BIGO rapidly develops its commercialization in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, June 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — During Ramadan, BIGO Ads expanded partnerships in Fintech by working with Bank Islami and served their campaign on imo social communication app. Bank Islami is a well-known bank in Pakistan with nationwide presence. By targeting NRP’s (Non-Resident Pakistanis) audience on imo story stream and story feed ads placements, the average CTR reached 1.86% for the brand.

Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan, one of the leading non-profit organizations dedicated to humanitarian services in Pakistan, also ran a campaign on imo chatlist, audio call and story stream spots, targeting NRP audience, and obtained the average CTR of 1.24%.

BIGO Ads launched its commercial advertising service in Pakistan in 2020. It has accelerated its commercialization in Pakistan through cooperation with different brands such as 3C, FMCG, Games, etc., to provide professional one-stop marketing solutions services to local customers.

BIGO Ads, a global mobile marketing platform that is a premium aggregator of the high-quality traffic short video products Likee and also exclusively represents the advertising business of the social communication product imo. BIGO Ads collaborates with worldwide brands and helps them reach larger customer base through imo and Likee which have gained huge popularity among the Pakistan Internet population since 2020.

imo is a global instant communication platform aiming to provide convenient, interactive, and fun way for people to connect. imo connects over 200 million monthly active users in 62 languages across more than 150 countries worldwide.

Based on imo’s massive amount of traffic, high user engagement and excellent user consumption behaviors, brands can easily access huge ad exposure in Pakistan. imo can provide corresponding brand solutions based on advertisers’ different promotion demands. For example, for great exposure demand, advertisers can choose brand takeover ad. Meanwhile, chatlist ad and story stream ad can let your brand reach the right and flexible audience. imo recommends the superpower “roadblock package” that can help maximize brand exposure through multiple advertisement channels inside the app.

Likee is a prominent global short video creation platform with cutting-edge special effects, video shooting and editing tools. Nowadays, it has become one of the leading short videos product that possessing high growth of users in Pakistan and helps shape the social trend in Pakistan market.

Powered by professional marketing solutions, Likee is dedicated to its solid commercial values, and helps brands in achieving their objectives. Brand Takeover is a great approach to reach significant ads exposure. Moreover, Likee’s Hashtag Challenge, Branded Effect and Customized HTML 5 can trigger supreme interaction among users. KOL Cooperation and Shopping Cart Function add up commercial value for brands.

Likee is creative and effective in the delivery of ad services. At the end of 2020, Likee helped launch Hashtag Challenge for PUBG MOBILE in Pakistan. The activity was in an attractive, interactive way and involved popular characteristic elements in the local market. For example, many well-known Pakistani pop singers were invited to sing the theme song. Their participation attracted many users in the active creation of Emoji expressions, which massively accelerated the spread of the brand reputation and expanded the user base of PUBG MOBILE.

In Pakistan, Flame Ads is one of our official resellers. It helps BIGO Ads develop its commercialization in Pakistan. BIGO Ads has been rapidly expanding its commercialization in Pakistan, especially with the major local brands and customers interested in Likee and imo. With BIGO Ads’ substantial traffic and rich, efficient marketing solutions, we will provide advertisers with a better service and achieve marketing objectives in 2021.

For more cooperation, please contact BigoAds-MKT@bigo.sg.

Centrient Pharmaceuticals boosting statins API manufacturing capacity

Rotterdam, The Netherlands, June 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

Summary:

  • Centrient Pharmaceuticals has started production at its newly built statins API manufacturing unit in Toansa, India.
  • With this expansion the company is doubling its production capacity of Atorvastatin and Rosuvastatin, meeting the increased demand for its high-quality uniquely produced statins.
  • Centrient Pharmaceuticals’ statins are one of the most sustainably produced in the industry by eliminating harmful solvents, generating less waste, and a reduced carbon footprint of 32% as compared to traditional manufacturers.
  • Using backward integrated manufacturing methods, and dedicated production facilities, Centrient Pharmaceuticals is able to offer its customers security of supply.

