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From crude oil to metals, free-falling commodity prices have been a key feature of 2015. It has been a tough year for the producers and commodity-exporting countries who have been waiting for a respite for long. Against the backdrop of the impending interest rate rise in the United States and slowdown of Chinese economy, the global demand and supply of commodities are not showing very promising signs of a revival, as per Economic Intelligence Unit?s recent commodity outlook.
The tobacco value chain is the most enterprising SME sector in Pakistan, says a report recently released by the SBP. Although its cultivation may not be that widespread, tobacco not only earns forex but contributes the most to Pakistan’s excise tax base. Unfortunately, there are two main problems that have capped the growth of this industry – illegal cigarettes and lack of agricultural credit.
While Pakistan and Turkey have always maintained friendly relations, the two nations and their governments are perhaps closer today than ever before. The strengthened relations and heightened interactions are well worth the time for Pakistan and its authorities. After all, much can be learnt from that country’s progress over the past decade or so, in areas which are very relevant to Pakistan.
History tells us that a Nawaz Sharif government doesn’t get to complete its third year. Sharif was PM for two years and six months in his first term and for two years and eight months in the second before he was sent packing. Sharif is now nearly halfway through his third term. Regardless of whichever side of political spectrum one is on, it seems the government could use some introspection and action.
It’s always a great pleasure to attend the Pakistan Economic Forum (PEF) summit organised by Pakistan Business Council (PBC) every alternate year. It’s pretty much a constellation of stars out there; a red carpet of Pakistan’s finest business minds. And this year was no different, with some very pertinent issues highlighted at the PEF held last week.
Until a couple of weeks ago, the focus of the US presidential election was largely on issues related to domestic politics. The presidential candidates from both parties were giving their piece of mind on the situation of US middle class, income inequality, and failure of US economy to generate jobs and about the future of so-called American dream. However, increasingly it seems that the Paris attacks might have shifted the direction of the presidential debates.
By the time China?s had closed its Singles? Day shopping deals on November 11; Chinese consumers had ordered nearly $15 billion from the online merchant ? a global record. One marvels at the ability of Alibaba?s web masters and its supply-chain handlers to manage that kind of traffic. Now, later this month, leading Pakistani online retailer,, will mark ?Black Friday?, offering the ?biggest sale of the year.? It would be interesting to see local shoppers? response.
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Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,792.68 0.17
Arrow Nasdaq 5,102.48 0.05
Arrow S&P 2,086.59 0.12
Arrow FTSE 6,305.49 0.46
Arrow DAX 11,092.31 0.25
Arrow CAC-40 4,889.12 0.44
Arrow Nikkei 19,879.81 0.10
Arrow H.Seng 22,665.90 0.90
Arrow Sensex 25,819.34 0.19

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Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.197 bln
Exports $1.729 bln
Imports $3.926 bln
WeeklyNovember 23, 2015
Reserves $19.713 bln