Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pakistan Ranks in the Middle For Infrastructure and Logistics in 2014

The World Bank’s (WB) Logistics Performance Index (LPI) ranks Pakistan at number 72 for 2014, out of 160 countries.

LPI  is ranking is based the efficiency of customs, border management and clearance as well as the quality of trade and transportation infrastructure. It also comprehends the quality of logistics services, the ability to track and trace consignments and the frequency at which shipments correctly reach their destinations on schedule.

The first LPI survey conducted in 2007 ranked Pakistan at number 68, which fell to a low of 110 in 2010 before recovering to 71st position in 2012.

Logistics performance is an important indicator of a nation's level of development and its ability to participate in global trade.

Another similarly important indicator is the ranking of a country on OECD survey of economic complexity compiled by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  This indicator comprehends the diversity of products ad services traded and the number of trading partners. The more diverse the trade and trading partners, the higher the rank. Pakistan ranks 91 on this index among 144 countries as of 2012. It ranks higher than single-commodity oil exporting nations  like Iran and Saudi Arabia but lower than the newly industrialized Asian nations.

While Pakistan has made some progress on logistics and trade, it still has a long way to go to improve the lives of its citizens through infrastructure improvements and diversification of its products and services trade. Timely execution of Pak-China industrial corridor plans will hopefully help Pakistan make progress on this front.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pak-China Industrial Corridor

India-Pakistan Economic Comparison 2014

Pakistan's Infrastructure

Challenging Haqqani's Op Ed: "Pakistan's Elusive Quest For Parity"

State Bank Says Pakistan's Official GDP Under-estimated

Pakistan's Growing Middle Class

Pakistan's GDP Grossly Under-estimated; Shares Highly Undervalued

Fast Moving Consumer Goods Sector in Pakistan

3G-4G Roll-out in Pakistan

Mobile Money Revolution in Pakistan


Unknown said...

And now what will you say about india now based on this ranking

Kemal said...

Turkey 30? Not good for a G-20 and OECD member

Riaz Haq said...

Kemal: "Turkey 30? Not good for a G-20 and OECD member"

Look at the color coding. Turkey is in the top group 1-40 while India and Pakistan are in second group of 40 from 41-80. Most surprising is Russia falling in the 3rd group from 81-120.

Mahesh said...

Nothing new here. India's infrastructure is improving over the last decade although there were some setbacks during the later years of the Congress Coalition govt. Due to high anti-corruption scrutiny no firm was signing up even for 100% legitimate projects especially in the eastern areas.

Now things are back on track and will move rapidly late 2015 onwards. New GDP (Total GDP still same) parameters will gauge the economy better and lead to better policy making by the independent Reserve Bank once confusion clears up (year on year growth figures) and things settle down.

Fakhir said...

Riaz Bhai can you shed some light on how the recent developments with regard to the economic corridor are shaping up the work scheduled to begin shorty ?

Riaz Haq said...

Fakhir: "Riaz Bhai can you shed some light on how the recent developments with regard to the economic corridor are shaping up the work scheduled to begin shorty ?"

I think it's in early stages. There are reports of political battles for routing the Pak-China corridors between PMLN (thru Punjab) and KP parties like JUI and ANP. The western route (thru Balochistan and KP) will help backward areas but poses more security risks and difficult terrain. Eastern route (thru Punjab) appears to be safer and faster to complete using existing infrastructure.

Some energy projects are starting to move a bit more quickly.

Riaz Haq said...

The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs was told by the government on Friday that Gwadar Port would become operational in May this year after completion of the Khuzdar-Ratodero motorway project.
"The strategically important Pakistan-China economic corridor would be made operational by diverting it on exiting motorway and road network because a large sum of the $12 billion funding is not available," Chairman of National Highway Authority (NHA) Shahid Tarar told the committee.
The committee chairman Haji Adeel and other members had summoned top officials of the Planning Ministry for an urgent briefing after reports that changes had been made in the project.
"Whatever we have done is with the consent of the Chinese authorities who told us that instead of waiting, the existing road network could be used for making Gwadar port operational at the earliest," Tarar said.

