PCJCCI collaborates with Sichuan International Chamber to establish Pakistan-Chengdu Economic and Trade Center

Lahore, August 15, 2018 (PPI-OT): Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) has embraced a long-term collaboration with Sichuan International Chamber of Commerce, Halal Food Commission to establish Pakistan-Chengdu Economic Trade Center for creating joint business activities between China and Pakistan, especially for establishment of Special Economic Zones in Pakistan under CPEC.

In this connection, an MOU has been signed as final phase of the efforts taken by PCJCCI trade delegation in a current visit of China under leadership of Mr. S.M. Naveed, President PCJCCI, who signed the MoU on behalf of his Chamber. From Sichuan International Chamber, Mr. Ma Zhijun, President of the Sichuan International Chamber of Commerce, Halal Food Commission signed the MOU.

Mr. S.M. Naveed, President PCJCCI, while addressing the signing ceremony expressed deep gratitude to Mr. Muhammad Mudassir Tipu, Consul General of Pakistan in Chengdu, China, who played the pivotal role in concluding this MOU. He hoped that the MOU would pave way to further expand friendly relations between Pakistan and China as a sustainable support initiative. It will benefit both the countries by developing trade relations and all-round cooperation between the two countries, he said adding that Pakistan-Chengdu Economic and Trade Center would prove to be a strong organ in promoting economic, commercial, financial and industrial collaboration between Pakistan and the Western China.

He hoped that the Center would play a significant role in introducing Pakistani citizens to the vast and alluring areas of Western China. On the other hand, it will also help the Pakistani businessmen by providing them a platform for consultancy services, accommodation, catering in Western region of China, he said. Mr. S.M. Naveed met with people from tourism industry and further said that, “We are eager to take the plunge for the Chinese tourism in Pakistan and make use of the natural revenue in the best way we can”. He was confident that the development of tourism industry could do wonders for Pakistan’s economic development and also cultivate good will and soft image of the country at global level.

Mr. S.M. Naveed, assured that the agenda of Pakistan-Chengdu Economic and Trade Center would also be promoted in Pakistan as a part of PCJCCI development activities to bring the business communities of the two nations closer not only economically but also socially so as to flourish the bilateral relations.

For more information, contact:
Media Manager,
Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI)
Mega Tower, 309 – 6th Floor,
Main Boulevard, Gulberg II,
Lahore, Punjab – Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35777460-02, +92-42-37032203, +92-42-35874353
Fax: +92-42-35777524
Cell: +92-324-4925611
Email: info@pcjcci.org
Website: www.pcjcci.org

FPCCI evolves recommendations for 2nd Round of Pak-China Free Trade Agreement

Karachi, August 10, 2018 (PPI-OT): Pakistan’s exports to China even under 2nd Phase of Pak-China Free Trade Agreement (PCFTA) will not increase until the tariff line offered by China to Pakistan’s competitors Bangladesh, Vietnam and India under ASEAN-China FTA is also made available to Pakistan as it is one of the major reason that Pakistan’s market in China has been eroded away.

This was stated by Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir, Sr. Vice President and Chairman Budget Advisory Council of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) in his welcome address while inaugurating the FPCCI Round Table Conference on China-Pak Free Trade Agreement held simultaneously through video conference at FPCCI Head Office Karachi; zonal office, Lahore and Capital Office Islamabad under his Chairmanship. The Conference was attended by a large number of stakeholders; traders; academia and prominent businessmen including Iftikhar Ali Malik, Sr. Vice President of SAARC CCI, Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig; Captain Abdul Rasheed Abro, Zahid Umar etc, who endorsed the proposals of the Chair.

Mr. Iftikhar Ali Malik, SVP, SAARC CCI said, “While it is possible that changes in tariff are solely responsible for the decline in exports to China, an oft ignored factor is the overall decline in cotton yarn production that the country faces, since Pakistan’s major export item to China was cotton yarn/fabric. The unpredictability in supply from Pakistan seems to have been filled-in by Vietnam and India.

