Connect with us

Business

Pakistan’s refinery sector to have $10bn investment very soon, Musadik Malik claims

Published

on

Pakistan's refinery sector to have $10bn investment very soon, Musadik Malik claims

The country’s refinery sector will welcome $10 billion worth investment “very soon”, Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik said on Thursday.

Addressing a ceremony, he said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would inaugurate a $10bn investment very soon, adding he was unable to share the details at the moment.

The state minister’s remarks come after the coalition government has approved a new refinery policy which aims to incentivise greenfield investment.

“We need a GDP growth of 5 per cent on a sustainable basis. To achieve this growth we require 7.5-10pc growth in the energy sector every year,” he maintained.

Advertisement

The minister said the government would sign a comprehensive energy security agreement, with countries including Central Asian states and Russia, adding the agreement would be presented to the public by the end of this year.

He further said the government also wants to utilize historic ties with the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries and reshape them into trade and commerce.

Malik said the government intends to open energy corridors with Central Asia, and another with the GCC countries. “Cheap energy would lead to industrial proliferation in the country. We want to establish small industrial areas in our rural regions for value addition,” the minister said.

Malik said there are many countries that cannot afford to have certain kinds of industries, because their factor input cost-labour cost has increased exponentially. “We would like to present Pakistan as a country that has the infrastructure, labour force and technology,” he said.

Malik told reporters that the government is intensifying its enforcement on border areas to curb oil smuggling from Iran, saying in the coming days the flow of smuggled oil will reduce. 

Advertisement

The state minister said the purchase of crude from Russia is a “steel mill moment”, which would change the shape of Pakistan.

Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Musadik Malik said the first shipment of 100,000 tons of crude oil from Russia was poised to anchor at Oman Port by the month’s end, from where it would be gradually brought to Pakistani ports by small ships.

Speaking informally to the media, he explained that the oil shipment was anchored at Oman port just because of the logistic issues. Thus, he added that the decision to employ smaller ships for the onward journey was deemed the most practical and efficient solution.

Dr Musadik said the annual demand for petrol and diesel in Pakistan stood at 20 million tons, while local production only accounted for 10 to 11 million tons annually.

In contrast, he added, the consumption of furnace oil had significantly diminished over time.

Advertisement

Consequently, the minister emphasized the urgent requirement for a deep conversion refinery with a three to four million barrels capacity. Without such measures, projections indicate that by 2032, he added that the demand for petrol and diesel alone could reach 33 to 34 million tons, leaving a shortfall of approximately 22 million tons that would need to be imported.

The minister said the government was ready to collaborate with international investors in that regard because crude oil storage in the country was crucial to ensure energy security.

He said the government had introduced the greenfield refining policy of the petroleum sector as the country’s per capita energy consumption was the lowest in South Asia.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

PSX turns bullish, gains 484 points

PSX turns bullish, gains 484 points

Published

on

By

PSX turns bullish, gains 484 points

The 100-index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) turned around to bullish trend on Wednesday, gaining 484.35 points, a positive change of 0.77 percent, closing at 63,703.45 points against 63,219.10 points the previous trading day.

A total of 461,390,885 shares valuing Rs 16.000 billion were traded during the day as compared to 409,962,895 shares valuing Rs14.675 billion the last day.

Some 355 companies transacted their shares in the stock market; 180 of them recorded gains and 149 sustained losses, whereas the share prices of 26 remained unchanged.

The three top trading companies were Cnergyico PK with 62,181,107 shares at Rs4.39 per share, K-Electric Limited with 45,494,078 shares at Rs 4.79 per share, and Hascol Petrol with 30,485,000 shares at Rs 7.98 per share.

Advertisement

Unilever Pakistan Foods Limited witnessed a maximum increase of Rs 655.00 per share price, closing at Rs 21,800.00, whereas the runner-up was Premier Sugar Mills with a Rs 33.75 rise in its per share price to Rs 483.75. Pakistan Services Limited witnessed a maximum decrease of Rs 50.00 per share closing at Rs 740.00, followed by Bata Pakistan Limited with Rs 25.00 decline to close at Rs1,700.00.

Continue Reading

Business

UK job vacancies fall 15pc year-on-year in January

UK job vacancies fall 15pc year-on-year in January

Published

on

By

UK job vacancies fall 15pc year-on-year in January

British employers advertised the fewest jobs in nearly three years last month, with numbers down 15 per cent from a year ago, figures from recruitment data company Adzuna showed on Monday, adding to signs that the labour market is cooling.

Last week Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey welcomed what he described as “full employment” – with the official UK jobless rate at 3.8 per cent – despite the economy entering a shallow recession in the second half of last year.

However, the central bank wants to see wage growth slow from rates of more than 6pc in order to put downward pressure on inflation, which remains double its target.

Falling job vacancies offer a potential sign that employers are finding it easier to recruit than in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the number of vacancies peaked at more than 1.3 million.

