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Saudi high-speed rail link to open in March 2018

MADRID: A delayed high-speed railway linking Makkah and Madina in Saudi Arabia will finally open in March 2018, the Spanish consortium building the project said on Friday. The railway linking Islam’s holiest cities was initially scheduled to open at the end of the year but the date for its completion ...

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Better yield, quality seeds can reduce import of pulses

FAISALABAD: The import of pulses worth billions of rupees may be reduced by developing quality seeds, promoting cultivation on large areas and an increase in per-acre production, suggested Dr Yusuf Zafar, Chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (Parc). “Measures are being taken to increase pulses productivity to meet domestic ...

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Upcoming OPEC meeting: Oil may rise to $55 if producers cooperate

MADRID: Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh expressed optimism on Saturday about an upcoming OPEC meeting and said crude prices could jump to $55 a barrel if an agreement is reached and non-OPEC producers cooperate. “We are receiving positive signals that increase the likelihood of agreement at the meeting … and ...

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Trans-Pacific Partnership: US trade tsar warns TPP scrapping carries costs

LIMA: US Trade Representative Michael Froman warned of ‘serious’ strategic and economic costs from scrapping a major trans-Pacific trade deal on Friday, as proponents lobbied hard to overcome president-elect Donald Trump’s opposition. Acknowledging that the fate of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, or TPP, is now largely out of the ...

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Secretary promises necessary facilities to textile sector

KARACHI: The textile sector, which was the economic backbone of Pakistan, would be provided all necessary facilities including a plan to increase cotton production to facilitate exporters, stated Textile Secretary Hasan Iqbal. Speaking during a visit to the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association (PHMA) House where top value-added textile exporters were ...

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Current account deficit expands 63% to $1.76b

KARACHI: Pakistan’s current account deficit widened by 63% in the first four months (Jul-Oct) of 2016-17, increasing to $1.76 billion from $1.08 billion in the same period last year, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday. With the difference of exports and imports being ...

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Furniture manufacturing: Turkish team expresses interest in joint ventures

LAHORE: A Turkish delegation has stated that furniture companies of Turkey are keen on enhancing business activities with the Pakistan Furniture Council (PFC) by holding business-to-business (B2B) meetings. The delegation of Turkish furniture manufacturers, led by Mehmat Kirtas, said that they wanted to do business by undertaking joint ventures either ...

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Halal product export market still to be tapped

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan can become one of the top Halal product exporting countries, Chairman of Punjab Halal Development Agency (PHDA) Justice Khalilur Rehman Khan said, but businessmen and the government need to join hands to make that happen. Pakistan’s Halal product exports were dismally low – a fact that could be ...

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Development spending targets missed

ISLAMABAD: The government has been quick in disbursing the whole of the annual allocations for parliamentarians’ development schemes against only 15 per cent releases for the current year’s core national development programme. More than 42.5pc disbursement for security enhancement and settlement of the ‘temporarily displaced persons’ (TDP) against the allocation ...

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Over 20% smokers consume smuggled cigarettes

KARACHI: Over 20% of smokers puff tax-evaded smuggled cigarettes in Pakistan as heavy taxes on locally manufactured products continue to hit the industry hard. “These LTE (local tax-evaded) cigarettes are extremely cheap,” said the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in the Annual Report on the State of Economy in fiscal ...

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