prosper without active participation of women entrepreneurs.
Iftikhar Malik said due to lack of physical infrastructure to unleash the economic potential of the region, SAARCCCI had also identified some projects of energy, connectivity and taking advantage of value addition in information technology sector.
He said Pakistan was committed to regional cooperation under the umbrella of SAARC for promoting welfare of the people of South Asia, improving their quality of life, economic progress, social uplift and cultural cooperation.
ISLAMABAD, Oct 18 (APP):Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) board approved ‘one woman one account strategy’ under the “Kifalat” programme to provide savings accounts to more than five million poor women.
These accounts will be opened within the next three months under the contracts signed with the Bank Alfalah and Habib Bank Limited.
Dr Sania Nishtar said that with the approval of various projects “Ehassas” programme has entered in the next phase of its implementation and she expressed confidence that the staff and management of BISP would play their role in this phase and will help women in realizing the dream of prime minister to create a state that works for the poor.
She thanked the board members for their leadership and contributions in the development of these projects.
ISLAMABAD, Oct 18 (APP):The 976th three-day Urs of Hazrat Ali Usman Ali Hajveri, popularly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh begun at his shrine on Friday.
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar inaugurated the Urs celebrations while laying the traditional cloth and floral wreath on the grave of the Sufi saint, MPA Nazir Chohan was also present on the occasion, a private news channel reported.
Famous naat khawan and religious leaders were present to pay homage to the pious soul of the sufi saint, devotees from all over the country gathered to participate in the urs celebrations, the government had taken extraordinary security measures to avoid any untoward incident.
Different parties of drum beaters were beating their “dhols” to pay homage as devotees danced on the drum beats.
Eleven walk through gates and 36 metal detectors were installed to check visitors entering the shrine. The bomb disposal squad was also deputed. The department had also installed CCTV cameras around the shrine’s premises to have a check on the Urs celebrations.