Chongqing Liangjiang New Area empowers SCO cooperation with digital economy

CHONGQING, China, Aug. 25, 2021 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/–In a bid to promote the digital economy for common prosperity, the China-Shanghai Cooperation Organization Forum on the Digital Economy Industry kicked off Monday in the Liangjiang New Area in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality. The three-day event will be held both online and offline, according to Chongqing Liangjiang New Area Administrative Committee.

As one of the five sub-forums, the parallel session of Trade and Economic Multifunctional Platform for the SCO Countries (TEMP) in Chongqing Liangjiang New Area was held Monday. A total of 16 projects were signed on site, involving industry, cultural tourism and education, with a trade volume of nearly 10 billion yuan.

In August 2019, TEMP officially settled in Liangjiang New Area. It’s designed to be a multi-field and multi-functional international exchange and cooperation platform with economic and trade work as the core. TEMP seeks to strengthen and deepen cooperation, optimize the commercial structure of Central Asian and Southeast Asian countries, expand corresponding economic factors, and establish common production cooperation.

Since its establishment, TEMP has played an active role and achieved remarkable results. The level of interconnection between SCO member states and Chongqing has seen continuous improvement, with increasingly closer economic cooperation and trade exchanges. At present, SCO member states have opened about 40 new enterprises in Chongqing, and Chongqing has set up more than 30 enterprises in SCO member states with a total investment of 675 million U.S. dollars.

As an important carrier for strengthening mutually beneficial economic and trade cooperation between China and the SCO, TEMP will build a new SCO ecology featuring deep integration of digital economy and traditional economy. It will continue to innovate the international economic cooperation, trade exchange model, and use advanced digital industry concepts to create a multi-industry international ecological layout with Chongqing as the hub to serve SCO member states.

As the first national-level development and opening-up new district in China’s inland, Liangjiang New Area is building an inland open door, a smart city, a high-quality development leading area and high-quality living demonstration area in Chongqing. By leading industrial transformation and upgrading with big data intelligence and building a new pattern of inland opening-up, the new area has established five open systems, including an open channel for international multimodal transport, an open platform with complete functional categories, an open economy with a high degree of extroversion, an open environment of marketization, legalization and internationalization, and an open cooperation connecting BRI countries. High-quality development has posted a strong momentum in the new area.

Liangjiang will leverage TEMP to promote scientific and technological innovation cooperation to a higher level and promote the application of next-generation digital technologies. Besides, efforts will be made to push for new results in digital economy cooperation and to build internationally competitive digital industrial clusters. The new area will promote new expansion of economic and trade cooperation and deepen cooperation in international trade, industrial development, culture and tourism.

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Source: Chongqing Liangjiang New Area Administrative Committee

Etan Hon Named Product Manager of Turbo Aftermarket Services for Nikkiso Cryogenic Services

TEMECULA, Calif., Aug. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nikkiso Cryogenic Industries’ Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group (Group), a subsidiary of Nikkiso Co., Ltd (Japan), is pleased to announce that Etan Hon has been appointed Product Manager of Turbo Aftermarket Services (AMS) for the Nikkiso Cryogenic Services unit (NCS).

This addition to their management team supports the Group’s objectives to further grow their AMS for Turboexpanders. The Turbo All Brands line will also expand to support and service more brands, including ACD, Rotoflow, Atlas Copco, and Cryostar among others.

Etan received a degree in Aerospace engineering from the University of California, San Diego. He started his career by providing oilfield services to customers within the oil & gas industry in Texas working for Schlumberger and Baker Hughes. In 2017, he joined ACD LLC as a Field Service Manager. After the acquisition by Nikkiso in 2019, he transitioned into the role of Service Manager of Turbo AMS for NCS and helped move the ACD Turbo AMS division into a new facility in Irvine, CA. He helped re-develop the standards and processes with the international service centers for the Turbo AMS in Irvine. The new structure has created a successful operating business locally and will ensure proper support to the Turbo AMS team globally.

