Autoparts manufacturers seek help of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry for revival of dying tractor industry

Lahore, October 31, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) on Thursday sought the help of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) for the revival of dying tractor industry. A seven-member PAAPAM delegation was talking to LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari on Thursday. The delegation was led by PAAPAM Chairman Usman Malik and comprised Mumshad Ali, Ahsan Imran, Aga Qasim Raza, Irfan Ahmad, Abdur Razzaq Gauhar and Tariq Nazir.

The PAAPAM Chairman said that the government should immediately reduce the existing 10 per cent GST on tractors with a view to sustain manufacturing growth, which is under serious threat of closure due to gas supply suspension on one hand and long-hours unannounced power load shedding on the other in Punjab.

Usman Malik said that the reduction of sales tax would help put the tractor industry and its allied hundreds of vending units across the country back on track, bringing tractor rates in the reach of small land-holders- a step forward in farm mechanization, maximizing per acre yield.

“If we are to match the per acre horse power of India, we require 800,000 more tractors and if 100,000 tractors are produced each year, it will take us eight years to match farm mechanization of India.” He also urged the government green tractor scheme should immediately be launched keeping in view the tractor production capacity installed in the country.

He said that auto industry is again facing a steep decline in production and any change in Sales Tax regime at this point may backfire, leading to closure of industry. The PAAPAM leader said the reduced GST would continue to increase the sale of tractors and ease the problems being faced by the tractor manufacturers and the farming community, as after the imposition of GST, huge decline in tractors sale were seen. After this decision thousands of employees and their families attached with this sector could also get benefit, he added.

He said that availability of tractors at cheaper prices would also help increase the production of agriculture in the country. Quoting the figures of last year, PAAPAM chairman observed that after cut in tractor production, about 28,000 workers had been rendered jobless while 600 parts vendors stopped their work. According to him, 95 percent tractor parts are locally made, but tractor production was reduced to 25 per cent after levy of general sales tax.

Without the sales tax, the local industry would produce 80,000 to 100,000 tractors that would ensure jobs for thousands of workers, besides increasing mechanization of agricultural farms, the PAPAAM chairman said. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry would extend all possible help to the auto industry as it is the mother of many industries. “The Ministry of Commerce would be updated on the tractor industry plight for an early action.” He said that the issue of GST would be raised with both the federal and provincial governments to save this strategic industry for the agri economy.

The LCCI President said that the economy would not be able to come out of woods until and unless a collective approach is adopted by all the segments. He also urged the visiting delegates to share their budget related proposals with the LCCI so that the same could be forwarded to the concerned government departments. Talking about the LCCI future plans for the economic revival, the LCCI President said that the Lahore Chamber is planning to prepare Shadow budget for the year 2013-14 and PAAPAM help to this regard would be of utmost importance.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854

Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry asks Government to accord Non-Discriminatory Access to India

Islamabad, October 31, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Government should accord India Non-Discriminatory Access (NDA) at the earliest This was stated by Mr. Muhammad Ali, Acting President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in a meeting held at Federation House on India Pakistan Trade Relations. He also stressed for the removal of all non-tariff barriers on the Indian side.

The meeting was attended by Mr. S.M. Muneer, President of the India Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Yawar Ali, Chairman of the India Pakistan Business Forum, Mr. Shaheen Ilyas Sarwana (Vice President FPCCI), Mr. Bashir Ali Mohammad Member India Pakistan Business Forum, Mr. Zubair Tufail Former Vice President FPCCI, Mr. Amjad Rafi Member India Pakistan CCI, Mr. Nasiruddin Shiekh Chairman Fairs and Exhibitions of FPCCI and Mr M A Lodhi.

Mr. Muhammad Ali said that Pakistan had slashed its tariffs on Indian imports considerably, but we still face problems in accessing the Indian market owing to the presence of non-tariff barriers, including delays at the customs clearance stage, massive subsidization of agriculture sector in India, standardization of HS codes between both countries and non banking channels. He appreciated the role being played by IPCCI under the leadership of its President Mr S M Muneer.

Mr. S.M. Muneer said that accordance of NDA status to India would be a positive step because it would convey to the Indian side that Pakistan was sincere in the process of trade normalization. At the same time, he said that while Pakistan allowed Indian imports easily, the same ease in conducting business was still lacking from the Indian side which should be addressed.

