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Site update: February 23 2024, at 12:00 PKST
Stock update: February 22 2024.

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Friday, February 23 2024

IMF looking forward to working with new govt to ensure macroeconomic stability: official
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stated that it is looking forward to engaging with the new government on policies to ensure “macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens”. The development comes a day after PTI Senator Ali Zafar told reporters that a letter would be sent from incarcerated party founder Imran Khan to the international lender urging it to call for an independent audit of the Feb 8 general elections before it continues talks with Islamabad. Zafar said the IMF, the European Union and other organisations had a charter that stated that good governance was needed for working in the country or giving a loan. “The most important condition for good governance is democracy,” he said, adding that the people’s mandate was stolen “in the darkness of the night” during the Feb 8 polls.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Sazgar-GWM launch ORA 3 EV in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Sazgar Engineering, one of Pakistan’s leading car manufacturers, has partnered with Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall Motors (GWM) to introduce their latest innovation in the automotive industry, the electric vehicle ORA 3. “With cars being the primary mode of transportation in Pakistan and gasoline prices continuously rising due to global oil price hikes, there’s a clear and urgent need for alternative energy solutions,” stated a representative from Sazgar Engineering. “New energy vehicles (NEVs) seem to be the perfect fit.” Sazgar Engineering has set the price of the ORA 3 at Rs8.99 million, making it an attractive option for consumers looking to embrace NEVs. The company has announced that bookings for this vehicle will open in the coming days, with an initial booking price of Rs5 million.
Related news categories: auto-assembler business economic-indicators psx stock-exchanges
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Pakistan eyes $20b in trade with Saudi Arabia
ISLAMABAD: Observing that the current trade volume falls short of expectations, Caretaker Federal Minister for Commerce and Industry, Gohar Ejaz said that Pakistan aims to lift bilateral trade with Saudi Arabia upto $20 billion. Addressing the Pakistan-Saudi Business Forum in Riyadh on Thursday, the minister said that legislation would be enacted to promote bilateral investment between the two countries, according to a press statement issued by the commerce ministry. Ejaz also met with the Saudi Minister of Commerce, Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al-Kassabi. The meeting focused on enhancing investment in sectors such as construction, digital economy, and infrastructure between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The Pakistani commerce minister mentioned that a Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan and Gulf countries has been ratified.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Border challenges stall Pakistan-Afghanistan trade
PESHAWAR: Peshawar serves as the gateway to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, facilitating the import and export of various products. The Torkham border acts as a pathway, enabling the expansion of trade between the two countries on a global scale. Pakistan and Afghanistan share a border spanning over 2,600 kilometres. Following the implementation of border fencing, illegal movements of goods across the border have been curtailed to some extent. There are 18 trading points along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, with key crossing points being Torkham and Chaman. Torkham, situated in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Chaman, located in Balochistan, are connected to Afghanistan’s Jalalabad and Kandahar provinces respectively. According to a survey conducted by the Pakistan-Afghanistan Joint Chamber of Commerce, trade between the two countries amounted to $2.5 billion in 2010. However, this figure dropped to $1.6 billion before experiencing a slight increase to over $1.8 billion in 2022-23.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

PBF calls for political finance minister
LAHORE: The Pakistan Business Forum (PBF) has said that entrusting a technocrat with the role of finance minister would pose significant challenges for the country amid the current economic climate. “Any technocrat may struggle to negotiate a deal that balances economic stabilisation with the growing hardships faced by the people, potentially raising concerns about conflicts of interest,” said Khawaja Mahboobur Rehman, President of the PBF. “PBF views Ishaq Dar as someone who has earned a reputation as a ‘tough negotiator’ with the IMF and remains a viable option,” said Rehman during a media interaction on Thursday. He urged the prime minister (in-waiting) to appoint a politician as the finance minister to better grasp the local dynamics. Rehman strongly demanded that the incoming government re-evaluate the policy of continually raising energy prices immediately. In particular, the decision to increase the captive gas price to Rs2,750/MMBtu, marking a 223% increase since January 2023, which Rehman insists poses a grave threat to Pakistan’s industrial sectors, with a complete collapse looming.
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