Ishrat Hussain for diversifying exports, capturing just 1 pc of Chinese market to improve Pak exports by $23 billion

Karachi, December 21, 2020 (PPI-OT): Advisor to Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Dr. Ishrat Hussain has stressed that Pakistan, instead of staying confined to exporting textiles only, needs to diversify its exports and move towards the sunrise industries for which the global demand is expanding in double digits otherwise we will remain stuck to US$25 to US$30 billion exports. Speaking at the second session of webinar organized by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to develop national consensus on economic agenda, Ishrat Hussain said, “If we can capture just 1 percent of Chinese market by providing components, raw materials, intermediate goods to Chinese supply chain, we can get $23 billion exports to China which is very favourably inclined towards Pakistan and they have allowed a lot of room through the FTA.”

“We are not taking advantage of the Chinese market which is so close to us and we are only focused on chasing the European Union and United States where rates of growth are either negative or 1 to 2 percent while China and Asia are growing by 5 to 6 percent and China has become the largest single exporter in the world”, he added. PM’s Advisor further said, “We have to create incentive structure not only for five export-oriented sectors but also for any new sectors which are coming to start up the business and start up the new ventures and if they want to go for exports, we should try to provide them the financing, we should provide them tax rebates and we should give them the same treatment being given to five export-oriented sectors.”

“We have to diversify our incentive structure in order to encourage the new comers, new industries, new businesses and startups particularly in the IT sector which has huge potential”, he added. He further pointed out that Pakistan has a very low investment and very low saving rate as 15 percent of investment can only result in 3 to 4 percent of growth rate but if the investment rate goes to 20 percent, the growth rate would improve to 5 percent.

“We are a consumption led economy and no consumption led economy would ever be able to grow hence we have focus on savings and investment.”, he said while quoting the example of China where saving rates are 50 percent and investment rates are 45 percent and they are actually exporting capital to rest of the world including the United States. He further stressed that the Pakistani industries must focus on improving their productively level which was very low as compared to other countries around the world and also a reason for high cost of doing business.

Dr. Ishrat Hussain said that Prime Minister was very keen to listen to and resolve the problems being faced by the business and industrial community so he has practically been meeting the business community almost every month. Chairman BMG Zubair Motiwala, in his remarks, requested the government and political parties to please segregate politics and businesses that is the need of the hour. “Stop politicizing businesses as whenever the businesses are politicized, they don’t bring fruits to anywhere. The economies that have made remarkable progress, have actually done this by completely segregating politics and businesses.”

He was of the opinion that frequent changes in policies kill the economy hence, the business, taxation, industrial, trade policies must be kept intact at least for a period of five years. He noted that Pakistan was going through a very critical time as the second wave of COVID-19, which was more deadly, has intensified the sufferings for the people while the businesses were also not doing well. However, the remittances have been improving and then the textile exports have also picked up pace while the performance of Large-Scale Industries has also picked up by 6.6 percent which were all positive signs but the upsurge in textile export may not last long so it was really essential to devise a proper plan of action in order to deal with the post-COVID situation when the demand was likely to go down by 35 to 40 percent.

He appreciated several measures taken by the government to minimize the impact of crises triggered by COVID-19 pandemic including the payment of stuck-up refund claims while the interest rates have also come down to 7 percent and a financing scheme at 2.5 to 3 percent was also introduced to minimize the hardships being faced by the business community. “Consistency in policies and government’s support along with provision of an enabling and conducive atmosphere to investors are very necessary while the attitude of the bureaucracy also needs to be changed”, he stressed, adding that although good policies were introduced but implementation was not there because of the hurdles being created by the bureaucracy.

In this regard, he particularly mentioned that when it was decided that electricity to five zero-rated sectors including the textile sector will be given at 7.5 cents while the gas will be provided at $6.5 per mmbtu but the decision has not been implemented in Karachi to date despite assurances given by lawmakers from time to time. Zubair Motiwala stressed that it was very necessary to bring down the cost of doing business otherwise Pakistani exporters will not be able to compete as the cost of doing business, gas and electricity tariffs and even the labour cost was the highest as compared to Bangladesh and some other countries.

He further pointed out that although the government gets 68 percent revenue from Karachi and 54 percent of the exports take place from this city but it was not getting anything in return. “There are no roads, no sewerage lines, no stormwater drainage system, no cleanliness, poor law and order situation and many other problems yet no attention was being paid to resolve Karachi’s most serious issues which has become a sick city now.”

