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JS Bank Enables Ease of Business for Freelancing Community

January 27, 2020: Pakistan is the world’s 4th largest freelance market primarily due to mushrooming numbers in call centers, software houses, tech companies, and content freelancers, Forbes reported. The greatest challenge being faced by the sector is payment receipt with popular options such as Paypal absent from the market and traditional wire transfers taking ages to arrive.

Realizing the need for the market, JS Bank has launched the ‘Freelance Wallet’, a global payment product allowing freelancers to receive payments from more than 40 countries directly on their mobile numbers. This product was launched in alliance with Paysend, one of the fastest-growing international money transfer services under the State Bank of Pakistan’s initiative of Home Remittance Account (HRA). 

Funds can now be sent directly to mobile numbers in Pakistan with the receiver receiving SMS intimation of the transfer. Funds can be withdrawn after verification from branchless banking agents, JS Bank branches or via ATM cards (for existing customers). This has greatly simplified the process for incoming freelancer remittances through the reduction of gray channels and improved safety and transparency.

Committed towards its role as a catalyst towards the progress and prosperity of Pakistan, JS Bank hopes to continue this journey of digitalization by providing a variety of innovative conventional and digital solutions in the years ahead.

Press Release

 

CDNS committed to complying with FATF recommendations to safeguard...

January 27, 2020: Finance Division has maintained that CDNS is committed to mitigating the deficiency to improve customer service delivery and to comply with the FATF recommendation to safeguard the investors’ interests, said in a financial statement.

Banks under the supervision of SBP have already put in place all the required systems and KYCs (Know Your Customers) processes to comply with the FATF recommendations. In order to implement this requirement, Finance Division through promulgation of National Savings Schemes (AML-CFT) Rules, 2019 has decided to engage an AML-CFT compliant bank, through competitive bidding, to put in place the requirements as well as the necessary training of employees of National Savings.

Accordingly, Expression of Interest, in consultation with SBP, has been sought from the interested bank to conduct KYC and other requirement of new as well as existing clients of CDNS. This will include the biometric verisys and screening of potential clients in UN Proscribed person List. All these screenings are meant to stop any ill-gotten money to become part of financial system and to safeguard the valued investor from the menace of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.

Finance Division therefore reiterates that the steps of the Government are aimed at making the CDNS compliant with the FATF requirement and are not intended to jeopardize the interests of the account holders / customers. Moreover, third-party arrangement will make the organization i.e CDNS more transparent and viable for the customers and will not in any case affect its financial business.

 

Press Release

Gold price gains Rs 550, traded at Rs 91,550...

January 27, 2020: The per tola price of 24 karat gold appreciated by Rs 550 on Monday and was traded at Rs 91,550 as compared to Rs 91,000 on last trading day, Karachi Sarafa Association reported.

Likewise, the price of 10-gram gold witnessed an increase of Rs 472 and was traded at Rs 78,490 against the last closing of Rs 78,018.

The price of silver remained stable and was traded at Rs 1000 and that of 10-gram silver was traded at Rs 857.33.

In the international market, the price of per ounce gold gained $11 and was traded at $1583 against $1572, Karachi Sarafa Association reported.

APP

Engineering Development Board to participate in ‘Engage Africa’ Conference

Jan 27, 2020: A trade delegation from the Domestic Engineering Industry is all set to participate in the “1st Africa-Pakistan Trade Development Conference" scheduled from January 30 to 31 in Nairobi (Kenya).

The delegation would be led by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Industries & Production, Commerce, Textile and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, said an EDB press statement, adding the conference was being organized under “Engage Africa” initiative of Pakistan.

Almas Hyder would represent Engineering Development Board (EDB) in the conference, it added.

The objective of trade delegation’s visit is to explore trade enhancement opportunities in the African region which is one of the potential markets for Pakistan’s exports, being the 2nd largest continent in the world, spreading over 20% of the world landmass and a collective GDP of over 2.3 trillion.

It offers an import market of around US$ 500 billion, the statement said adding that in 2018, trade between Pakistan and Africa stood at US$ 3.6 billion which could be doubled with serious efforts.

There is a huge untapped export potential for Pakistani domestic engineering industry to cater to the needs of the African market.

The government has been pursuing an export led growth strategy for economic stability which could be achieved withfocus on the export of value added products pro-actively towards perspective customers and target markets.

The statement added that EDB had been playing a vital role to strengthen the local Engineering sector and integrate it with the world market to make it the driving force for economic growth.

It is anticipated that the engineering sector would become the largest exporting sector from Pakistan and goal is to substantially increase exports from the current level of US$1.3 billion.

The statement added that EDB had been working in close coordination with the all relevant organizations in order to make this trade delegation’s visit a success.

Representatives from engineering sub-sectors like tractor manufacturers, motorcycle & rickshaw manufacturers, electric fans manufacturers, surgical instruments, pumps & motors, cutlery & utensils manufacturers and engineering services would be part of the delegation.

This conference is not only expected to enhance economic activities between Pakistan and African region but would also prove to be conducive in deepening cultural/social links.

The conference will include multiple sessions of B2B with the counterparts in order to achieve positive results.

APP

Pakistan’s economic freedom improves: Report

Jan 27, 2020: Pakistan’s economic freedom overall score has improved by 0.6 percent with higher scores for judicial effectiveness and property rights outpacing modest performance in monetary freedom and fiscal health.

According to a report compiled by Washington based Heritage Foundation, Pakistan's economic freedom score is 55 and its economy is the 131st freest in the 2019 index.

Pakistan is ranked 32nd among 43 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is below the regional and world averages, the report added.

At global level Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand are the top three ranked countries at the world economic freedom index.

In South Asia, Bhutan is ranked at 78, Sri Lanka 115, Bangladesh 121, India 129, Pakistan 131, Nepal 136, Maldives 141, and Afghanistan is at 152.

The report said that although some aspects of economic freedom had advanced modestly in Pakistan in recent years, decades of internal political disputes and low levels of foreign investment had led to erratic growth and underdevelopment.

Excessive state involvement in the economy but omnipresent regulatory agencies inhibit private business formation. Lack of access to bank credit undermines entrepreneurship, and the financial sector’s isolation from the outside world slows innovation.

The foundation defines economic freedom as “the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labour and property.”

The report pointed out that in economically free societies, governments allow labor, capital, and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.

The report argues that in an economically free society, “individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please”.

The foundation measures economic freedom by assessing the rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency and access to open market. The data is shared with investors, business and finance leaders, policymakers, academics, journalists, students, and teachers.

The report added that the tax system of Pakistan is complex despite reforms to cut rates and broaden the tax base. The top personal income tax rate is 30 percent, and the top corporate tax rate has been cut to 30 percent. The overall tax burden equals 12.4 percent of total domestic income.

Over the past three years, the government spending has amounted to 20.3 percent of the country’s output (GDP), and budget deficits have averaged 5.1 percent of GDP.

Progress in improving the entrepreneurial environment as been modest. The government’s 2018–2019 budget increased spending on subsidies for the construction sector and for such items as food (especially sugar), power, water, and textiles by 36 percent.

The combined value of exports and imports is equal to 25.8 percent of GDP. The average applied tariff rate is 10.1 percent.

As of June 30, 2018, according to the WTO, Pakistan had 66 non tariff measures in force. Excessive state involvement in the economy and restrictions on foreign investment are serious drags on economic dynamism. About 25 percent of adult Pakistanis have access to an account with a formal banking institution, the report added.

APP

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