Centrient Pharmaceuticals (“Centrient”), the global leader in sustainable antibiotics, next-generation statins and anti-fungals, announced today to have started production at its new statins manufacturing unit. With the building of its second dedicated unit on the Toansa site in India now completed, the company will double its statins production capacity. This will enable Centrient to meet growing demand for its sustainably manufactured Atorvastatin and Rosuvastatin Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs).

Statins are currently the most prescribed drug class globally for the treatment of high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases and are among the top-selling drugs worldwide. The markets for Atorvastatin and Rosuvastatin in particular, has shown steady growth in the past years, as a result of the continued global prevalence of high cholesterol issues, replacement of older generation statins, and genericization of the market.

Starting almost a decade ago, Centrient has grown today into one of the leading statin API suppliers worldwide, servicing large pharma companies around the globe.

Next to high-quality features like long shelf life and large batch sizes, the company offers security of supply to customers through its dedicated statins production facility and backward integration. Being backward integrated, Centrient is independent from external imports of starting materials. Its enzymatic route of synthesis and patented technology minimise the use of harmful solvents, generate less waste, and reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 32% as compared to traditional manufacturers.

The news of the facility expansion follows major milestones on statins that the company reached in the past years. In 2012, under the name of DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals, it was the first pharmaceutical manufacturer worldwide to offer generic Atorvastatin APIs under a Certificate of Suitability to the Monograph of the European Pharmacopoeia (CEP). Since 2014, it has produced the unique Atorvastatin APIs in its state-of-the-art facility in Toansa, India for third-party customers.

In addition, the company was one of the first three companies worldwide that started to offer generic Rosuvastatin APIs under CEP in 2016. Two years later, the first generic Rosuvastatin and Atorvastatin finished dosage forms were launched in Western Europe.

“With the doubling of our production capacity, we demonstrate our commitment to maintain our leadership position in line with our strategy and to continue supporting our customers’ business growth. Guided by our brand promise of Quality, Reliability, and Sustainability, Centrient’s Rosuvastatin and Atorvastatin offer superior performance in all three areas to the benefit of our customers and the environment.”, says Frans Vlaar, Chief Commercial Officer at Centrient.

Ground breaking of the new manufacturing unit started at the end of 2019 and commercial supplies from the new unit will start in mid-2021With the new manufacturing line being operational and doubling the production capacity, Centrient will be even better positioned to secure supply, meeting the growing demand from customers and helping to improve the lives of patients who are in need of these medicine.

“We are extremely proud that we have been able to complete this project in a timely way given the challenges of executing such a complex project in the midst of the COVID pandemic,” says Jim McPherson, Chief Quality & Technical Operations Officer. “It reinforces our absolute commitment to meet the expectations of our customers as a partner of choice – delivering reliable and secure supply using leading sustainable technologies. The facility incorporates design features that allow further improvements in GMP and energy utilization, and enable greater automation for improved process control.”

———————————————————————————————————————————–


About Centrient Pharmaceuticals

Centrient Pharmaceuticals is the leading manufacturer of beta-lactam antibiotics, and a provider of next generation statins and antifungals. We produce and sell intermediates, active pharmaceutical ingredients and finished dosage forms.

We stand proudly at the centre of modern healthcare, as a maker of essential and life-saving medicines. With our commitment to Quality, Reliability and Sustainability at the heart of everything we do, our over 2200 employees work continuously to meet our customers’ needs. We work towards a sustainable future by actively participating in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Founded 150 years ago as the ‘Nederlandsche Gist- en Spiritusfabriek’, our company was known as Gist Brocades and more recently DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals. Headquartered in Rotterdam (Netherlands), we have production facilities and sales offices in China, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Egypt, the United States and Mexico. Centrient Pharmaceuticals is wholly owned by Bain Capital Private Equity, a leading global private investment firm.

For more information please visit www.centrient.com or contact Centrient Pharmaceuticals Corporate Communications, Alice Beijersbergen, Director Branding & Communications. E-Mail: alice.beijersbergen@centrient.com.

Forward-looking statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements with respect to Centrient Pharmaceuticals’ future financial performance and position. Such statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections of Centrient and information currently available to the company. Centrient cautions readers that such statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict and therefore it should be understood that many factors can cause actual performance and position to differ materially from these statements. Centrient has no obligation to update the statements contained in this press release, unless required by law. The English language version of the press release is governing.

