United States and Pakistan Women’s Council and American Business Council host seminar on ‘Corporate Best practices for Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment’

Karachi, March 26, 2018 (PPI-OT): The American Business Council and U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council members, Engro Foundation, PepsiCo and S and P Global hosted seminar today on best practices for hiring and retaining women. Acting Consul-General John Warner welcomed over 60 participants, including members of the Young Presidents’ Organization, the American Business Council, and major Pakistani financial institutions. “This seminar highlights the business case for investing in women’s success in the workplace and to discuss how women’s economic empowerment helps companies grow,” said the Acting Consul-General.

Participants discussed how hiring women helps uplift communities. They also discussed the importance of providing flex-time and day-care facilities to retain women employees, and shared programs for developing women as leaders within their organizations. The U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council seeks to increase economic participation by women in Pakistan through entrepreneurship, employment and education. Established in 2012, the Council coordinates and initiates pilot efforts within its network in order to promote diversity and economic inclusion.

The Council currently has eight corporate members in Pakistan: Citigroup, The Coca-Cola Company, Engro, General Electric, PepsiCo, Procter and Gamble, Standard and Poor’s Global, and The Resource Group. Members implement Council commitments that empower women and strengthen Pakistan’s economy through hiring and diversity initiatives, internships, mentorships, and other activities.

To learn more about the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council, visit https://www.american.edu/sis/us-pakistanwomenscouncil/

For more information, contact:
Consulate General of the United States of America
Plot No 3-5, TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road,
Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35275000 Ext: 5242
Fax: +92-21-35275985
Cell: +92-302-8294015
Email: asmusbp@state.gov
Website: http://karachi.usconsulate.gov

Telenor Microfinance Bank, TPL Insurance expand scope of ‘Sehat Sakoon’

Karachi, March 26, 2018 (PPI-OT): Telenor Microfinance Bank and TPL Insurance have enhanced the scope of their successful joint venture, ‘Sehat Sakoon’, which now offers life insurance to its subscribers. It was announced in a special event organized to celebrate the success of the product here at Movenpick Hotel, Karachi. President and CEO Telenor Microfinance Bank, Mr. Shahid Mustafa and CEO TPL Corp Ali Jameel also attended the event. Colleagues with extraordinary performances were recognized and awarded at the event.

Telenor Microfinance Bank and TPL Insurance collaborated to introduce health insurance product ‘Sehat Sakoon’ in 2014 in order to provide convenient, affordable and easily accessible insurance to common people. Telenor Microfinance Bank’s nationwide Branch’ network was leveraged to offer the product across the country. The product witnessed unprecedented success and acceptability amongst its users. Following its launch, the number of policies sold per month increased to more than 12,000 now as opposed to about 8500 in October 2017.

“Provision of affordable and accessible services is part of Telenor Microfinance Bank’s long term pledge to foster financial inclusion in Pakistan.” Shahid Mustafa – President and CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank said while speaking at the event. “Financial services are crucial for enabling and empowering the society, besides furthering financial inclusion across the country. We are committed to further expand branch and digital insurance business to make it convenient and easily accessible for all.”

Also present at the occasion was Ali Jameel, Group CEO – TPL Corp said “Telenor Microfinance Bank has pioneered a host of innovative and industry – first digital and financial initiatives to usher in greater enablement to people. The bank continues to create synergies with financial players in the country to extend quality financial services to underserved people.”

For more information, contact:
Head Office,
Telenor Microfinance Bank Limited
15-A Block 7-8 Central Commercial Area,
K.C.H.S Union, 75350, Karachi, Pakistan
UAN: +92-21-111-111-004, +92-21-111-826-337
Email: info@telenorbank.pk
Website: www.telenorbank.pk

Gree appoints Waseem and Shaniera Akram as Brand Ambassador 2018 of Gree Pakistan

Lahore, March 26, 2018 (PPI-OT): Gree is an international and renowned brand of consumer electronics that reflects technological excellence. It is the leading producer of a wide range of air conditioners and other home appliances with world-class quality and cutting-edge features. In 2018 Gree Pakistan continues with its phenomenal success from last few decades, Gree has appointed Waseem Akram and Shaniera Akram as their brand ambassador who will be endorsing Gree’s spectacular line-up of Air conditioners, refrigerators and water dispensers.

With its wide range of aesthetically designed air conditioners which are known for their outstanding cooling efficiency and the convenience of use. One distinguishing feature that stands out about these products is “energy saving” which is supported by refrigerant filled in compressors. With multiple capacities of BTUs, colour and designs range these ACs and Refrigerators are the perfect match to your lifestyle.