Secondly, the main export basket reveals that Pakistan was a major exporter of raw materials and semi-finished products to China as, in the first phase of FTA, China did not help to encourage or accelerate export of value added products from Pakistan”. He underscored the need of Research and Development in Agricultural sector to increase its per acre yield which is the only way to enhance the capacity and base of Pakistan’s exports. He elaborated that Pakistan is an agricultural country and we need to increase the quality and quantity of our agri-products such as vegetables, foods, rice, cotton, sugar etc.

The learned speakers of the Conference expressed that non-signing of CPFTA-II has provided a sigh of relief to the trade and industry and has helped it to come out of shock and worries about the survival of existing industrial sector of Pakistan and its future development as industrialization is the key to economic self-sufficiency and sustainable development. They further urged that the stakeholders should be taken on board while framing and finalizing the recommendations on PCFTA.

The speakers elaborated that Pakistan is a developing country and its industrial base is very thin as compared to China, therefore, need of the hour is to protect the industrial growth of Pakistan which is already suffering from many faceted difficulties for its survival. “Since first FTA came into force in November 2006 Pakistan Trade Balance with China has worsened considerably although total bilateral trade between both the countries grew exponentially to $19bn in 2015/16 out of which imports from China was $16.5bn and export to China was only $2.5bn showing a trade deficit of $14bnwhich is slightly less than half of the Pakistan’s total trade deficit of $16.7 bn”, they analyzed. The Pakistan’s optimal capacity to export is $ 30 billion which need to be enhanced by facilitating the agricultural and industrial sectors.

The learned speakers and participants of the conference informed that Pakistan and China started negotiations on the second phase of the Pak-China FTA in 2011. So far, 10th meetings have been held in this regard. China was not willing to offer Pakistan substantial market access on items of Islamabad’s interest.

The Conference after a threadbare discussion evolved a host of recommendations for inclusion in the 2nd Round of FTA, summarized as follows:

While revisiting Pakistan-China Free Trade Agreement (PCFTA) it should be designed to promote the economy of Pakistan. The measures must be taken to balance of import and export and decrease the trade deficit. Pakistan has so far benefited from 1st Round of FTA to the tune of 4% only while China has derived 64% benefit from FTA-I.

Pakistan must be very careful to sign the 2nd Phase of FTA and include maximum finished goods / items which can be exported to China on tariff line offered by China to ASEAN countries.

There is an urgent need to convince China to given unilateral concession to Pakistan with tariffs pegged with ASEAN’s tariff.

Pakistan should explore the possibility of signing of a trade agreement with all the 10 ASEAN countries separately in case if it is not possible for Pakistan to become a member of ASEAN as India has signed a trade agreement with ASEAN Block.

Pakistan must make effort to stop selling their most valuable gem stones, marble, cotton etc., in raw form and come out to an agreement with China so that some process of manufacturing is established in Pakistan for value addition of these items and Pakistani industry is established and improved.

Pakistan must make agreement with China for transfer of technology to Pakistan.

Agricultural Research Center must be established to provide latest biotechnologies for better yield of our agri-products.

The concerned stakeholders should be taken on board while framing and finalizing the recommendations on PCFTA.

For more information, contact:
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Shahra-e-Firdousi, Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +92-21-35874332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk

PCJCCI launches move to invite investment for 37 SEZs

Lahore, August 09, 2018 (PPI-OT): Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry has launched a sustainable move in China to attract Chinese business community for investment in the 37 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to be set up in Pakistan under second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It was observed by Mr. S. M. Naveed, who is leading a delegation of PCJCCI to China along with the executive committee members, in a press statement issued from Beijing.

“We have taken Pakistan’s diplomats, based in China, on board to make the second phase of CPEC, a brilliant success”, he said adding that PCJCCI wants to further promote the bilateral business between Pakistan and China in liaison with Pakistan Embassy and consulates in China.