He also invited Mr. Yawar Ali and Mr. Bashir Ali Mohammad to participate actively in FPCCI’s roundtable conference being held on November 29, 2013 in Karachi in collaboration with the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER).

While giving briefing about the formation of India Pakistan Joint Business Council Mr. Yarwar Ali informed that task forces have been established on sectors including textile, agriculture, pharmaceutical, Automobile, Chemicals, Trade infrastructure and Trade Disputes Resolutions. He emphasized on the need that both countries should ensure early implementation of SAFTA under SAARC agreement He also suggested FPCCI should work out a plan to safe guard Pakistan local industry.

For more information, contact:
M.A.Lodhi
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Shahrah-e-Firdousi,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: 0092-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +9221 3587 4332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk

u-blox announces expansion of its LTE software design center in Lahore

Lahore, October 31, 2013 (PPI-OT): Swiss-based u‑blox (SIX:UBXN), a leading provider of wireless and GPS/GNSS semiconductor components, announces the expansion of its LTE software design center in Lahore, Pakistan. It is the company’s R and D center focusing on protocol stack development for embedded 4G cellular communications.

A protocol stack is critical software, often embedded in a chip that enables communications with other devices sharing the same protocol. u-blox’ in-house LTE protocol stack gives the company flexibility and freedom to develop and expand its LTE technology to better target the company’s core market sectors.

The center complements u-blox’ 4G LTE baseband chip design activities located in Thalwil, Switzerland, Melbourn, UK and Leuven, Belgium.

“Our LTE software team in Lahore is a key part of our overall embedded 4G strategy” said Andreas Thiel, head of the Wireless products development at u‑blox, “expanding the center bolsters our goal of end-to-end ownership of key intellectual property for LTE, a technology that has now become the fastest growing standard in the history of telecommunications.”

The new center, already staffed and operational, will celebrate its opening on October 30, 2013. u‑blox’ increased investment will expand the headcount at the facility to over 100 people. The office is situated in a leading information and communications technology park with state-of-the-art business facilities and infrastructure. Lahore is the country’s largest city for software development with several top engineering universities nearby. With the opening of the new facility, u-blox plans to double its LTE R and D capacity in the location.

u-blox now has R and D centers focusing on all aspects of 4G LTE communications for embedded and machine-to-machine applications. The program will result in off-the-shelf LTE chips and modules serving the automotive, industrial and consumer markets. The company has direct presence in 15 countries, including 9 R and D centers specializing in integrated circuits and modules used for embedded cellular communications and satellite positioning.

For more information, contact:
u-blox
Global Headquarters
Zürcherstrasse 68
8800 Thalwil Switzerland
Phone: +41 44 722 74 44
Fax: +41 44 722 74 47
Email: info@u-blox.com

Small businesses burdened by aging PCs – Intel Research finds older PCs reduce employee productivity, raise maintenance costs, may increase security risks

Karachi, October 31, 2013 (PPI-OT): On average, small business workers lose more than one work week per year due to old PCs, according to a recent multi-country study commissioned by Intel Corporation and conducted by Techaisle.

The Intel Small Business PC Refresh Study surveyed 736 small businesses in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russia and the United States to gauge the state of their PC equipment. According to the findings, small businesses are holding onto PCs significantly beyond the recommended refresh date, with more than 36 percent owning PCs that are more than 4 years old. These machines require more maintenance, exerting a greater toll on employee productivity and higher equipment costs than the purchase of a new machine.

“Upgrading to new PCs is one of the wisest choices a small business can make,” said Rick Echevarria, vice president of PC Client Group and general manager of Business Client Platform Division at Intel. “PCs are largely considered the foundation for many of these companies, and this study makes a clear cut case for refreshing them on a regular basis.”

Key findings from the research:
Older PCs negatively impact work performance – On average, employees lose 21 more hours by using a PC that is 4 years or older due to time needed for repairs, maintenance and security issues as compared to PCs that are less than 4 years old. Repair and maintenance is 1.5 times more frequent on PCs that are 4 years or older.

Repair costs for older PCs either equal or exceed the purchase price of new PCs — Small businesses are spending an average of $427 to repair a PC that is 4 years or older. This is 1.3 times the repair cost of PCs that are less than 4 years old.

