2017 May : AsiaNet-Pakistan

Archive for May, 2017

CP Kelco Seeks Strategic Buyer for Carrageenan Plant in Cebu, Philippines

May 31, 2017 | General

ATLANTA, May 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CP Kelco currently produces carrageenan products at manufacturing plants in Lille Skensved, Denmark, and Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines. Based on CP Kelco’s strategy and business objectives, a decision has been made to seek a strategic buyer for the Cebu site. CP Kelco is not exiting the carrageenan business. Utilizing our […]

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A Decade of Excellence Shapes AETOS’ Future

May 31, 2017 | Uncategorized

HANGZHOU, China, May 31, 2017/PRNewswire/ — AETOS has excelled and grown through enhancing its clients trading experience. It now takes the next step by introducing the new Global Chinese Support Centre. 2017 is the 10th anniversary of AETOS Capital Group (AETOS). During this decade the company has rapidly grown through enhancing its clients trading experience. Nowhere […]

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KNET, national switch in Kuwait, partners with Gemalto to strengthen on-line transaction security in the country

May 31, 2017 | Education

Robust and scalable Gemalto authentication platform for Kuwait on-going digital transformation Securing over 25 million transactions per year, with double digit annual growth rate Dubai –  May 31, 2017 – Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653), the world leader in digital security, was selected by KNET, Kuwait’s national Shared Electronic Banking Service Company, and jointly owned by 11 […]

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كي نت، شركة الخدمات المصرفية الوطنية في الكويت، تقيم شراكة مع جيمالتو لتعزيز أمن المعاملات الإلكترونية في البلاد

May 31, 2017 | Education, Other Language, Urdu

منصة مصادقة قوية وقابلة للتطوير مقدمة من جيمالتو من أجل تحول رقمي مستمر في الكويت تأمين أكثر من 25 مليون معاملة سنويًا، بمعدل نمو سنوي رقمي مضاعف دبي–  31 مايو، 2017 – وقع اختيار شركة كي نت، شركة كويتية وطنية للخدمات المصرفية الآلية المشتركة مملوكة بالتضامن بين 11 مؤسسة مصرفية كويتية، على شركة جيمالتو، الرائدة […]

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May 30, 2017 | Business

Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that all development projects are being completed with transparency and high standard under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.Talking to a delegation of elected representatives…

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Smoking harms livers of unborn babies: scientists

May 30, 2017 | Legal & Politics

Edinburgh (IINA) – The impact of cigarette damage to unborn babies has been revealed in a new stem cell study after, scientists found that the cocktail of chemicals in cigarettes is particularly harmful to developing liver cells.They developed a method…

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May 29, 2017 | Sports, Sports Extra

A meeting between Pakistani and Indian Cricket Boards officials is being held in Dubai on Monday.Talking to newsmen in Lahore on Monday, Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Sheheryar Khan said Pakistan and India had signed an agreement to play different cr…

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Border Closure Hurts Afghan-Pakistan Produce Trade

May 29, 2017 | Business

Cross-border fighting between Afghanistan and Pakistan has suspended trade worth millions of dollars and stranded hundreds of trucks loaded with fruits and vegetables at the border, where the produce stands to spoil in the rising heat.

Pakistan had temporarily closed the Chaman border crossing, across from Afghanistan’s Spin boldak, after a frontier skirmish earlier this month between Afghan and Pakistani border guards left more than 10 people dead. Global economic institutions say South Asia is one of the world’s least economically connected regions, and the periodic closures of border crossings complicate things further.

Summer is peak time for fruit and vegetable production in the two countries. Under normal circumstances around this time of the year, a significant portion of Afghanistan’s grapes and pomegranates is ferried overland to Pakistan.

Pakistan’s mangoes and vegetables go the opposite direction, along with bilateral trade in many other commodities � some legal and some otherwise.

Part of the Afghan fruit produce is sold in Chaman and nearby villages; the remainder finds its way to markets across Pakistan.

It’s a long-established system that relies heavily on trust: Pakistani fruit traders send advance payments to their Afghan counterparts, who then send the fruit after it’s harvested. But so far this year, the Chaman businessmen say they have not cut the usual deals because the border closure have created the risk of coming up empty-handed.

