Pakistan, China sign 19 agreements, MoUs relating to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and electricity generation New pacts pave way for Chinese state-owned companies to help build at least four new power stations in Pakistan Chinese president, PM Sharif say Pakistan-China are ‘iron friends’, aim to create green channel for release of funds for development projects in Pakistan PM assures crackdown on terrorist forces such as the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and maintaining regional stability China on Saturday promised Pakistan investments worth $42 billion, an official said, as Islamabad promised to help Beijing fight what it calls a terrorist threat in its far-west. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif oversaw the signing of 19 agreements and memorandums mostly centred on the energy sector as he met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People during his three-day visit to Beijing to discuss bilateral relations and the regional situation in Beijing.
Read more » Pakistan Today
ISLAMABAD: On first day of its first visit to Pakistan, Arab National Construction (ANC) Holdings of Dubai was able to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government to set up two coal-based power projects at Gadani, a jetty for coal import and a transmission line to add 1,320 megawatts of electricity to national grid at an investment of $2.5 billion.
Read more » DAWN
Japanese Ambassador calls on the President
Islamabad; May 24, 2013: Japanese Ambassador in Pakistan Mr. Hiroshi Oe today called on President Asif Ali Zardari at the Aiwan-e-Sadr. Pak-Japan bilateral relations with focus on promoting trade and investment ties between the two countries were discussed during the meeting.
By: Ramzan Chandio
SINDH : KARACHI – To protest against the Chinese government’s promised help in the controversial Zulfikarabad project, the workers of the nationalist party Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz staged a protest rally, but police stopped them by putting containers on the roads leading towards Chinese Consulate in the city on Thursday. The JSQM workers scheduled to take a rally from Gulshan-e-Hadeed in Malir area to the Chinese Consulate in Clifton, but when the workers reached Steel Town, where police already created hindrances and blocked the road by placing containers. Scuffles also witnessed among the workers of JSQM, who were taken out a rally led by their acting chairman Niaz Kalani. When police stopped, the workers staged sit-in on the Indus Highway. However, JSQM Acting Chairman Dr Niaz Kalani while addressing the protesting workers said that our protest rally, scheduled sit-in in front of the Chinese consulate was completely peaceful but the police have tried for bloodshed by restraining it. Dr Kalani also announced to stage protest processions, rallies and sit-in from July 18 against the Chinese government’s support for the controversial project of Zulfikarabad. … the Chinese government is supporting the controversial project, which is against the interest of Sindh. …. The JSQM chief … the Chinese company to keep away of making investment in the controversial Zulfikarabad project, …. .. Earlier, a protest rally was carried out by the JSQM led by its Acting Chairman Dr Niaz Kalani including central leaders Asif Baladi, Sagar Hanif Burrdi, Sarfraz Memon, Maqsood Qureshi and others. The rally was started from Gulshan-e-Hadeed – the residence of JSQM’s deceased chairman Bashir Khan Qureshi towards Chinese consulate through National Highway. A huge number of law enforcement agencies’ personnel including police and rangers were already deployed on the way of rally. The police blocked the roads by placing trucks and buses at around 10 am on national highway at Steel Town Roundabout, which prompted the JSQM workers to end their rally and disperse at the scene. The sit-in was continued for about three hours on National Highway. Later they dispersed peacefully. Meanwhile, heavy contingent of police was deployed and containers were put on the roads leading towards the Chinese Consulate in Clifton which caused difficulties for the citizens. It may be noted that nationalist parties are continuously staging protests and rallies against the Zulfiqarabad project, terming it as anti-Sindh, which will turn the indigenous people of Sindh into minority.
Continue reading JSQM averse to Chinese investment in Zulfikarabad →
By: Tara Beteille, co-authors: Kalpana Kochhar
In our blog post last November, we discussed Pakistan’s decision to grant India most favored nation (MFN) status. We were hopeful about the gains from easier trade between the two, but noted the many stumbling blocks in between. In the past 20 weeks, both countries have made serious efforts to address these blocks. Things are looking good. Here is an update.
Both countries mean business
In addition to the goodwill gesture of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari visiting India this April and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh considering visiting Pakistan, important issues addressed include:
- Pakistan issued an order in March 2012 to move from a positive list of 2,000 items for India to a negative list of 1,209 banned items. Pakistan intends to phase out the negative list altogether and formally give India MFN status by the end of 2012.
- India, which formally granted Pakistan MFN status in 1996 (but maintained barriers) has agreed to reduce its sensitive list of 865 items by 30% within four months. India has also agreed in principle to allow Pakistani foreign direct investment in the country.
- Both countries recently agreed to allow yearlong multiple-entry visas for business visitors, with visitors allowed to enter and exit through different cities.
- The two countries have agreed to allow each other’s central banks – the Reserve Bank of India and the State Bank of Pakistan – to open bank branches across borders to facilitate financial transactions and ensure smooth trade.