He noted that the exports from Sialkot stood at 4.5 percent, Faisalabad exports were 18 percent while Lahore’s share stood at 22 percent and all these cities were receiving attention but Karachi, having the biggest share of 54 percent in the exports, was being ignored. “We are thankful to Prime Minister for allocating Rs1 trillion for infrastructure development of Karachi but what happened to that Rs1 trillion, where it will be utilized, who are the partners, how the funds would be utilized and what would be the modus operandi”, he asked, adding that we really don’t know as we have not been taken on board regardless of the fact that it was the KCCI which sits at the pulse of Karachi’s economy and knows exactly where it hurts and where it can benefit.

Speaking on the occasion, President KCCI Shariq Vohra said, “KCCI wants all Chambers of Commerce to come onboard so that the we could collectively impress upon the parliamentarians and the policy makers to decide a broader level of Charter of Economy inside the parliament so that industrialists and businesses can have uninterrupted policies which would lead to industrial development domestically and attract foreign investment in Pakistan.”

For more information, contact:
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040

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Careem Pakistan Releases Customer and Business Trends of 2020

Karachi, December 21, 2020 (PPI-OT): Careem has released its yearly trends for 2020, compiled across all its services, products, and business areas. With the global customer landscape drastically changing as a result of the pandemic, Careem successfully accelerated the launch of its Super App earlier in the year to facilitate everyday life.

With Careem’s initial rollout of the Super App in April 2020, all Careem services – including ride-sharing, food delivery, grocery options, digital payment options, and delivery services – were made available on one platform.

Careem Pakistan also marked a 7x increase of customers using multiple services via the Super App, with users in Pakistan making an average of 3 transactions per week. Since April and the beginning of the pandemic affecting the business, Careem made a remarkable recovery across verticals.

The movement of people grew 12x, the movement of things (food/delivery) increased by 10x, and the movement of money (recharge/send credit) also saw double-digit growth. Being the first of its kind in the region, today the Careem Super App has 48 million registered users and 2 million Captains, and together they have spent 18,196,061,758 minutes.

In Pakistan, the Super App has 11 million registered users and more than 600,000 Captains.

Zeeshan Baig, the CEO and Country GM of Careem Pakistan, commented: “The year 2020 confronted our business with extremes and challenged us to move from our comfort zones; nonetheless, it also provided us with the opportunity to grow our services and further simplify and improve the lives of our customers. We would like to extend our gratitude to our dedicated Captains and committed restaurant partners for supporting Careem and serving customers during these trying times.”

Despite the challenging times in 2020, 100,000 new Captains registered with Careem, helping the company cross the line from 500,000 to 600,000 Captains. Careem provided free bottles of hand sanitizers and masks to the fleet of all its active Captains.

There are more than 40,000 Captains with 5 stars ratings, and more than 1.5 million customers with 5 stars ratings, showing a great sense of respect and appreciation from both sides of the community. Careem’s care agents interacted on average 11,000 times per day to help resolve queries for customers and further improve service quality.

Despite the pandemic, Pakistanis did not shy away from being charitable to those in need. Careem Pakistan ranked second in making the most donations worth PKR 7,166,140, with the majority of proceeds going to TCF and WWF. When it came to deliveries, Careem was able to ensure that 53% of orders arrived early.

In the past year and throughout the pandemic, Careem has stood by the side of its community. For 2021, and with the launch of remote-working, Careem will continue to recruit new talent across the region to further expand and provide Careem offers and services for its customers. The Careem Captains and its restaurant partners are at the heart of the business and Careem will continue to support them. Careem thanks everyone for keeping each other safe throughout 2020 and wishes everyone a healthy 2021.

For more information, contact:
Tel: +92-21-111 227 336

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DFSK Glory 580 Pro – The Only Seven Seater Intelligent SUV to Take the Lead in Automobile Market of Pakistan

Karachi, December 21, 2020 (PPI-OT): The only intelligent seven seater SUV, DFSK Glory 580 Pro has finally launched with a promise to take lead in the automobile market of Pakistan. The digital launch ceremony has been conducted on 20th of December with an aim to introduce customers to something exquisite that is going to bring everyone closed for a fantastic ride ever. Glory 580 Pro is equipped with a lavish interior while it is something perfect to give you an unparalleled driving experience.

The sporty and trendy Glory 580 Pro reveals the features that are out beyond imagination of someone who loves luxurious SUV cars. Glory 580 Pro offers a comfortable and flexible seating arrangement for 7 passengers which creates a wide and multifunctional space. The design of this lavish car is all about accommodating a large family or a group of friends to cherish the best of the leisure time together with a fun tour. Now you can adjust everyone in your crossover SUV for family gatherings and weddings without any trouble.

Moreover, Glory 580 Pro is turning your imagination into reality with its I-Talk intelligent voice command feature as this car is a good listener for the rider and follows every command as per the direction. Other significant features of Glory 580 Pro include infinite starlight front grill, full led headlight with day time running lamp, led fog lamps, auto retractable led side mirrors, panoramic roof, keyless entry, electric power seats, and wide space trunk. Furthermore, the availability of GPS, 9″ floating HD touch screen, alarm system, audio steering switch, and 360° camera view makes it an outclass version that is exclusively equipped with latest technology.