Amant Khan, a fruit trader in Chaman, said he suffered losses last year as tensions rose between the two countries.

“This season we did not give the grape or melon dealers anything,” he said. “In fact, we decided not to do business with Afghanistan.”

For traders in Waish Mandi, a thriving Afghan market town across from Chaman, these are hard financial times, too. Hundreds of people, who used to benefit from border trade, have lost work. Unable to move their merchandise across the border, goods worth millions of dollars are stranded in truck containers.

Apart from the fruit trade, bilateral trade between Afghanistan and Pakistanonce worth $3 billion a year has dropped to $1.2 billion, said Khan Jan Alkozai, president of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Pakistan’s own fruit exports to Central Asia via Afghanistan, which usually average 2 million pounds, also suffer because of border closures, Alkozai said.

Daro Khan, former vice president for the Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce, said Pakistani farmers and businessman have not recovered from losses due to border closures last year.

Source: Voice of America

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British PM greets Muslims around the world on advent of Ramadan

May 28, 2017 | Legal & Politics

London (IINA) � British Prime Minister Theresa May, in a statement, sends her best wishes to everyone in Britain and around the world celebrating Ramadan.

This Ramadan, let us celebrate the way in which this festival of peace, reflection, and religious devotion brings people closer together.

Ramadan is a unique and special time for Muslims in Britain and around the world, she said according to the Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street.

It is a time for them to renew their faith in God and increase their devotion and spirituality. A time when, despite the long summer days, Muslims across Britain will find strength through devotion to fulfill one of the five pillars of their religion.

Ramadan fosters a strong sense of community spirit, reflected in the way mosques open their doors and welcome people of all faiths and none to share in the Iftar meal something I have experienced in my own constituency of Maidenhead. It is an important chance for people from all walks of life to meet together, discuss and share experiences with their neighbors, and to increase familiarity and foster friendships.

And let us say to Muslims here in Britain and across the world, Ramadan Kareem.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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Foreign Firms Seek a Fair Shot at China’s New Silk Road Projects

May 28, 2017 | Business

WASHINGTON � China’s planned modern version of its ancient “silk road” may bring more than one trillion dollars of infrastructure investment along trading routes that wind through emerging markets in dozens of countries throughout Asia, Africa and Europe. “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) trade routes, which stretch from China to London and to Africa, are intended to boost the economies of China and the many nations along the routes by making trading easier and cheaper.

But so far, these road, rail, pipeline, port, power grid, telecom, and other projects offer major opportunities for Chinese companies and not so many for outside firms.

The Chinese will take most of the highest-profile projects,” said Researcher Derek Scissors of the American Enterprise Institute.

The author of China’s Asian Dream: Empire Building Along The New Silk Road, Tom Miller, said Chinese banks are financing much of the work with the goal of exporting Chinese technology and creating new demand for Chinese products. Miller said nations that use Chinese technology are more likely to buy Chinese products in the future and will work to boost Beijing’s political influence abroad.

Cornell University’s Lourdes Casanova, an expert on emerging markets, said China is using these investments to “gain strategic power.”

Five of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world [measured by revenue] are Chinese, said Casanova, as well as four of the five largest banks [by assets]. The Cornell University researcher and senior lecturer said Chinese companies gained experience building huge infrastructure projects at home that will help them handle major projects elsewhere.

Chinese engineering firms perform better in difficult environments than any other firms in the world, said Scissors, adding “they don’t necessarily have to show profits, and have accumulated experience in Pakistan, Nigeria, Ecuador, and elsewhere.”

It may be difficult to operate in some OBOR nations, Cornell’s Casanova said, but they will still attract investment because they need a “huge” amount of infrastructure.

New opportunities

Some foreign companies tell researchers the business climate in China is deteriorating, and they are rethinking investments, which might affect new projects like OBOR. A survey by AMCHAM (the American Chamber of Commerce in China) finds some firms slowing investment in China or moving some operations to other nations. Members complain that “inconsistent” enforcement of regulations puts foreign companies at a disadvantage while slowing economic growth is hampering opportunity.