He stated Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan are all being linked as part of the economic corridor.

The NHA chairman disclosed that the 136 KM long Karachi-Hyderabad motorway's final agreement on built operate and transfer (BOT) is being inked next week and construction would commence in March this year.

"There is no major change in the final alignment of this corridor as it is touching all four provinces and GB," Secretary Planning Commission Hassan Nawaz Tarar told the committee.

Taking part in the discussion that followed, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the NHA chairman has candidly stated that the alignment of the corridor from Khunjerab to Gwadar via Mianwali, D.
I Khan, DG Khan, Khuzdar and Turbat is for the long term.
"In the short term, according to NHA, the new alignment from Khunjerab to Gwadar was being undertaken to utilise the existing communication network and to operationalise the Gwadar port," Babar said.

He said that once the new alignment becomes operational it will, overtime, create its own vested interests and it will be impossible to revert to the initially planned alignment via D.
I Khan and D.
G Khan.
Thus for all practical purposes the new alignment will become final and irrevocable.

The senator also said that the decision about the economic corridor's alignment is fundamentally a political decision and has to be addressed at a political level; stating that it cannot be addressed by bureaucrats attending today's meeting.

Senator Sughra Imam, a member of the committee, said when Gwadar Port was with the Singapore authorities nobody questioned it but people were now raising their voices when it is being given to the Chinese.


Riaz Haq said...

From IHS Jane's 360:

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi reiterated calls for the implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to be expedited during his two-day visit to Pakistan on 12 February.

As part of China's wider plans to increase connectivity in Asia, the CPEC is planned to connect Gwadar port in Pakistan's Balochistan province to Kashgar in China's western Xinjiang province through road infrastructure, railways, and oil and gas pipelines. In November 2014, the Chinese government committed to investing USD45.6 billion until 2020 for the various projects included under the CPEC, of which USD15 billion will be spent on renewable energy projects to alleviate Pakistan's energy shortages.

However, the CPEC's route has been the subject of intense domestic debate in Pakistan over the past month, resulting in two walk-outs from parliament. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provincial governments have accused the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) federal government, which draws its support primarily from Punjab, of altering the CPEC's road transportation route away from the two comparatively underdeveloped provinces. The PML-N government on the other hand argues that it plans to use the existing road network in Punjab and Sindh on an interim basis while the route through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan is developed, which could take as many four years according to current government estimates.

While the intensity of debate indicates the CPEC's likely initiation, the possibility of losing the broader development that it represents underpins the risk of protests and riots in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan in at least the three-month outlook. Already in Quetta, Balochistan's provincial capital, traders went on general strike backed by local political parties on 13 February. Protests are likely to remain relatively peaceful and cause less than 24 hours of disruption, unless a major political party intensifies its opposition. The most likely is Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which heads the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. The party has already launched two major protest movements, including a four-month anti-government sit-in that ended in December 2014 as well as a cargo blockade in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from November 2013 to February 2014.


Riaz Haq said...

The country expects to received an overall business of $1.3 billion from the four-day Expo Pakistan 2015 that concluded on Sunday, according to a Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) release.
A large number of serious buyers have established contact with major exporters in Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot and Faisalabad. The buyers are either negotiating new orders or have increased the volume of existing orders after visiting factories in different cities.
The estimated value of such business negotiations is estimated at $500 million, based on the feedback received from Pakistani companies and foreign buyers themselves.

The gems and jewellery sector was able to get orders worth $20 million, while a large number of serious buyers are visiting factory premises in Lahore, Sialkot and Faisalabad for further negotiations.
A Russian buyer has contacted Forward Sports and to discuss the prospects of supplying footballs for the next football world cup in Russia. A Bangladeshi firm has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) worth $2 million with Sialkot based firm, Malik Sports.
Japanese companies have shown an interest to invest $25 million in pharmaceuticals, organic food items and sports goods.
Over 571 leading exporters of Pakistan had setup stalls in the exhibition which was attended by more than 750 foreign buyers and importers from 77 countries, said TDAP officials.
A Dubai based company has finalised a deal with a Pakistani slaughterhouse to import meat worth AED 15 million per annum. Similarly, an Abu Dhabi based company has also struck a deal with a Pakistani slaughterhouse to import meat worth $10 million annually.
Another Dubai based supplier to the UAE government has given a contract order to purchase uniforms and office accessories worth $1 million.
A Dubai based special purpose theme based facilities is investing $4 billion in Dubai over the next three years. For this purpose, it has indicated to bring a large delegation to conclude an MoU for the supply of materials and manpower worth $1 billion over the next three years.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the Expo Pakistan 2015 on February 26 and also conferred awards to top exporters.
The Federal Commerce Minister and top TDAP officials met with almost 33 country delegations led mostly by presidents of foreign trade chambers or associations consisting of foreign buyers.