The company has taken into consideration those customers who love to have a crossover SUV car while preferring it above every other car as it is sure shot going to give a tough competition to other similar cars already available in the market. Glory 580 Pro is going to make the different in the automobile market of Pakistan with its advance and intelligent features with superior control for an easier, safe, and more comfortable drive.

Muhammad Adeel Usman, the MD of Regal Automobiles expressed while taking pride in introducing this lavishly designed only seven seater intelligent SUV that, “DFSK Glory 580 Pro is such a promising spacious car that is definitely going to win the hearts. This car has been designed by the experts is a way that is going to take lead in the automobile market of Pakistan. We are expecting a fantastic outcome and we can assure that purchase of this car would never be turning into a regret.”

Daraz has also moved a step forward while taking interest in Glory 580 Pro by partnering with prince DFSK. Faisal Malik, the Director Commercial for Daraz states that, “Our partnership with Prince DFSK signals Daraz commitment to deliver the best shopping experience to the customers, by providing convenient access to Prince DFSK complete range on darazMall.”

He further added, “In the past year we have sold 500+ Prince DFSK Cars from the diversified range of vehicles (Pearl hatchback, K01 and K07 commercial trucks, GLORY 580 SUVs), and we are excited to launch Pakistan’s most intelligent SUV Glory 580 Pro on 20th Dec’2020. Further we have some exciting projects in the pipeline for 2021.”

The Glory 580 Pro is much cheaper than its competitive cars and it is going to be priced at Rs. 45,49,000 that makes it the most affordable compact crossover seven seater SUV. With the premium features, one can expect to have an entirely new experience while driving Glory 580 Pro. It’s time to gear up for something that is going to make your dream come true of having a perfect crossover SUV car in Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Regal Automobiles Industries Limited (RAIL)
Office # 1502, 15th Floor, Emerald Tower, Clifton Block V,
Karachi, Pakistan
Phone: +92-21-35863216

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ICCI holds Quran Khawani for its departed former Presidents

Islamabad, December 21, 2020 (PPI-OT): The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) held a Quran Khawani for its former President and renowned business leader Munawar Mughal (Late) at the occasion of his 6th anniversary. Quran Khawani and Dua was also held for departed former Presidents of ICCI including Muhammad Siddique Butt (Late), Muhammad Raza Khan (Late), Khalid Masood Bhola (Late), Muzammil Hussain Sabri (Late) and Ch. Muhammad Aslam (Late).

Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Fatma Azim Senior Vice President, Abdul Rehman Khan Vice President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mian Akram Farid Chairman Founder Group, Executive Committee Members, former Presidents, senior members and large number of business community participated in the Quran Khawani. At the end, Dua-e-Maghfrat was held for Munawar Mughal (Late).

Munawar Mughal (Late) had died on 20th Dec: 2014 due to cardiac arrest. He was one of the founding members of ICCI. He served twice as President ICCI and was also elected as Vice President, FPCCI. During his life, he rendered great services for the business community of the region and was a very popular business leader.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-2250526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +92-51-2252950

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Aijaz Aslam launches official store on DarazMall along with other leading celebrities and fashion brands

Karachi, December 21, 2020 (PPI-OT): Daraz is Pakistan’s largest online shopping platform that has millions of assortments for its valued customers. There are many categories that cover all that one may need and want. DarazMall houses over 450 authentic local and international brands. All products sold here are 100% genuine and the customers should not at all fear the authenticity of the product when ordering from DarazMall.

Recently, we have seen that many celebrities and leading designers in the Pakistani industry have launched their own brand/shop on DarazMall. Komal Rizvi has launched her brand TrulyKomal along with Nadia Hussain giving birth to Bling and Humayun Alamgir also hosting his collection on Daraz.

Similarly, another brand has partnered with Daraz to launch itself on the biggest online shopping platform of Pakistan. This brand, too, is owned by a very renowned Pakistani celebrity, Aijaz Aslam. He created his brand to motivate and encourage our market to use local products. He strongly believes that we should be proud to use Pakistani produce.

Aijaz Aslam commented “Daraz is the biggest and the most reliable online shopping network with a large customer base and that is why I have chosen to partner with them. Our products are made with the best of herbs and natural ingredients with essential oils extracts. Some products are unique and are made in a spray form for easy and convenient use. This is something that no other brand is doing for products like hair mists, face mists and products with unique anti-ageing properties.”

His brand is targeting all individuals, from both genders, who care a great deal about their hair and skin. The product offerings include various skin care and health products such as face mists, night creams, non-alcoholic sanitizers, anti-ageing face washes etc. His vision includes extending his product line to include essentials such as fragrances, clothing articles and many accessories.