While speaking to the diplomats, he has highlighted the scope of SEZs, which is the second phase of CPEC, under which he is positive to have more business activities between the businessmen of China and Pakistan. PCJCCI has identified the industrial sectors of Pakistan where up-gradation is required with the help of Chinese companies and which can benefit Pakistan’s export for producing labor intensive products.

“We are going to discuss the upgradation of our industrial sectors through transfer of Chinese Technology and expertise with the industrial corporations of China”, he said and underlined the textiles products, leather products, leather shoes, carpets, glass work, paintings, handicraft, and agriculture products such as organic vegetables, fruits and live stock have a great potential for upgradation and export promotion through joint ventures with China, he added.

President PCJCCI, in a telecommunication with Secretary General Salahuddin Hanif, informed that his delegation was greatly being helped by Mr. Masood Khalid, Ambassador of Pakistan Embassy and his Commercial Consulates to penetrate into the Chinese business community to get MOUs for SEZs under second round of CPEC.

It is notable that so far nine out of 37 SEZs have been identified to be established in different areas of Pakistan. One each in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan and Islamabad, two in Sindh and one each in FATA, Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.

For more information, contact:
Media Manager,
Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI)
Mega Tower, 309 – 6th Floor,
Main Boulevard, Gulberg II,
Lahore, Punjab – Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-35777460-02, +92-42-37032203, +92-42-35874353
Fax: +92-42-35777524
Cell: +92-324-4925611
Email: info@pcjcci.org
Website: www.pcjcci.org

New Visa Office to be opened for Visas

Karachi, August 08, 2018 (PPI-OT): The government of UAE will be opening a new office in Karachi in next two months to attend all kind of visas including renewal of residence and work permits to facilitate Pakistanis going to UAE announced by the Acting Consul General of UAE in Karachi Bakheet Ateeq Al Romaithiin the 1st meeting of Pakistan-UAE Business Council FPCCI, chaired by Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, Chairman of the council held at the Federation House.

Dr. Baig discussed proposals for 12th Session of Pak UAE Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC), particularly early signing of Pak-GCC Free Trade Agreement, resolution of PTCL/Etisalat outstanding dues. Dr. Baig informed that bilateral trade between the Pakistan and UAE is US$8.3 billion which includes Pakistan exports to UAE US$ 869 million and import from UAE is US$7.5 billion having huge trade deficit. He suggested to allow import of Rice and Sugar from Pakistan for cooperative stores in UAE. He appreciated Consul General’s initiative to cultivate animal feed Alpha-Alpha in Pakistan and successfully exporting to UAE for last many years.

The members were informed that an Abu Dhabi infrastructure fund is interested to invest in clean and renewable energy projects in Pakistan. Dr. Baig also discussed participation in the Expo 2020, a mega event to take place from October 20, 2020 to April 2021 in UAE for promotion of tourism and assured visit of businessmen delegation from FPCCI to UAE coinciding with inaugural meeting of Pak UAE JMC in Abu Dhabi. He requested to finalize10 members from UAE side for Pak-UAE JMC to finalize the date. The meeting was attended by Mazhar A. Nasir SVP FPCCI, Usama Qureshi, Khalid Masood, Zubair Haider Sheikh, Anwar Qureshi, Abdul Haseeb Qureshi and members of the council.

For more information, contact:
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Shahra-e-Firdousi, Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +92-21-35874332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk

KCCI concerned over sheer blackmailing by shipping lines, agents and Terminal Operators

Karachi, August 06, 2018 (PPI-OT): President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Muffasar Atta Malik, while expressing deep concern over sheer blackmailing by shipping lines, their agents in connivance with Terminal Operators, stated that the Karachi Chamber has been constantly receiving a lot of complaints against many Shipping Lines, their Agents and Terminal Operators involved in taking unjustified demurrage and detention charges from importers under various heads.