As part of its commitment to its loyal customer base Gree always ensure quick and prompt after sales services. Gree requests to get AC installed by authorized installers by company to avoid any problem later occurring due to improper installation by some local installer.

For more information, contact:
Corporate Headquarter,
DWP Group
DWP House, 5 Zafar Ali Road, Gulberg V, Lahore, Pakistan
UAN: +92-42-111-184-184
Fax: +92-42-35756289
Email: info@dwp.com.pk
Website: www.dwp.com.pk

All Pakistan Business Forum foresees massive boost to IT industry from CPEC

Lahore, March 26, 2018 (PPI-OT): The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a transnational project which promises faster growth and infrastructural development of the whole region. It will effectively serve the long-term economic interests of both the countries. As the All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) is a vibrant business association which promotes and protects the interests of the business community and industries in Pakistan, the association is pleased to see the big opportunities promised by CPEC, therefore it would urge the government to ensure that all provinces benefit equitably from this revolutionary project. Pakistan’s domestic Information Technology (IT) market is expected to witness growth due to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Projects.

The President of APBF – Mr. Ibrahim Qureshi said that; “We appreciate China’s robust investment plans and trans-national initiative for boosting cross-border trade activities. With large foreign investment coming in the country, it is essential that all provinces get equitable benefits, opportunities and budgets for strengthening their infrastructure and trade activities along-with IT, CPEC inspires new opportunities to set up projects that will give a boost to this vital sector.”

In terms of the current scheme CPEC will include construction of cross – border OFC (optical fiber) system between China and Pakistan for international connectivity of voice/data traffic and provision of seamless GSM coverage along KKH for the proposed Gwadar – Kashighar Economic Corridor in Gilgit Baltistan. The CPEC initiative includes the building of roads, ports, dams, connecting cities, and serving those areas without coverage.

This will provide a much needed improvement to the economy which will also bring benefits to the IT industry. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is part of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project, is bringing in US$46 billion in investments, and this has created more business opportunities for the local IT and telecom industry. Pakistan itself represents a major potential for people centric mobile based applications and products which are fully prepared for the next level of development with state-of-the-art connectivity structure with fixed and mobile networks that have a teledensity of more than 71% which is also increasing on a monthly basis.

The government is making all possible efforts to improve exports of Pakistan’s IT sector and has extended major incentives to the IT Industry which include a variety of tax exemptions, permission to operate foreign exchange accounts, profit repatriation. The government is also paying attention to the capacity building of the IT sector which includes, among others, International certification programs, internship placements.

The success of this initiative relies on stronger collaboration and cooperation among business communities of all provinces and across borders. APBF is committed to dedicate all available resources and capabilities, to engage vital organizations and entrepreneurs in the region, to create robust links, new opportunities and mutual benefits, for all of the provinces in Pakistan. APBF is a vibrant business association which promotes and protects the interests of the business community and industries in Pakistan. It also advises the government on; policy formulation, regulatory realignments, economic reforms and implementation.

For more information, contact:
Manager Admin,
All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF)
Suite # 908, 9th Floor, EDEN Heights,
6-Main Gulberg, Jail Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35786767, +92-42-35088717
Cell: +92-321-4000479
E-mail: info@apbf.com.pk
Website: www.apbf.com.pk

All Pakistan Business Forum for taking measures as Pakistan debt repayment capacity weakens

Lahore, March 26, 2018 (PPI-OT): The All Pakistan Business Forum has asked the government to take immediate measures as Pakistan’s medium-term debt repayment capacity has been weakening due to government dependence on loans, increasing risks to country’s financial outlook. APBF president Ibrahim Qureshi said that the government is mostly depending on non-tax revenue and borrowing to generate surplus budget, in an effort to keep deficit below 5.5 percent of the GDP during current fiscal year.

The government has recently revised the budget deficit target up to 5.5 percent of the GDP due to expected increase in expenditures after raising PSDP allocations ahead of general elections. He said that Pakistan’s external debt and liabilities have already increased to $89 billion by the end of December and the figure is expected to significantly jump by the time the current fiscal year ends due to mounting external repayment and trade related obligations. He said that international agencies are also expecting no change in the country’s debt burden, stating that the overall debt-to-GDP ratio would remain at 69.7% – higher than the limit set by parliament for the government.

Ibrahim Qureshi said that surging imports have led to a widening current account deficit and a significant decline in international reserves despite higher external financing. FY 2017-18 current account deficit could reach 4.8% of GDP, with gross international reserves further declining in the context of limited exchange rate flexibility. This is equal to $16.6 billion and far higher than $12.1 billion deficit that Pakistan has booked last fiscal year.