Advertisement

Adzuna said 867,436 jobs were advertised in Britain in January, based on its analysis of more than 1,000 online sources. This was the lowest number since April 2021 and down from more than 1 million a year earlier.

“January 2024 has proven to be one of the most difficult starts to the year for job hunters in recent years with companies continuing to put hiring plans on ice,” Adzuna co-founder Andrew Hunter said.

The number of job seekers per advertised vacancy rose to 1.81 from 1.48 a year earlier.

However, Hunter said, preliminary data for February suggested the number of vacancies was stabilising.

Previous vacancy data from the Office for National Statistics showed an 18pc annual fall in job vacancies for the three months to the end of January.

Advertisement

Adzuna said the average starting salary – which employers only published for just under half of positions advertised – was 38,168 pounds ($48,450), 3.0pc more than a year earlier. 

Continue Reading

Business

WTO ministers gather in UAE for talks amid geopolitical tensions

WTO ministers gather in UAE for talks amid geopolitical tensions

Published

on

By

WTO ministers gather in UAE for talks amid geopolitical tensions

 The world’s trade ministers gathered in the UAE on Monday for a high-level WTO meeting with no clear prospects for breakthroughs, amid geopolitical tensions and disagreements.

The World Trade Organisation’s 13th ministerial conference (MC13), scheduled to run until Thursday in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is the first in two years.

The WTO is hoping for progress, particularly on fishing, agriculture and electronic commerce.

But big deals are unlikely as the body’s rules require full consensus among all 164 member states — a tall order in the current climate.

Advertisement

“I don’t have hopes that a very substantive agreement will be announced,” said Marcelo Olarreaga, Professor of Economics at the University of Geneva.

“My impression is that the negotiators are dealing with tactical positions – how to make it look like it is the other (side) who is blocking negotiations,” he told AFP.

Even WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said she expects the meeting to be challenging due to the “economic and political headwinds” – from the war in Ukraine, attacks in the Red Sea, inflation, rising food prices and economic difficulties in Europe and China.

Her team is working around the clock to draft agreements for the talks, she told journalists this month, noting that “negotiating positions are still quite tough”, notably on agriculture.

‘Miracle’

Advertisement

During the WTO’s last ministerial meeting, held at its Geneva headquarters in June 2022, trade ministers nailed down a historic deal banning fisheries subsidies harmful to marine life and agreed to a temporary patent waiver for Covid-19 vaccines.

They also committed themselves to re-establishing a dispute settlement system which Washington had brought to a grinding halt in 2019 after years of blocking the appointment of new judges to the WTO’s appeals court.

“Replicating the success, the miracle, of MC12 in 2022 will be extremely challenging,” European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said this month.

“Negotiations on the big-ticket items” – such as fisheries, agriculture and the e-commerce moratorium – will “remain open until the final phase of the conference”, he added.

“Negotiations on dispute settlement reform and potentially some parts of the outcome document will also be challenging.”

Advertisement

However, the WTO faces pressure to eke out progress on reform in Abu Dhabi ahead of the possible re-election of Donald Trump as US president.

During his four years in office from 2017 to 2021, Trump threatened to pull the United States out of the trade body and disrupted its ability to settle disputes.

“There will be the US elections in November…so this is the last chance,” a diplomatic source in Geneva told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“Postponing anything until after MC13 is not a good strategy.”

Earlier this month, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai underlined Washington’s “commitment to reforming the WTO and creating a more durable multilateral trading system”.

Advertisement

But Olarreaga of the University of Geneva said the other members of the WTO “cannot expect huge concessions” from the administration of US President Joe Biden in an election year.

‘Fragmentation’

While there is doubt over progress at the WTO on major issues such as agriculture, there is hope for small advances on other fronts, particularly aid for developing countries.

On Monday, two new countries, the Comoros and East Timor, are expected to be accepted as WTO members.

More than 120 countries and regions, including China and the European Union, but not the United States, issued a ministerial declaration early Monday, marking the finalisation of an agreement aimed at facilitating international investments in development.

Advertisement

They also issued a submission requesting the official integration of the deal into the WTO, but some diplomats fear opposition from India, which rejects any agreement that does not include all member states.

But amid the difficulty of obtaining full consensus, more and more plurilateral agreements — deals with a narrower number of signatories — are being reached, applying only to the participating countries.

Adding to the challenges for those gathering in the UAE, is the ongoing war in Gaza and related attacks by Yemeni rebels on ships in the Red Sea, a campaign that has disrupted global maritime trade.

“The current situation is characterised by geopolitical tensions,” said a European diplomat who spoke to AFP on the condition of anonymity.

“High expectations from developing nations following the financial crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as economic tensions due to inflation… (add to the) risk of fragmentation of the global economy,” the diplomat said. 

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © GLOBAL TIMES PAKISTAN