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Govt decides to form Economic Outreach Apex Committee

September 24, 2020: The government has decided to form the Economic Outreach Apex Committee to promote economic diplomacy.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held in Islamabad on Wednesday with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.

Prime Minister's Special Assistant on National Security Dr Moeed Yousaf has been made a focal person to promote economic diplomacy.

The meeting also decided to set up Economic Outreach Coordination Group to have a liaison with concerned federal ministries, provincial departments, and other institutions to achieve the goals.

Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister said promoting economic diplomacy is the need of the hour, which will not only strengthen bilateral relations with other countries but existing potential can also be exploited to the maximum level in the field of economy.

He directed Pakistan Missions abroad to give utmost attention to promote economic diplomacy.

Imran Khan directed the Chairman Board of Investment to ensure the provision of all possible assistance to foreign investors, who show their interest to invest in various sectors of the country.

Radio Pakistan

PM directs to prepare time-frame based action plan to...

September 24, 2020: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to prepare a time-frame based action plan for the medium and long-term projects to enhance agriculture produce in the country.

Presiding over a meeting to review progress on agriculture reforms and food security initiatives in Islamabad on Wednesday, he said ensuring food security is the top priority of the government.

The Prime Minister directed to operationalize the Food Security Dash Board at the Ministry of Food Security in collaboration with all provinces and relevant departments.

He also directed to pay special attention to economic zones for the processing of agriculture produce.

Emphasizing on getting benefits from the Chinese experience, the Prime Minister said technical expertise of the Chinese should be fully exploited.

He also directed to establish an integrated and coordinated system between all stakeholders including research institutions, universities and other concerned departments.

The meeting was briefed on the food security challenges in view of the growing population, the current status of production of agricultural commodities and progress on the Prime Minister's Agriculture Emergency Program.

Radio Pakistan

Asian markets sink again as virus, stimulus, election fan...

September 24, 2020:Asian markets tumbled Thursday following another sharp sell-off on Wall Street as investors were bombarded by a perfect storm of problems including rising virus infections, new lockdowns, a slowing economic recovery, stalled US stimulus talks and election uncertainty.

                  Months of mind-boggling gains in global equities have come to a juddering halt this month, with expectations that the wall of cash from governments and central banks would jumpstart a rebound quickly fading.

                  "Markets are digesting and grappling with this idea that the growth expectations that investors have might not materialize," said Lauren Goodwin, at New York Life Investments.

                  "As the fiscal impulse in the US starts to wane, some of these expectations for a slow and steady recovery are shaken."

                  And with the northern hemisphere now moving into autumn and winter, there are worries that the second wave of coronavirus will see the reimposition of strict, economically devastating containment measures.

                  France became the latest European country to act, shutting bars and restaurants in the second-biggest city Marseille and putting it on "maximum alert", while several others including Paris will see new restrictions, including limitations on public gatherings and earlier closing hours for bars.

                  Britain's government has also shortened opening hours and has warned of other measures while the Madrid region has locked down roughly 850,000 people and plans to extend the measures.

                  The International Labour Organization found that by mid-year, global working hours had declined 17.3 percent from December -- equivalent to nearly 500 million full-time jobs, which its chief Guy Ryder called "catastrophic".

                  US traders are now growing concerned that rising infections at home could see similar moves, and several Federal Reserve officials including boss Jerome Powell have called for a new stimulus to mitigate the impact.

                  But with politicians on Capitol Hill still at a standstill, hope for a deal is waning, particularly with a presidential election just around the corner.

                  "A procession of US Federal Reserve speakers voiced more concerns about the ongoing impasse on additional fiscal stimulus," said AxiCorp's Stephen Innes.            

                 

                  - Economy in 'deep hole' -

                            

                  But he said Fed vice chair Richard Clarida's warning that while the economy was seeing improvement, it was still in a "deep hole" that would strike fear into traders.

                  "Clarida's messaging provides the most distinct read on the global economy. Inferring the world has probably just seen the bounce from a sudden stop, not a cyclical recovery but merely a restart," Innes added.

