Pakistan offers great potential to earn better return on investment: expert (Brecorder, Jan.28,2015) Pakistan has great potential to earn better returns on investments as compared to other countries, said renowned economist David Darst while delivering a lecture on "The Global Economic Development" organised by Aga Khan University (AKU) at AKU auditorium, here on Tuesday. "Pakistan is the land of opportunities where businesses can flourish much faster with high profitability rate due to its potential markets," David said, adding that biggest obstacle in its economic development was negative image across the world due to terrorism-related incidents in the country. He said that incidents such as Peshawar massacre discouraged foreign investors to invest in the country. "Over 70 million overseas Pakistan should play ambassadorial role for their country to restore its positive and soft image," he added. Once, he said, Pakistan got its perception on positive trends the country would have rapid boom in investment due to strong fundamentals. "Youngsters are the agent of change for Pakistan what they need is their channelisation," he said. Discussing the international oil prices, he said, the prices would fall further as Saudi Arabia is the key player in oil market and it is showing reluctance to curtail oil production. "It is thought that after death of King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia would slash oil production but their policy remained unchanged," he said. He said that China would remain major player in global economic environment. Darst said that Apple, Face Book and Google would be global fighter in the year 2015 and they would have greater impact on global economy. He said turmoil hit countries like Yemen, Ukrine, Syria and others would shape the economic indicators in the year 2015. He said that global economic environment was not very conducive as big economic countries are taking short term measures. K-Electric to add 700MW coal power by 2018 (The News, Jan.28,2015) KARACHI: K-Electric signed an agreement with Chinese companies to set up 700 megawatts of coalfired power plants by 2018, a move that will minimise the utility’s reliance on the electricity supply from the national grid. A spokesperson at K-Electric Limited (KEL) on Tuesday said the company, China Datang Overseas Investment Corporation (CDTO) and China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) entered into a joint development agreement to develop two 350MW of coal-based power plant with a cost of one billion dollars at Port Qasim. “The project is in addition to the projects of converting plants to coal combustion at Port Qasim,” the spokesperson said. “The new project will be completed by 2018.” He added that KEL will inject 30 percent equity into the project, while the Chinese partners will contribute the remaining share. CDTO is the sole overseas investment arm of China Datang Corporation, one of the top five power generation enterprise group in China, specialising in power production and supply, power-related coal mine development and production and related professional technical services. CDTO has more than 118,000MW of power generation under its portfolio and $120 billion of assets and ranked 369 in Fortune 500. CMEC is a Hong-Kong listed world renowned engineering contractor and was ranked among China’s top 10 contractors by the Chinese ministry of commerce. CMEC has extended its business reach to more than 150 countries and regions in the fields of international engineering contracting and international trade in general. Meanwhile, K-Energy, which is to convert K-Electric’s Bin Qasim plants to coal, is running pillar to post to get a final go-ahead from the government. “Vested interest/oil mafia keeps highlighting frivolous points against coal, and the addiction to oil is set to be replaced by an addiction to natural gas/liquefied natural gas,” said an official of an independent power producer. An official said the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority first took 12 months to modify KElectric’s licence, which normally is a three-month process. Now, the authority is sitting on their tariff application since June on one pretext or the other. It is important to mention that while the project will initially use imported coal, new boilers are being designed to operate on coal blended with Thar coal, which as and when becomes commercially available. The energy generated by this project shall be sold to KE under a long term contractual arrangement as allowed by the Interim Power Procurement Regulations 2005. Pakistan would receive $3.2 billion from World Bank and Asian Development Bank during the year 2015 (The Nation, Jan.28,2015) The World Bank and ADB had a projected $1.5 billion and $1.68 billion assistance respectively earmarked for Pakistan for the year 2015. This was revealed in a meeting of Economic Affairs Division (EAD) chaired by Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar. The meeting reviewed the state of foreign assistance from WB, ADB, USAID, Govt. of Italy, JICA DIFID and other development partners for various projects in the spheres of energy, transport and rehabilitation of TDPs. At the outset of the meeting, follow up action on decisions of the last Donors conference was discussed at length. The Minister expressed satisfaction on operationalisation measures by WB, ADB and other development partners to help out flood affectees and TDPs. The ADB and WB would disseminate this assistance to different sectors in line with the policy of Pakistan Government, attaching due importance to energy and infrastructure rehabilitation in the areas affected by war on terror/ anti-terror operation. There would be a quarterly review of the utilisation of this assistance, the Minister was informed. A special briefing was also arranged on the occasion about the Kurram Tangi, a high priority Power Project, also in the affected areas which is part of rehab activities for TDPs, the Minister was informed. A monthly monitoring mechanism has been agreed to keep a watch on the progress of work on this project in consultation with the donors i.e World Bank, USAID and Govt. of Italy. Meanwhile, Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Inomata paid a courtesy call on Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here on Tuesday. The Minister shared with the Japanese Envoy, outcome of his meetings with Japanese leadership, CEOs of prominent companies and other important personalities during his just concluded visit to Japan. He mentioned about Toyota Motors plans for enhanced investment and Yamaha's future venture for launching a modern motorcycle plant in Pakistan on 27th April. Dar at the same time also appreciated Japanese government's intent to invest $850 million in Lakhra coal power project. The Minister said, he had briefed the Japanese leaders and CEOs of various companies about the turnaround in Pakistan's economy which had been possible through a sustained reforms agenda. He said marked recovery in its economy had enlivened the interest of Japanese companies to invest in Pakistan. He added that during meetings with their senior officials JICA and JBIC expressed renewed interest to invest in Pakistan. He thanked the Japanese Ambassador for facilitating the visit which helped in apprising Japanese leadership about the opportunities for prospective investors. Inomata conveyed to the Minister gratitude of the Japanese leadership for undertaking this visit, which he said would serve as a new beginning in bilateral economic cooperation. He said that invitation to the Japanese Prime Minister to visit Pakistan was being accorded active consideration. He affirmed strong interest of the Japanese side to invest in the Lakhra coal project. He also informed the Minister that on Tuesday he would be signing with EAD, grant agreements on two projects i.e Energy Saving in Water Supply System in Lahore and Improvement in security systems at Port Karachi and Port Qasim. (The ceremony would be held in the Ministry of Finance in the presence of the Finance Minister Ishaq Dar). He hoped that the momentum for enhanced engagement that had been created with the Finance Minister's visit to Japan would be maintained in future.
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