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Hammad Azhar reiterates full support to Japanese investors

July 18, 2019: Japanese Ambassador, Kuninori Matsuda called on the Minister for Economic Affairs Muhammad Hammad Azhar in Islamabad on Thursday and assured of full support going forward.     

The Minster briefed the Ambassador on the key priorities of the government and structural reforms agenda that is being executed to revive the economy.     

The Ambassador reiterated commitment of his country to strengthen economic cooperation to support implementation of government’s reform agenda. He expressed intention of his country to provide financial support for implementation of high value flagship projects.

The Minister thanked the Japanese Ambassador for his support and reiterated full support of the Government of Pakistan for the potential Japanese investors to facilitate their investment in Pakistan.

ADB urged to scale up lending for Pakistan

Jul 18, 2019: Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Hammad Azhar Thursday urged the Asia Development Bank (ADB) to scale up its lending to Pakistan including programme lending and project financing.

He was talking to ADB Country Director, Ms. Xiaohong Yang who called on the minister here, according to press statement issued by the Ministry.

The Minister acknowledged the ADB’s support for Pakistan and discussed key priority areas and new avenues for future interventions.

The Minister reiterated that the government was keen to explore innovative financing models and mobilize investment in infrastructure and social sectors. These initiatives will not only provide fiscal space to the government but also help boost economic activities in the country, he added.

On the occasion, Yang congratulated Azhar on his appointment as Federal Minister.

Yang said that ADB and Pakistan had successfully met many development challenges and assured the Minister of the Bank’s support in the priority sectors as identified by the present government.

Yang also briefed the Minister on ADB’s ongoing interventions and pipeline projects and updated him about the bank’s Programme Lending and Special Policy-Based Loan including Trade and Competitiveness Programme, Energy Sector Resilience Programme and Capital Market Reforms Programme.

ADB was committed to expanding this partnership to increase prosperity of the people of Pakistan, she added.

The Country Director thanked the Minister and reiterated ADB’s commitment to further strengthen and expand its partnership with Pakistan.

APP

Pakistan’s outstanding debt reaches Rs 20.24 trillion in FY19

July 18, 2019 (MLN): Pakistan's outstanding debts as of June 30, 2019 stand at a collossal amount of Rs.20.24 trillion whereas total debt at the end of prior month was Rs.19.45 trillion, meaning that around Rs.794.03 billion were additionally borrowed during this month alone.

As compared to the same period last year when outstanding credit was Rs.17.22 trillion, the current debt position is Rs.3.03 trillion higher this time around, marking a year-on-year expansion of 17.6 percent for fiscal year 2019.

The total outstanding credit is branched into the amount accumulated by government sector and that accumulated by the non-government sector. Out of the total outstanding loan, credit given to the government sector accounts for Rs.12.4 trillion while credit to non-government sectors account for Rs.7.84 trillion.

Credit to Government Sector:

The State Bank of Pakistan’s net credit to the government sector amounts to Rs.6.68 trillion which includes investments in government securities and government deposits, and other direct loans. During these 12 months, the central bank has become a bigger source of financing for the sector as the outstanding amount acredited to the SBP has grown by Rs.3.08 trillion or 85.49 percent.

Meanwhile, the second largest source of financing for the sector, the Scheduled Bank's net credit adds up to Rs.5.72 trillion which is Rs.967.39 billion lower than the outstanding credit at the beginning of the fiscal year, thus indicating that the sector retired this amount during the period.

Credit to Non-Government Sector:

The State Bank’s claim to outstanding credit of this particular sector is comparatively negligible (only Rs.25.92 billion), while on the b-side, scheduled banks have a claim to up to Rs.7.81 trillion as of the end of this month.

At the end of previous month (May 2019), the outstanding amount owed to these banks was Rs.7.75 trillion indicating that Rs.62.29 billion were additionally borrowed during the month whereas during ongoing fiscal year, Rs.913.23 billion were further accumulated.

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UNIDO funded Agro-food, Agro-industry project to be launched...

Jul 18, 2019: The Country Representatives of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Nadia Aftab on Thursday said that 'Agro-Food and Agro-Industry Development Project' in Pakistan worth US$5.2 million would be commenced by the next month (August).

The project aims at strengthening the cattle meat and apple value chains, through the introduction of new techniques of productivity enhancement as well as by building the capacities of livestock farmers and growers, which would improve the livelihood of farmers and reduce rural poverty.

While talking to Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan, she apprised the minister that Agro-Food and Agro-Industry Development in Pakistan and subsequent funding by Japan, which is US$5.2 million has been approved by the concerned quarters and be launched by the first week of next month.

The project, she said has been developed by UNIDO in consultation with Ministry of National Food Security and Research, provincial agriculture departments for the development of agriculture, livestock, dairy and fishery value chain.

She said that the project starting from Gilgit-Baltistan would further spread to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan for the development of agriculture and livestock sectors by strengthening cattle meat farming and apple value chains.

The UNIDO Representative said that two pronged approach for inception and implementation will be adopted to execute mutually agreed activities after a consultative process to address the issues of value chain for dried and fresh fruit vegetables, oil and oilseed, livestock, dairy, fisheries trout farming with piloting of new interventions with the involvement of relevant department at provincial level as well as the institutions.

The minister while appreciating the initiative of UNIDO said that government has launched Prime Minister’s agriculture emergency program and livestock is one of the major projects in order to enhance the productivity of major crops, livestock development, aquaculture and water conservation.

The minister said that in KPK the process of Foot and Mouth Disease free zones identification is also in progress and UNIDO may also collaborate as it is focusing on KPK meat markets.He said that Pakistan and UNIDO started collaboration for formulating the Country Program Framework (CPF) for inclusive and sustainable agriculture development and thereby achieve food safety and Security.

APP

President calls for proactive steps to enhance Pak-Algeria trade

July 18, 2019: President Dr. Arif Alvi Thursday said that the proactive measures were required to enhance the quantum of trade between Pakistan and Algeria as the current volume of the bilateral trade was not commensurate to the true potential. 

In a meeting with Ambassador-designate of Pakistan to Algeria Ata-ul-Munim Shahid, who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadr, the president said that Pakistan attached high importance to its relations with Algeria.

He urged the ambassador-designate to make efforts to further strengthen the bilateral relations in all areas of mutual interest.

Underscoring the focus of the Pakistani government on bolstering its exports through mutually beneficial economic collaboration, the president directed the ambassador-designate to offer Pakistan’s manpower, experience, expertise, machinery and other related equipment to Algeria.

The president wished the ambassador-designate a successful stay in Algeria and hoped that his tenure would bring more vigor and energy to the relationship between the two countries.

APP

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