Alice Beijersbergen
Centrient Pharmaceuticals
alice.beijersbergen@centrient.com

Saudi Arabia to Resume Oil Aid Facility to Pakistan

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has agreed to resume the annual oil aid facility worth nearly $1.5 billion to Pakistan in July, Financial Times reported.

The move is part of Riyadh’s efforts to counter Iran’s influence in the region.

Last year, the KSA had asked Pakistan to repay a loan of $3 billion after the latte had pressured the former to criticize India’s cancellation of a loan.

The tensions between the two countries were resolved in May this year after Prime Minister Imran Khan had visited the KSA and met the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The KSA is making diplomatic efforts along with the United States and Qatar to build a front against Iran, and had lifted a three-year blockade of Qatar in January as part of the same efforts.

Pakistan has also been making efforts to build diplomatic relations with Turkey – a regional rival of the KSA – along with Malaysia, to create an Islamist bloc to rival the Saudi-led Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Khan has developed a strong relationship with the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and has also encouraged Pakistanis to watch historic Turkish TV series like Release Ertugrul (Ertugrul Resurrection) for its depiction of Islamic values. All of this has led to the souring of the bilateral relations between Pakistan and the KSA, added the report.

However, in the past few months, the tension seems to have subsided, and both the countries have agreed to reset their relations, which includes the resumption of the oil credit facility. The Saudis also intend to resume their investment plans in Pakistan.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Poverty Has Increased in Pakistan: World Bank

The World Bank (WB) has estimated that poverty in Pakistan has increased from 4.4 percent to 5.4 percent. More than two million people have fallen below the poverty line in Pakistan.

The WB used the lower-middle-income poverty rate ($3.2 per day) and estimated that the poverty ratio in Pakistan stood at 39.3 percent in 2020-21 and is projected to remain at 39.2 percent in 2021-22 and might come down to 37.9 percent by 2022-23.

By using the upper-middle-income poverty rate ($5.5 per day) methods, the WB estimated that poverty stood at 78.4 percent in 2020-21, and it would be standing at 78.3 percent in 2021-22 and is projected to come down to 77.5 percent in 2022-23. The World Bank’s Macro Poverty Outlook on Pakistan stated that the incidence of poverty is estimated to have increased in FY20 from 4.4 to 5.4 percent, using the international poverty line of $1.90 per day, with more than two million people falling below this poverty line. Moreover, 40 percent of households suffered from moderate to severe food insecurity.

At a time when the WB has been showing rising trends in poverty, the government has just released poverty figures for 2018-19 and indicated that the poverty declined from 24.3 percent in 2015-16 to 21.9 percent in 2018-19 in the pre-COVID-19 period.

The WB stated that the government, therefore, focused on mitigating the adverse socio-economic effects of the pandemic, and the IMF programme was temporarily put on hold. However, the containment measures adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic led to a collapse in economic activity during the final quarter of FY20. As a result, the GDP growth is estimated to have contracted by 1.5 percent in FY20.

Half of the working population saw either job or income losses, with informal and low-skilled workers employed in elementary occupations facing the strongest contraction in employment. As a result, the poverty incidence is estimated to elementary occupations facing the strongest contraction in employment.

As a result, the poverty incidence is estimated to have increased in FY20 from 4.4 to 5.4 percent, using the international poverty line of $1.90 per day, with more than two million people falling below this poverty line.

Moreover, 40 percent of households suffered. The WB stated that major risks to the outlook include the possibility of new waves of infections, the emergence of new vaccine-resistant strains, and setbacks in mass vaccinations.

In addition, more delays in the implementation of critical structural reforms could lead to further fiscal and macroeconomic imbalances.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Govt Finally Resolves Issue of Turnover Tax Exemption for SEZs

The Federal Government has exempted Special Economic Zones (SEZs) from minimum turnover tax.

The Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act, 2012, had already exempted SEZs from all taxes, but some Chinese and other investors had complained that they are still being charged turnover taxes, Business Recorder reported on Monday.