He said that the budget deficit is expected to widen to 5.5% of GDP this year, which is equal to almost Rs2 trillion and will be the highest in Pakistan’s history in absolute terms. The official target is 4.1% of the GDP or Rs1.48 trillion. He expressed his serious concerns over the weakening of the macroeconomic situation, including a widening of external and fiscal imbalances, a decline in foreign exchange reserves, and increased risks to Pakistan’s economic and financial outlook and its medium term debt sustainability as mentioned by reports of WB as well as IMF.

He called on the authorities to strengthen fiscal discipline through additional revenue measures and efforts to contain current expenditure while protecting pro poor spending. He emphasized the need for prudent debt management and caution in phasing in new external liabilities, and the urgency of tackling rising fiscal risks stemming from continued losses in public sector enterprises.

He said that the government had restricted the budget deficit at Rs797 billion (2.2 percent of the GDP) during first half of the current fiscal year. The country’s expenditures were recorded at Rs.3180 billion as compared to revenues of Rs2385 billion, leaving the deficit to Rs797 billion. The budget is feared to go beyond 5 percent of the GDP. The government has once again revised the budget deficit at 5.2 percent of the GDP (Rs.1883 billion) for the ongoing financial year.

For more information, contact:
Manager Admin,
All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF)
Suite # 908, 9th Floor, EDEN Heights,
6-Main Gulberg, Jail Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35786767, +92-42-35088717
Cell: +92-321-4000479
E-mail: info@apbf.com.pk
Website: www.apbf.com.pk

Devaluation to hit poor, boost the profit of influential sectors

Islamabad, March 26, 2018 (PPI-OT): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday said devaluation will increase the burden on poor, increased foreign debt and liabilities while boosting the profit of some of the influential sectors. Erosion in the exchange rate to the tune of 9.4 percent in just three months will hit man on the street while and damage education, health, and security environment, it said.

The devalued rupee is to take a toll on the economy while it is to improve the profitability of many influential sectors including textile, oil and gas and IPPs, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of PEW. He said that increased price of locally manufactured and imported goods will trigger smuggling and tax evasion helping the black economy to expand.

Repeated devaluation is in conflict with the claims of the government that economy has been revived through tireless efforts, he added. Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that claim that eroded rupee will boost exports needs some verification as imports and more than double of the exports which can nullify the impact of the move.

The government should have studied the impact of inflation in advance and tried to contain it, he demanded. He said that if the central bank hiked interest rates to contain inflation it will deal a severe blow to the shattered economy. Devaluation can provide oxygen to the dying economy but it cannot revive it, he said, adding that key to the economic revival lies in the meaningful reforms which is not on the agenda of authorities.

For more information, contact:
Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW)
402, 4th Floor, Gulistan Khan House, Fazal-e-Haq Road,
82-East, Blue Area, Islamabad
Tel: +92-51-2510375
Fax: +92-51-2802449
Cell: +92-321-5157671
Email: president@pakistaneconomywatch.com
Web: www.pakistaneconomywatch.com

JS Bank to integrate Peekabo Connect for Its Digital Banking Offerings

Karachi, March 26, 2018 (PPI-OT): Striving for technological innovation, JS Bank has signed an agreement with FetchSky whereby the Bank will integrate Peekaboo Connect into its digital assets. These include the Bank’s website, social media forums and its mobile application. A highly interactive and customizable digital services suite, Peekaboo Connect digitizes the Bank’s product, service and discount offers as well as its location network with rich and standardized data and technology.

Utilizing Peekaboo Connect, the Bank has facilitated customer access to Loyalty offerings and streamlined offer management. By using technology features such as geo fencing, the Bank can customize its customer offerings based on purchaser preferences as well as locations. In addition, patrons can filter offerings based on their personal likes and dislikes using multiple navigation options. It also provides information used for completion of the purchase process such as locations of Branches, contact options, timings etc. Customers can also review and share feedback on their experience.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Imran Soomro, CIO JS Bank, said, “This partnership with FetchSky aims to introduce innovative technologies and modules to enhance our customer experience.” Mr. MehdiHaryani CEO FetchSky said, “Peekaboo Connect acts as a bridge between the Bank and third party online retailers to enhance their experience on the Bank’s digital platforms.”

For more information, contact:
Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications
JS Bank Limited
Tel: (92 21) 111 (572 265) Ext: 330
Fax: (92 21) 263 1803
Mobile: (92 321) 8298270
Email: nabeela.darugar@jsbl.com