- A second checkpost gate was inaugurated this March at the Attari-Wagah border to ease road traffic between the two countries. The checkpost, with elaborate security features and capable of accommodating 600 trucks at a time, will provide upgraded infrastructure, including new storage go-downs, wide roads, and a luxurious passenger terminal.
Opportunities and gains
Making borders irrelevant can have far-reaching effects for economic prosperity across sectors in Pakistan and India. Consider a key driver of growth: electricity. South Asia’s recent More and Better Jobs flagship report estimated that industrial load shedding in Pakistan has resulted in the loss of 400,000 jobs. Trade between energy surplus and deficit regions could counter such losses — indeed, Pakistan is already in negotiations with India to import up to 500 MW of electricity.
Continue reading India-Pakistan Trade: Making Borders Irrelevant →
By Gul Agha
Pakistani Rupee is now down almost 90:1 against US$, it means high inflation as capital flees and expect worse.. it was like Rs 2 to US$ in 1940s! Pakistan will likely suffer sanctions like North Korea after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, if not sooner. Poverty stricken Pakistan needs development, which requires peace and stability, and particularly friendly relations with giant neighbors — and investment in education and welfare, not in the military.
Source- adopted from Gul Agha’s facebook wall.
– Mining Company Abandons $19 Billion Pact; Move Is Setback to Islamabad’s Effort to Establish Beijing as Foil to U.S.
By TOM WRIGHT in New Delhi and JEREMY PAGE in Beijing
A Chinese mining company pulled out of what was to be Pakistan’s largest foreign-investment deal because of security concerns, complicating Islamabad’s effort to position its giant neighbor as an alternative to the U.S. as its main ally.
An official at China Kingho Group, one of China’s largest private coal miners, said on Thursday it had backed out in August from a $19 billion deal in southern Sindh province because of concerns for its personnel after recent bombings in Pakistan’s major cities. …
Read more » The Wall Street Journal
by Dr Ali Akbar Dhakan, Karachi, Sindh
All the macro economic objectives can be obtained through the development of industries both small and large scale because they provide employment facilities, increase supply of goods, boost up exports, control inflation and price hike, reduce poverty and provide chances of prosperity through improvement of purchasing power of the common people .The problem of unemployment in Sindh particularly in Rural areas is due to lack of focus and attention to be given to the development of this sector.
Continue reading SINDH NEEDS INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT →
by Selig S. Harrison
China’s expanding reach is a natural and acceptable accompaniment of its growing power—but only up to a point.
Beijing is understandably challenging a century of U.S. dominance in the Pacific and the South China Sea immediately adjacent to its shores. But the aggressive effort to block Indian hegemony in South Asia, reflected in its growing ties with Pakistan and its territorial claim to the adjacent northeast state of Arunachal Pradesh (for which there is no historical basis) is more ominous.
In contrast to its studied neutrality on the Kashmir issue in past decades, Beijing is now openly supportive of Pakistan and is establishing its economic and political influence both in Pakistan-occupied Azad (Free) Kashmir and in the Himalayan state of Gilgit-Baltistan. …
Read more : The National Interest
By Farooq Tirmizi
How valuable is one’s wealth if it is buried underground and one has no way of getting it out? And what would one say to somebody who came along and volunteered to extract this wealth, providing all of the technical expertise and putting up the entire investment costs, and letting you keep half of the profits? Would it be fair to say that this person was indulging in exploitative behaviour? Or would we say that a fair deal was on offer?
The above scenario is not hypothetical. It is exactly what is currently going on in the case of the Reko Diq mining project in Balochistan. The Tethyan Copper Company, a joint venture between Canada’s Barrick Gold and Chile’s Antofagasta, has spent $220 million to explore the Reko Diq area and, having discovered a feasible reserve of minerals, is now willing to spend the further $3.3 billion it would take to extract the minerals. And yet it is being treated like a neo-imperialist villain out to pillage Pakistan’s national treasures. …
Read more : The Express Tribune
By Feisal Naqvi
The interesting thing about the internet is that it is as great a force-multiplier for ignorance as for knowledge. Take, for example, the Reko Diq project. The average Pakistani newsreader is convinced that (a) the Federal Government is an evil stooge of western interests; (b) the people of Balochistan are being ripped off yet again; and, (c) it is now up to the Supreme Court to save us. All three beliefs are completely wrong. Here are some facts about the Reko Diq project.
Read more : Pakistan Today
* Areas of interest include solar and wind energy, technical education, tourism, industries, agriculture, public-private partnership, livestock and fisheries
KARACHI: Swedish government is exploring the potential of investment in various areas of Sindh intends to put in $300 million.
The head of Swedish trade delegation and Minister of Trade Ewa Bjorling said that her delegation’s visit to Pakistan is to explore the possibilities of investment as Sweden government intends to invest $300 million in Pakistan. …
Read more : Daily Times