During the 6th meeting of the Board of Approvals, held in October last year under the chair of PM Imran Khan, it was highlighted that even though SEZ Act provides “Exemption from all taxes on income” to Zone Developer and Zone Enterprises under sections 36 & 37 of the said Act, the SEZ enterprises were still being subjected up to 1.5 percent turnover tax.

During the meeting, it was informed that Section 126E of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 also offers the same exemptions. However, at the same time, Section 113(3)(a) of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001 necessitates turnover taxes for the economic zones under concern.

The companies operating within these SEZs are required to incur heavy depreciation costs in the first few years of their establishment. If turnover taxes are applied on top of that, it steeply reduces the value of any sale proceeds that these new companies may make in their initial years. Put together, the depreciation costs and taxes negatively impact the profitability of these enterprises and may also lead them towards failure right from the beginning of their operations, the news report added.

After hearing these arguments, the meeting unanimously decided to refer the matter to the Ministry of Law, which later clarified that the “exemption from all taxes on income” already available through the Act includes exemption from minimum turnover tax as well.

While this clarification was also communicated to the FBR, the investors operating in the SEZs complained that they were still being charged with the minimum turnover tax.

The FBR said in response that the Federal Government needs to bring appropriate amendments in clause 11A of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001, through the forthcoming Finance Bill, if it intends to extend the exemption from minimum turnover tax to the SEZs.

On the other hand, the Board of Investment – being the SEZ Secretariat – has said that the ‘exemption from income tax’ already includes ‘exemption from minimum turnover tax.’ Therefore, amending the tax ordinance, etc., will make it a new incentive to the SEZs, which might have other undesirable impacts.

BoI has proposed that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet may direct FBR to implement the exemption from the minimum turnover tax being a tax on income, exemption from which is available to both SEZ developers and its enterprises. On May 21, 2021, the ECC approved the exemption, which was later ratified by the Cabinet.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Closure of Engro’s LNG Terminal to be Decided in 3 Days

After taking the opinion of the Law Division, the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE) will decide whether to delay the shutdown of the Engro LNG Terminal or to continue operations, within 72 hours, the Secretary Petroleum, Dr. Arshad Mehmood, informed a local media outlet.

The issue pertains to the dry docking of the FSRU (Floating Storage Regasification Unit) for six to eight weeks at the Engro Elengy Terminal Private Limited (EETPL).

This is the standard process of the LNG terminals, whereby the FSRU is taken to the service yard and brought to dry land. This is done to clean and inspect the submerged portions of the hull. Dry docking is essential as a preventative measure and is also a regulatory requirement within the industry.

This particular terminal had been given extensions thrice until March 2021, which means that the risk of any mishap is much higher now if dry docking is not carried out. Furthermore, after 30 June, the current FSRU at the EETPL will not have any insurance cover and, therefore, will not be able to sail.

The FSRU at the EETPL needs dry docking twice in 15 years, the first of which was due in 2019 but has not been so far, Mehmood stated.

However, the docking of the unit means that the LNG terminal will not be functional for at least a week. This may also lead to supply disruptions as this terminal supplies nearly 10 percent of the total gas across the country.

Under these circumstances, the EETPL is seeking to replace the current FSRU (Exquisite) by the FSRU (Sequoia), while the Petroleum Division is focused on ensuring coordinated efforts to manage risks and mitigate supply chain disruption.

The Petroleum Division will re-pitch the summary to the CCOE which is scheduled to meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to suspend the re-gasification process on the terminal for two days. The re-gasification will start remapping up and will increase to 100 percent in the next five days under this proposal by the Petroleum Division.

If the dry docking process is initiated, the supply chain may be disrupted. In that case, the supply of RLNG will continue to power plants and export industry, but the CNG, fertilizer, and non-export industries will have reduced supplies for a week or so.

Under the gas load management plan, the stock of furnace and diesel has been arranged to meet the electricity demand.

On the other hand, if the dry docking is postponed to August, the government will receive significant relief, as the maximum hydrogenation will be available in August and it will be easy for the government to close the Enrgo Terminal for a week.

The Petroleum Secretary said that the CCOE will take input from the law division and legal teams of stakeholders such as the EETPL, the SSGC, the PLL, PSO, the SNGPL, and the OGRA.

Source: Pro Pakistani