Omair Bakhsh – Head of Marketing, Daraz Pakistan – commented on this recent partnership. “We’re very excited to include another value-added brand on DarazMall. Aijaz Aslam has launched a unique set of products which we are so eager to host on our platform. DarazMall has a collection of both international and local brands and to see brands grow in this category is overwhelming. This growth helps us to serve our customers in a better way as we’re equipped to present them with more choices to suit their needs.”

It’s pleasant to see the local brand industry grow and platforms like Daraz helping them in their journey through providing a safe and reliable place for these brands to prosper. Customers should definitely make their way onto the Daraz app to browse through Aijaz’s brand and similarly, other local brands, so that the vision of such entrepreneurs to support locally produced goods can be fulfilled.

For more information, contact:
Marketing Manager
Tell: +92-346-8202505

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Insurance industry failed to deliver amid pandemic: Dr Murtaza Mughal

Islamabad, December 21, 2020 (PPI-OT): Former Convenor FPCCI Central Committee on Insurance Dr Murtaza Mughal on Saturday said the insurance industry has failed to deliver amid pandemic calling for new products and reforms in this sector so that it can deliver in challenging environment.

Talking to Senior Vice Chairman Insurance Association of Pakistan (IAP) and CEO Alfalah Insurance Abdul Haye and other industry experts, Dr Murtaza Mughal said that claims are being avoided because the policies were not designed to pay out when there is a pandemic; and if paid, it will push service providers to insolvency.

He said that insurance is meant to act as a safety net for people and businesses but presently some type of government-backed scheme is needed. He said that SECP and Insurance Association of Pakistan (IAP) must join hands to boost the insurance sector so that it can play its due role in the national development while improving the insurance penetration which is a prerequisite for a stable economy.

He emphasised on increasing insurance penetration in Pakistan which is less than 1 percent of the GDP as against the global average of around 5 to 6 percent. Dr. Mughal who is also president of Pakistan Economy Watch stressed on the need of implementation of compulsory third party motor insurance and compulsory group medical insurance in Pakistan which is pending with SECP since 2018.

He was of the view that annually almost 20,000 people die in road accidents while many more get injured and they are not compensated. CEO Alfalah Insurance Abdul Haye was of the view that in wake of current pandemic private employers having more than 50 employees should provide health insurance cover to their staff while enforcement of compulsory group life insurance in Pakistan for companies should be considered.

The participants emphasised on adoption of uniform laws governing insurance sector as different provinces are following different rules and regulations creating problems while business ethics should be stressed. Satwat Butt, former chairman Regional Committee North IAP, Chairman Lahore Insurance Institute Muhammad Hisham and Altimash Malik, GM UIC and others were also present in the meeting.

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

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President Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry announces formation of Sialkot Business Advisory Council

Sialkot, December 21, 2020 (PPI-OT): In a statement given to the press, Mr. Qaiser Iqbal Baryar, President Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, announced the formation of the Sialkot Business Advisory Council (SBAC). The forum has been conceived in consultation with Mr. Usman Dar, SAPM on Youth Affairs to bring all major industrial stakeholders including trade associations to one platform to perform advocacy and lobbying functions unanimously and collectively and to make joint efforts for the promotion of trade and industry especially the exports.

The President Chamber, on the formation of SBAC, said that Sialkot Chamber being the mother body of all industrial sectors of the city was actively pursuing its SME uplift and Export-Led growth agenda. Mr. Baryar said that the formation of SBAC is a step ahead towards the same agenda as it would provide all the relevant trade bodies of Sialkot with an opportunity to highlight their issues leading to a more inclusive charter of demands for the industry. He also added that SBAC would have an advisory role and to prepare workable proposals for enhancing the exports and removing the bottlenecks.

The SBAC would be chaired by the President of Sialkot Chamber with memberships from all the key trade associations including PSGMEA, SIMAP, PRGMEA, PGMEA, PLGMEA, PHMA, PCMEA, and others. The first meeting of the SBC was held on December 15, 2020, wherein a grand agenda of proposals was formed for submission to the Government to take measures and necessary policy-making to provide relief to the Export Sector.

Various issues of the Industry including time-barred DLTL cases, 5% Withholding Tax on Companies, Cargo Train from Sialkot to Karachi and Gwadar, Reforms in the Export Processing Zones, and One Window Facility for the Exporters came into discussion. Mr. Qaiser Iqbal Baryar said that the SBAC would hold monthly meetings and would submit its proposals and inputs to the Government.

For more information, contact:
Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI)
Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat, Sialkot – 51310, Pakistan
Phone: +92-52-4261881-3
Fax: +92-52-4268835, +92-52-4267919

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