But major U.S. firms – GE, Honeywell, and Caterpillar – already do a lot of business in China and see opportunities in the new silk road/OBOR projects.

Caterpillar’s revenues have been boosted by improving sales in China, and the firm says it has been “deeply involved” in the new silk road initiative which it sees as a “long-term opportunity.”

Caterpillar officials said the company uses global resources to focus on solving problems for customers in China and 20 other nations along the new silk road. In the 40 years, it has been in China, Caterpillar has evolved from importing machines to China, to sharing technology with local partners, to now operating factories and other facilities within China.

Honeywell employs 13,000 people in China and earned billions of dollars in revenue there in 2016. Company spokesmen say their workforce includes a couple of thousand Chinese scientists and engineers, who are helping establish Honeywell as a local Chinese company that can address the needs of local business and consumers. The company offers a wide range of China-made products that support oil & gas operations, airports, healthcare, and other activities

General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt said in a recent speech that his firm competes successfully in China and elsewhere with “local capability inside a global context.” He says GE has 20,000 employees in China with “multiple factories and research centers.” He said his company partners partnership with Chinese construction companies, and his firm leads in power, healthcare, avation, and petroleum.

Human rights

Human rights experts say another concern grows from the need to move some people out of the way of large infrastructure projects. Human Rights Watch China Director Sophie Richardson told VOA it is unclear what impact these large and ambitious projects will have on human rights, but she said there is reason for concern because some nations along the silk road routes “preside over widespread abuses.”

Richardson said China has “heightened surveillance and repression” to prevent unrest that might impede OBOR plans in that nation’s Xinjiang province. The far-western region of China is a key part of the silk road, and home to 10 million Muslim Uighurs, who differ in culture, language, and faith from China’s majority population. Xinjiang has long been the scene of ethnic and political tensions and is heavily patrolled by Chinese police and military units.

Richardson said private companies have a responsibility to respect human rights, and must take steps to mitigate or avoid risks. She said these obligations are spelled out by United Nations guidelines that have been embraced by key Chinese business organizations, and firms should be judged on how they handle peaceful protests of their activities.

Source: Voice of America

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Al-Azhar condemns attack on Christians as ISIS claims responsibility

May 27, 2017 | Legal & Politics

Cairo (IINA) � Al-Azhar, Egypt’s top religious authority, condemned Friday’s shooting which took place on the eve of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Minya incident is unacceptable to Muslims and Christians and it targets Egypt’s stability, Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb said in a statement. Militants have threatened more attacks against the Copts, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s 90-million population.

Meanwhile, Daesh (so called ISIS) said in a statement on Saturday that it had carried out the killing of Egyptian Christians. A security unit from the soldiers of the caliphate set up a checkpoint to ambush tens of Christians headed for the Saint Samuel monastery west of the city of Minya, the statement said.

Eyewitnesses had described that masked men had boarded vehicles carrying Coptic Christians and opened fire at them. Twenty�nine Coptic Christians were killed and 24 wounded in the attack in Minya, in southern Egypt. Meanwhile, Egypt on Saturday morning said its military is continuing to carry out air strikes against militant training camps in Derna in eastern Libya, state television reported.State TV also aired footage said to show the air strikes on militants’ positions in Derna in eastern Libya. There was no immediate word on damage or casualties.

On Friday, Egyptian air force had carried out six air strikes on extremist camps in Libya which Cairo says have been training militants who killed 29 Coptic Christians and wounded 24 in southern Egypt. The Egyptian Cabinet said in a news release on Saturday that 13 victims of Friday’s attack remained hospitalized in Cairo and the southern province of Minya where the attack took place.

Following the attack, President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi had said that Egypt will not hesitate to strike terrorist camps anywhere whether they are, inside or outside the country. Sisi told Pope Towadros II, the pope of the Coptic church in Egypt, in a phone call on Friday that the state would not rest easy until the perpetrators of the attack were punished.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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In Remote Iranian Province, Women Make Gains At Ballot Box

May 26, 2017 | Business

Iran’s sprawling southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan Province is notorious for insecurity, poverty, drug trafficking, and deadly clashes between security forces and militants.More recently, however, it made headlines this month for sweeping a record number…

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