Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Trade deficit narrows to $3.3b | Car sales pick up | Yamaha to invest $150mn | IDB to extend $850mn project assistance to Pakistan

Trade deficit narrows by 3.07pc to $3.3b
Pakistan’s  trade  deficit  narrowed  by  over  3  per  cent  in  first  couple  of months  (July  and  August)  of  the  ongoing  financial  year  2013-2014,  as ex-ports grew at faster pace than imports during the period under review. According  to  the  latest  figures  of  Pakistan  Bureau of  Statistics (PBS)  released on Tuesday, the country’s trade imbalance was recorded at $3.3 billion dur-ing July-August period of the current financial year 2013-14 as against $3.4 billion  of  the  corresponding  period  of  previous  fiscal  year  2012-13  (July-August 2012-13), showing decline of 3.07 percent in one year. The PBS data revealed that exports have grown slightly faster than imports during period under  review.  Exports  rose  3.66  per  cent  to  $4.091  billion  during  the  July-August 2013-14 as compared to $3.946 of the same period of the last year.However, imports marginally enhanced by 0.54 per cent to $7.386 billion in July-August 2013-14 from $7.346 billion a year ago.

Car sales pick up
Sales  of  locally  produced  cars  slightly  improved  to  18,880  units  in  July-August this fiscal year compared with 18,325 units in the same months last year. The increase in sales of Honda cars and Suzuki Bolan made a positive impact  on  the  overall  sales  figures  as  sales  of  Toyota Corolla,  Suzuki Swift, Liana, Cultus and Mehran remained depressed. The month-on-month sales also rose to 9,592 units in August compared with 9,288 units in July, accord-ing  to  data  released  by  Pakistan  Automotive  Manufacturers  Association (PAMA). As for Honda cars, Civic sales swelled to 1,755 units from 707 units followed  by  City  whose  sales  increased  to  2,334  from  2,184  units.  Suzuki Swift  and  Toyota  Corolla sales  declined  to  907  and  4,995  units  from  1,292 and 5,264 units, while Liana sales remained  flat at 13 units compared with 45 units earlier. In 1,000cc, the sales of Suzuki Cultus marginally dropped to 2,243 from 2,308 units followed by fall in Suzuki Mehran sales to 4,559 from 4,832 units. Bolan sales recovered to 2,074 from 1,624 units.

Yamaha to invest $150m on bike plant in 5 years
Board  of  Investment  Chairman  Muhammad  Zubair  on  Tuesday  announced that the government has granted permission to Yamaha Company to estab-lish motorcycle plant in Karachi and the company would invest $150 million during the next 5 years but would start operations in December 2014. Ishaq Dar took up the matter in Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet that  after  detailed  deliberations  and  expediting  the  process,  allowed  the company to setup the plant. Yamaha at the initial stages would produce 25 percent  motorcycles  in Pakistan  that  will  be  increased  with  the  passage of time.  Muhammad  Zubair  said  that  the  government  had  formulated  a  mo-torcycle policy just  in 3 months while taking all the stakeholders on board. He said that government has offered incentives to local and foreign compa-nies for introducing latest technologies. All steps are being taken to attract foreign direct investment and development of local industry. But local industry would have to introduce modern technology to be the beneficiary of new policy formed by the government, he added. Muhammad Zubair said that decision of Yamaha to  establish  its  plant  in  Pakistan  will  encourage  other  famous  brands  to  invest  in  different  sectors  of  the  economy  as  the country offers more lucrative business opportunities as compared to the regional countries.

IDB to extend $850mn project assistance to Pakistan

A  five-member  delegation led  by  Mr.Birama  Boubacar  Sidibe,  Vice  President  (operations) Islamic  Development  Bank (IDB) called on Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at his office. Mr Birama who held meetings with senior officials of Economic Affairs Division and Planning Department said that he was impressed with the resolve of the government and was optimistic that the initiatives and economic measures taken by the government of Pakistan would put the macro-economic indicators banks to green. He said that IDB not only readily agreed to a loan of 750 million Euros and a trade facility of 150 million but also released the first tranche by August 15, 2013. Mr. Birama also informed the Finance Minister that IDB was prepared to disburse an additional 850 million dollars in the next three years for project assistance to Pakistan. The Finance Minister also thanked IDB for financing Nelum Jhehum Hydropower Project and hoped that the project whose cost had tripled  due  to  neglect  of  the  previous  government  would  be  completed  by  2016  as  Prime  Minister  Nawaz Shraif  was  taking personal  interest.  Similarly,  work  on  Nanidpur  Project  which  had  been delay  for  over  three  years  had  been  started  in  full swing.

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