“The NCS team is excited to have Etan in this new Turbo AMS Product Management role,” according to Jim Estes, President of NCS. “His years of experience and focus on customer service has exceeded our expectations. I’m looking forward to his success continuing in this new role.”

Nikkiso Cryogenic Services provides service and support globally, including locations in Malaysia, Germany, India, Australia, Taiwan and China as well as six locations in North America.

Cryogenic Industries, Inc. (now a member of Nikkiso Co., Ltd.) member companies manufacture engineered cryogenic gas processing equipment and small-scale process plants for the liquefied natural gas (LNG), well services and industrial gas industries. Founded over 50 years ago, Cryogenic Industries is the parent company of ACD, Cosmodyne and Cryoquip and a commonly-controlled group of approximately 20 operating entities.

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Anna Quigley

Thunes Enables Real-time Consumer Payments to Pakistan through a Partnership with Bank Alfalah

SINGAPORE and KARACHI, Pakistan , Aug. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Thunes, Singapore-based Fintech company and a leader in global cross-border payments, today announced a partnership with Bank Alfalah, one of Pakistan’s largest banks, to enable real-time affordable cross-border payments to consumers in Pakistan.

This partnership will help Thunes’ customers to enable payments not just to Bank Alfalah’s clients, but to all of the 57 million of Pakistan’s banked population. It will also work in near-real time, thanks to Thunes’ robust digital treasury systems.

Pakistan ranks #6 among countries recipients of remittances in 2020 globally, according to the World Bank data. The flow of migrant workers’ remittances to Pakistan continues to accelerate despite Covid-19, surging 29% between July 2020 – May 2021 to reach an all-time high of US$26.7 billion per annum. These funds are an important source of foreign exchange for Pakistan and crucial for supporting families with essential daily needs, including food, housing, healthcare and education.

“We are delighted to partner with Bank Alfalah to deliver a smoother and more efficient money transfer experience to the Pakistan consumers. Historically, cross-border money transfers to Pakistan have been complicated by the lack of transparency, long waiting times, and burdened with hidden fees. We are glad to create infrastructure that will benefit families, remote workers and communities across the nation who depend on money sent from overseas for their livelihoods. And we are looking forward to continuing our collaboration with Bank Alfalah, strengthening the financial ties between Pakistan and the rest of the world, and staying true to our vision: providing accessible, transparent and affordable payments,” said Andrew Stewart, Global Head of Networks, Thunes.

“Bank Alfalah is collaborating with Thunes to provide the most automated and seamless cross-border payments experience to Pakistanis. This solution reinforces our commitment to provide smarter and faster ways of sending remittances to Pakistan using digital innovation. This exciting new partnership with Thunes helps Bank Alfalah to become a game changer by enabling cross-border payments to be deposited to all bank account holders in Pakistan in real time,” said Saad Ur Rahman Khan, Group Head – Corporate, Investment Banking and International Business, Bank Alfalah.

With the addition of Pakistan, Thunes’ global network will now grow to 113 countries where it can facilitate inbound consumer or business payments.

About Thunes

Thunes is a B2B company that powers payments for the world’s fastest-growing businesses. Corporates and financial institutions can move funds seamlessly, securely and cost-effectively with Thunes’ well-established, reliable and far-reaching network. Thunes is used by leading global banks, money transfer operators, platforms and many other businesses to make payments to bank accounts, mobile wallets and cash pick-up providers around the world. With a single, simple connection, your business and customers can send payments to – and get paid in – every corner of the world. Instantly.

Thunes is headquartered in Singapore with regional offices in London, France, Shanghai, New York, Dubai, and Nairobi.

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About Bank Alfalah

Bank Alfalah is one of the largest private banks in Pakistan with a network of over 740 branches in more than 200 cities across Pakistan, with international presence in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bahrain, and UAE. The Bank is owned and operated by the Abu Dhabi Group. Bank Alfalah is an emerging leader in the field of home remittances and provides beneficiaries a fast, reliable and free of cost service for receiving remittances from our global network of partner banks, money transfer operators and exchange companies.