In a statement issued, Muffasar Malik pointed out that these shipping lines with the help of some black sheep are robbing businessmen to the tune of billions of rupees per year which is really worrisome. He urged the government to take strict notice of the highhandedness of shipping lines, their agents and terminal operators responsible for fearlessly looting the business community.

He said that importers are usually trapped by offering low rates by the agents of numerous shipping companies at the initial stage but when the shipment task is given to the shipping lines, they don’t release the goods and demand exorbitant Terminal Handling Charges (THC), Demurrage and Detention Charges along with many hidden and unexplained charges.

Referring to relevant laws, President KCCI pointed out that shipping companies cannot charge any demurrage and detention where specifically it is not agreed and also specifically not mentioned on the B/L (Bill of lading) but this law is grossly being violated by shipping lines and their agents.

He said that according to Customs Act, 1969, the port cannot charge any demurrage or detention charges if Customs gives a certificate to importer titled ‘Delay and Detention Certificate’. But despite this certificate, Terminal Operators illegally hold goods of importers and charges heavy amounts as demurrage. President KCCI pointed out that importers are suffering heavy losses each day because of delay in release of imported goods, besides losing their reputation and also their valuable customers on many occasions.

In order to put an end to the highhandedness of shipping lines, agents and terminal operators, he stressed the need to establish an independent regulatory body which could promptly respond to the grievances of the business community. He added that the body should be directed to monitor the overall activities and excessive charges of Shipping lines, agents and terminal operators.

He said that the Karachi Chamber will keep on raising a strong voice at all available platforms until the desperately needed regulatory body comes to existence. “KCCI will strive hard to highlight the grievances being faced by ship users and take up their issues with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs in order to get them resolved as per aspirations of the business community”, he added.

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,
Karachi-74000
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040
Email: info@kcci.com.pk, secretary@kcci.com.pk
Website: www.kcci.com.pk

KCCI’s Annual Election: Last date for withdrawal of nomination papers rescheduled to August 18

Karachi, August 04, 2018 (PPI-OT): ssUnder the directives issued by Directorate General Trade Organizations (DGTO), KCCI’s Annual Election Schedule was revised on July 28, 2018. Hence, the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers, which was earlier scheduled on August 4, 2018 has been rescheduled to August 18, 2018.

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,
Karachi-74000
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040
Email: info@kcci.com.pk, secretary@kcci.com.pk
Website: www.kcci.com.pk

Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry calls on PTI Govt. to focus on economic empowerment of women

Islamabad, August 04, 2018 (PPI-OT): Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has called upon the newly elected PTI government to focus on the economic empowerment of women as without empowering women, the country could not achieve sustainable economic growth. The ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed and other office bearers in a statement on Friday congratulated Ms. Shamim Aftab, former President, Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry for her nomination by PTI on reserved seats of women for Punjab Assembly. She visited ICCI and held a meeting with ICCI office bearers.

Sheikh Amir Waheed said that women were half of the country’s population and there was a dire need of bringing them into the mainstream of economy to ensure fast economic development of the country. He urged that PTI Government should make conducive policies for the promotion and growth of women entrepreneurs across the country. He said being former President of Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ms. Shamim Aftab was fully aware of the issues of businesswomen and hoped that being member of Punjab Assembly, she would play positive role for resolving their major issues.

He said our women were very talented, however, they needed good environment to excel in every field. He hoped that the PTI governments in Punjab and Centre would pay priority attention to the development of women. He assured that ICCI would fully cooperate with the new government in its endeavours aimed at promotion of women entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the occasion, Ms. Shamim Aftab said that her nomination by PTI for reserved seat in Punjab Assembly was a great honour for her and reaffirmed that being member of provincial assembly, she would make utmost efforts for the betterment of women. She said chambers of commerce including women chamber should send her their proposals so that with joint efforts, better policies could be made for gender equality and better development of women in the country.

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
Email: icci@brain.net.pk
Website: www.icci.com.pk