Security risks and other costs will increase in 2014 — Forty-seven percent of respondents were unaware that Microsoft is ending service support for the popular Windows* XP platform, placing a higher maintenance burden directly on small businesses. Moreover, since automatic updates will no longer be provided to help protect PCs, valuable business data is more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.

Small businesses in the United States are using the oldest PCs – Of the countries surveyed, 8 percent of small businesses in the United States are running PCs that are 5 years or older, in contrast to only 5 percent of small businesses worldwide and 1 percent in India.

New Intel-Powered PCs Are Lifting the Burdens of Small Businesses
New 2 in 1s, all-in-ones, desktop PCs and Ultrabooks powered by 4th generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ processors offer businesses lower total cost of ownership, better battery life and faster performance for business productivity applications over 4-year-old systems. Additionally, an alternative to Intel Core vPro processors, PCs with Intel® Small Business Advantage (SBA) can automate maintenance for small businesses without a dedicated IT staff.

Survey Methodology
The Intel Small Business PC Refresh Study was conducted by Techaisle on behalf of Intel in April. A total of 736 small businesses (1-99 employees) based in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Russia and the United States completed a 20-minute questionnaire. Respondents consisted of IT decision makers with a sampling quota fixed by employee size categories. Results on this study prepared by TechAisle are available for download at intel.com.

For more information, contact:
Asma Aziz
Intel Pakistan Corporation
Karachi 1
Suite 222, G-20, Block 9
KDA Scheme 5, Kehkashan, Clifton
Karachi, Sindh
Tel: 92-21-5375203-05
Email: asma.aziz@intel.com

Deutsche Bank rated Best Bank in Pakistan by the Chartered Financial Association

Karachi, October 31, 2013 (PPI-OT): Deutsche Bank announced today that it has been rated as the Best Bank in Pakistan by the Chartered Financial Association (CFA) in the category “Small Size Banks” with balance sheet footings of less than one billion Euro.

The CFA rating was based upon stand alone and locally reported financials to measure profitability, efficiency, growth and solvency.

Faizan A.Mitha, Deutsche Bank’s Chief Country Officer for Pakistan, said: “We are very pleased with the CFA rating of our Pakistan franchise. It again underlines our stable performance over the last years. Deutsche Bank was among the very few foreign banks that started its operation in Pakistan more than 50 years ago and still remains one of the most respected international banks in the local market.”

This is the second consecutive year that Deutsche Bank Pakistan has been recognized by the CFA Institute as the Best Bank in Pakistan.

Deutsche Bank Pakistan has offices in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and was first established in 1961. The bank offers strong on-the-ground presence with the ability to draw on specific product expertise from the bank’s regional and global teams, in order to provide a wide range of corporate and investment bank products and services.

For more information, contact:
Mohanad Nahas
Communications Officer – MENA
Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank AG, Filiale Dubai (DIFC)
Dubai International Financial Center, Gate Village,
Building 5, Level 6, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel. +971(4)3611-754
Email mohanad.nahas@db.com

Islamabad Stock Exchange Closing Rate of the Bonds dated 31-10-2013

Islamabad, October 31, 2013 (PPI-OT):

Company Name                   Symbol Code   Opening   Closing Volume Change
BONDS
Pakistan Mobile Comm.            PMTFC3      5000.00   5000.00   0    0.00
National Savings Bond 10 Years   NSB 10 Y1    100.00    100.00   0    0.00
National Savings Bond 5 Years    NSB 5 Y1     100.00    100.00   0    0.00

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Stock Exchange
ISE Towers
55-B, Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92(51)111-473-473
Fax: +92(51)111-473-329
Email: info@ise.com.pk

Islamabad Stock Exchange Closing Rate of Future Contracts dated 31-10-2013

Islamabad, October 31, 2013 (PPI-OT):

Company Name                  Opening   Closing Volume Change
FUTURE CONTRACTS
HUBC- NOV.                      62.77     62.70    0   -0.07
OGDC- NOV.                     259.69    268.02    0    8.33
PTCL- NOV.                      26.17     26.80    0    0.63
PSO - NOV.                     273.87    277.54    0    3.67
FFBL- NOV.                      38.45     38.10    0   -0.35
                                                       21.15
                                                       -6.02

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Stock Exchange
ISE Towers
55-B, Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92(51)111-473-473
Fax: +92(51)111-473-329
Email: info@ise.com.pk