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Pakistan Oil Refining Policy Draft Stopped by Asad Umar: Report

Last week, the Petroleum Division presented the draft Pakistan Oil Refining Policy to the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE). The policy was presented on August 20, 2021, to the committee for consideration and approval.

However, now there are reports that Planning Minister Asad Umar and Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Zaidi have ‘blocked’ the incentives proposed in the policy, Business Recorder reported on Wednesday.

The draft policy reportedly included proposals for the upgradation of existing refineries to produce Euro-V specification products. There were also suggestions pertaining to incentivizing potential investors to establish new and deep conversion refineries.

While debating on the merits of the policy, Zaidi pointed out that the business of Single Point Mooring (SPM) was relevant, and another related policy was already being deliberated upon by the stakeholders.

He also raised issues with the fiscal incentives for new investors, saying that these proposed in Pakistan Oil Refining Policy 2021 would be at the cost of Sea Ports.

CCoE Chairman, Asad Umar, expressed concern over the policy suggestion of offering tariff protection incentives to existing refineries for upgradation. He said that such incentives should only be offered after the Commercial Operation Date (COD) of projects.

At the end of the discussion, the CCoE directed the Petroleum Division to review the policy and submit the revised draft to CCoE for consideration.

Source: Pro Pakistani

HabibMetro Bank Reports Over 50% Profit Growth in H1 2021

HabibMetro Bank has maintained a buoyant graph of profitability in 2021 as its bottom line surged over Rs. 6 billion in the first half of 2021.

According to the financial statement, the bank made a profit growth of 51 percent (Rs. 2.1 billion) year-on-year between January and July 2021 as compared to the profit of the previous year’s Rs. 4.11 billion.

The share value of the bank also increased to Rs. 5.94 from Rs. 3.93 during the period.

The bank’s markup income surged to Rs. 14.4 billion from January to July 2021 from Rs. 10.7 billion. On the other hand, the non-interest revenues increased slightly this year.

The board of directors announced an interim dividend of Rs. 2 per share thanks to consistently outstanding growth in the profit over the last two years.

The bank’s assets surged to over Rs. 1 trillion and its deposits have increased to over Rs. 715 billion. It is currently among the top ten profitable banks of the country and is operating over 425 branches across the country.

Source: Pro Pakistani

Asad Umar Wants Groundbreaking of the Karachi Circular Railway in the Next Few Weeks

Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar, chaired a meeting to review the latest status of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) and Railways Freight Corridor projects in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The Minister was briefed on the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) and told that the KCR envisages the construction of a 43-km long world-class affordable mass transit system using environment-friendly electric trains. Secretary Railways informed that the Karachi Circular Railway project is on track as per the timelines given by the Ministry.

Asad Umar directed Pakistan Railways to fulfill all the codal formalities at the earliest and ensure to make all the necessary arrangements for the groundbreaking of KCR infrastructure by September 2021. He said that simultaneous work on PPP components of KCR would result in months of time saving and completion of the project. So, the Railway shall expedite the consultation with P3A.

While discussing the Freight Corridor project from Keamari/KPT to Pipri Marshalling Yard, it was informed that the project envisages construction/dualization/up-gradation of 50-km dedicated freight corridor from Karachi Port to Pipri and includes the development of an Inland Container Depot/Marshalling Yard at Pipri.

It was briefed that the project is expected to facilitate 40 percent of the cargo meant to be transported upcountry. Furthermore, the plan has been submitted to PPP Authority for its approval.

Federal Minister, Asad Umar, directed that the corridor must be designed to optimize the level-of-service outcome, and in addition to the financial costs, the destination time has to be reduced as well.

Asad Umar also directed all concerned officials to ensure the completion of the projects within the timelines, as these projects are crucial for the socio-economic wellbeing of the people of Karachi.

Federal Minister for Railways, Azam Khan Swati, Secretary Planning, Secretary Railways, CEO PPP Authority, and senior officials of both Ministries participated in the meeting.

Source: Pro Pakistani