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.