                  All three main indexes in New York saw steep losses, resuming a retreat that has characterized September.

                  The tech-heavy Nasdaq led the way, tanking more than three percent after the Trump administration unveiled legislation aimed at limiting the liability shield of online services for the content they host.

                  The Justice Department said the proposal was aimed at reforming a law that protects internet services from liability from third-party content.

                  And the losses flowed through to Asia again, with Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Jakarta all down more than one percent, and Taipei shed more than two percent.

                  Seoul slumped more than two percent after South Korea said forces from the North had shot a South Korean official and cremated him after he disappeared off a patrol vessel and ended up in Pyongyang' waters.

                  Tokyo, Sydney, and Wellington were also well down.

                  Market unease was increased by fears of an extended battle over the US election result, with Donald Trump refusing to guarantee a peaceful transfer of power should he lose to Joe Biden.

                  "Well, we're going to have to see what happens," he said in response to a reporter's question.

                  Trump, who is behind in the polls against Democrat Biden, has frequently claimed mail-in ballots are vulnerable to mass fraud and are being encouraged by Democrats to rig the election, though there is no evidence postal voting has ever led to significant fraud in the past.        

                 

                  - Key figures around 0300 GMT -         

                 

                  Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.6 percent at 23,214.49 (break)

                  Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 1.5 percent at 23,396.06

                  Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.2 percent at 3,241.23

                  Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1663 from $1.1660 at 2115 GMT

                  Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2719 from $1.2722

                  Euro/pound: UP at 91.70 pence from 91.62 pence

                  Dollar/yen: UP at 105.43 yen from 105.39 yen

                  West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 1.1 percent at $39.49 per barrel

                  Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.9 percent at $41.41 per barrel

                  New York - Dow Jones: DOWN 1.9 percent at 26,763.13 (close)

                  London - FTSE 100: UP 1.2 percent at 5,899.26 points (close)

AFP/APP

PM to address UN’s key panel dealing with financial...

September 24, 2020: Prime Minister Imran Khan will address a high-level panel of the United Nations on International Financial Accountability, Transparency, and Integrity on Thursday.

The forum was formed to help address the financing gap for implementing the anti-poverty Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.  

The 15-member panel was launched in March by the Presidents of the UN General Assembly and UN Economic and Social Council.               

The event is being convened to present the interim report of the panel, which identifies the major gaps in implementation and the systemic shortcomings of the existing international frameworks for tax cooperation, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering.         

In his capacity as President of the UN Economic and Social Council, Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Munir Akram, is also set to speak in the panel's moderated session.

Radio Pakistan

Cement export increase by 5.60 percent in 2 months

September 23, 2020: The exports of cement from the country witnessed an increase of 5.60 percent during the first two months of ongoing financial year (2020-21) as compare to the corresponding period of last fiscal year.

The country exported cement worth US $ 44.540 million during July-August (2020-21) as against the exports of US $ 42.149 million during July-August (2019-20), showing growth of 5.60 percent, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

In terms of quantity, the exports of cement increased by 29.35 percent by going up from 1,064,154 metric tons to 1,376,536 metric tons, according to the data.

Meanwhile, on year-to-year basis, the exports of cement increased by 28.93 percent during the month of August 2020 as compared to the same month of last year.

The exports of cement from the country during August 2020 were recorded at $21.585 million against the exports of $16.742 million in August 2019.

On month-on-month basis, the exports of cement however decreased by 5.85 percent during August 2020 as compared to the exports of $22.925 million in July 2020, the PBS data revealed.

The country trade deficit witnessed reduction of 8.32 percent during the first two months current fiscal year (2020-21) as compared to the deficit of the corresponding period of last year.

The deficit during July-August (2020-21) was recorded at $3.382 billion against the deficit of $3.689 billion, the data revealed.

During the period under review, the country’s exports registered negative growth of 4.27 percent, by going down from $3.744 billion last year to $3.584 billion during the current year.

On the other hand, the imports witnessed decreased of 6.28 percent, from $7.433 billion last year to $6.966 billion this year.

 

APP

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