Riaz Haq said...

A new international terminal at Multan airport, Pakistan, will now enable citizens to take direct international flights.
Expansion work for the new terminal, which began in 2010 during the tenure of former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, was aimed at facilitating accommodation of wide-bodied aircraft including Boeing 747 and Boeing 777, to cater to direct international passengers and cargo flights.
With 30,700m2 in covered area, the terminal has a composite steel structure with double halls, as reported by Geo TV.
Carried out in two phases, the first phase saw investment of about $2m to upgrade air side facilities including runway taxiway tracks and apron, while the second phase recieved around $7m that involved construction of new terminal building and allied facilities.
The new 10,500 feet (900 feet overrun on both sides) runway of the international terminal has a width of 150 feet (25 feet shoulders on each side). It can accommodate aircrafts such as Boeing 747, 777.
The newly designed apron will be able to handle two wide bodied and two narrow bodied aircrafts with an area of 36,356m2.
The new terminal will have four bridges out of which two have already been completed. Its new car parking will have a space for 400 vehicles.
The government hopes that the expansion will boost the exports of fruits, particularly mango, as the airport now boasts a new cargo complex with a storage capacity of 10,000 tons, reports Dawn.
Geo TV quoted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who inaugrated the terminal, as saying that since Multan was a major agricultural and industrial centre, it would greatly benefit from direct air linkage with the rest of the world which would have a positive impact on the national economy.
The airport can now cater to one million passengers annually from an initial 0.1 million. The expansion has also provisioned for cargo handling capacity which could be increased by 30,000 metric tonnes per year with the passage of time.


Riaz Haq said...

Wikileaks confirms fears of activists against #US trade in services agreement (#TISA) with countries incl. #pakistan https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/59220

WikiLeaks released 17 secret documents from the Trade In Service Agreement (TISA) negotiations on June 3. The documents have confirmed the fears of campaigners around the world that TISA is designed to benefit corporations at the expense of workers and the general public.

TISA is being negotiated between the US, European Union, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Taiwan, Uruguay, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Turkey, Pakistan and Paraguay. These countries make up about two-thirds of global GDP.

The secretive talks began in 2012 when a group of countries — giving themselves the Orwellian name of “Really Good Friends of Services” — became unhappy with negotiations in the World Trade Organisation, in which poorer countries were demanding more equality and a focus on development and public interest.

Corporate wish list

Our World Is Not For Sale (OWINFS) said on June 3: “The TISA is exposed as a developed countries’ corporate wish lists for services which seeks to bypass resistance from the global South to this agenda inside the WTO, and to secure an agreement on services without confronting the continued inequities on agriculture, intellectual property, cotton subsidies, and many other issues.”

TISA aims to liberalise services industries, including transport, telecommunications and finances. Services make up a large part of the economies of the negotiating countries, even the poorer ones — nearly 80% in the US and EU and 53% in Pakistan.

This leak follows WikiLeaks' release of the TISA Financial Services Annex in June last year, and the December leak of cross-border data flows, technology transfer, and net neutrality documents.

The cover page of the financial services document highlighted the extraordinary lengths that the parties would take to ensure secrecy. It said it should only be declassified “five years from entry into force of the TISA agreement or, if no agreement enters into force, five years from the close of the negotiations”.

Only Switzerland has been publishing its contributions to the negotiations.

This would leave the public unaware of the provisions in the agreement even as they were being implemented.

Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said on June 4: “It’s a dark day for democracy when we are dependent on leaks like this for the general public to be informed of the radical restructuring of regulatory frameworks that our governments are proposing.”

Deborah James of OWINFS said: “The secrecy charade has collapsed. TISA members trying to keep their publics in the dark as to the negative implications of the corporate TISA for financial stability, public safety, and elected officials’ democratic regulatory jurisdiction have been exposed to the light of day, in the largest leak of secret trade negotiations texts in history.”

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) general secretary Sharan Burrow said on June 5: “Trade deals being done behind closed doors are setting up working people to lose out and aiming to concentrate yet more power and wealth in the hands of multinational corporations, at the expense of the common good.

“With big majorities of people in ITUC Global Poll results showing deep concern over the influence of major corporations, governments need to turn their attention to building a trading system that works for the common good.”


Riaz Haq said...

One very disturbing aspect of TISA is the document uncovered by WikiLeaks revealing an entire section on immigration, referred to as “Movement of Natural Persons.” This section discusses commitments by the parties not to place undue burdens on visas and singles out face-to-face interviews as an example of “overly burdensome procedures.” [see the footnote on page 7] At a time when we face so many national security problems, why would conservatives trust this president to squelch any visa provision threatening our security?
And guess who is a party to TISA?
Pakistan! In addition to the massive immigration from Pakistan, we admitted 78,000 Pakistani nationals on some type of visa in 2013. Do we really want to join in an agreement that could loosen restrictions on visas from Pakistan?
Guess which other country is a part of TISA? Mexico! For good measure, Turkey is also a party to TISA. What could go wrong?
There is a lot of hype being thrown around about some of these treaties, but the WikiLeaks document on TISA is very believable because service industries, the tourism industry in particular – hate all restrictions on visas. Their opposition is certainly understandable, but that is the price we must pay when scrutinizing visas from volatile and dangerous parts of the world.
- See more at: https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2015/06/obamatrade-relaxes-visa-process-for-pakistan#sthash.tphs4xGZ.dpuf

Riaz Haq said...

The problem with TISA, as it’s currently being negotiated, is that under its terms, America (and any other signatory nation) would be prohibited from controlling which nation stores your personal data. Let’s say you keep your medical records stored in the cloud with a Google application. Right now, your medical data has to be stored within the United States, with all its privacy protections. But under TISA, it won’t have to be. Google could outsource its data storage to, say, Pakistan, and you would have to rely on the government of Pakistan to protect your privacy. That ought to concern you.

The key language in TISA is this: “No Party may require a service supplier, as a condition for supplying a service or investing in its territory, to: (a) use computing facilities located in the Party’s territory.”

Your data, in other words, could be stored anywhere, and subject to any level of protection the host country believes it should have.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/06/can_you_trust_other_countries_to_store_your_data_you_might_have_to.html#ixzz3d6CEaB2n
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

Riaz Haq said...

Although facing institutional and capacity constraints as in many developing countries, Pakistan has been actively involved in the GATS negotiations by pursuing a strategy of “critical engagement” recognising the positive role that services liberalisation can play by improving the competitiveness of the goods sector and other services, as well as increasing export opportunities and improving the efficiency of domestic services. Pakistan has received several requests from its trading partners and has also tabled some. In order for Pakistan to strengthen both the multilateral and bilateral negotiating process for services, the study suggests the formalisation of a “bottom-up” consultation mechanism incorporating national stakeholders.

The present study, produced in collaboration with the Lahore University of Management Sciences, identifies construction and related engineering services, architecture, engineering and integrated engineering services, energy services and environmental services as priority sectors, and the temporary movement of natural persons (Mode 4) as a priority mode of supply for Pakistan. The construction sector, which represents a fundamental activity in Pakistan with strong forward and backward linkages, is seen to have potential import and export interest. Further liberalisation in the environmental services sector, including waste collection and recycling, would also benefit Pakistan. However, removal of existing restrictions on Mode 4 is seen to be of the greatest potential interest to Pakistan. This study comes at an opportune time for Pakistan in implementing concerted measures for macroeconomic stabilisation and structural reforms as its economy advances towards a higher degree of openness and export orientation. In this context, it provides a timely backstopping analysis for the definition of its negotiating interests in bilateral, regional and multilateral negotiations.


Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Logistics Industry to 2020 - $30.77 Billion Outlook and Growth Opportunities - Research and Markets

Pakistan Vision 2025 seeks to enhance the national transportation infrastructure by establishing an efficient and integrated transportation and logistics system. Establishing industrial parks and developing SEZs along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will strengthen the transportation network and logistics infrastructure. Road freight transportation contributed over 90% of the goods transported by land.

Rail freight is likely to gain share due to modernization and expansion. High priority is given to road network development. Private sector participation in logistics infrastructure development is likely to gain momentum, and transportation and warehousing are likely to lead logistics industry growth during 2016-2020.

The potential opportunities in the logistics industry in Pakistan, is estimated at approximately US $ 30.77 billion in 2015. Key targets set in the national development initiatives for the transportation sector include reduction in transportation costs, effective connectivity between rural areas and urban centres, inter-provincial high-speed connectivity. Also high priority is given for the development of integrated road/rail networks between economic hubs (including air, sea and dry ports) and high capacity transportation corridors connecting with major regional trading partners.

Up-gradation of all major airports to trans-shipment hubs, development of cargo villages, modernization of rail transport, E-commerce, CPEC related investments in industrial centres and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will serve as primary macro drivers for logistics sector growth. CPEC related projects intend to upgrade and modernize road transport and related logistics infrastructure such as logistics park and establishment of cargo villages at major airports. Hence, high priority is given for road network development; private sector participation in logistics infrastructure development is likely to gain momentum.

Storage and Warehousing demand from CPEC related industrial corridors are likely to derive increased storage and warehousing requirements including cold chain logistics, establishment of Cargo Villages Ports will facilitate goods traffic to central Asian countries and evolve as a major transhipment hub in the region.


Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan has 116 diplomatic missions in other countries. This figure includes 85 embassies, 29 consulates and 2 permanent missions.

Pakistan ranks 27 in the world and 7th in Asia on Lowery diplomacy index.

India has 181 missions including 124 embassies and 48 consulates. 

India ranks 12th in the world and 3rd in Asia on Lowery Diplomacy Index.

United States is number 1 and China is number 2 on diplomacy index.

US has 273 diplomatic missions while China has 268. 

France ranks 3rd, Russia 4th and Japan 5th in the world. 


Riaz Haq said...

Alibaba moves to attract Pakistani exporters towards B2B portal


Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group geared up efforts to get Pakistan’s exporters listed on its multination business-to-business electronic portal, the company’s senior executive said on Monday, after the firm expressed its intention to acquire a Norwegian telco’s financial subsidiary in the country.

Alibaba.com's Country Manager Jason Jia said the group has launched Pakistan pavilion on the website to showcase indigenous product listings following the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and Alibaba Group signed a pact to improve the country’s ecommerce and boost exporters’ business last year.

“We want to work together to introduce Pakistani products to the world markets,” Jia said, addressing a roadshow for Karachi-based businessmen who constitute a negligible portion of the platform’s registered suppliers.

Currently, there are 3,000 paid members and most of them are based in Sialkot, Lahore and Faisalabad, while textile, leather, surgical instruments and sports goods sectors are the top categories. Even before the launch of Pakistan’s page, Alibaba has been attracting local buyers and suppliers. Overall, it has around 250,000 registered members from Pakistan. The site charges up to $1,500 annually from featured suppliers. Alibaba also signed up five local partners, including NJ Dynamic Solutions, EB Excels, NextBridge, Alpharex International and Trademor to provide sales and service support to member companies.

“We are looking for more from Karachi, especially apparel and garments sector,” Jia said, referring to more than three million small and medium businesses in the country.

Multilingual Alibaba.com is the world’s leading business-to-business portal operating in 190 countries. It has two million online shops and 260 million plus buyers from across the world.

Mohammad Zia, a rock salt trader posed trust on the site’s capacity to generate orders for his start-up. “I have generated a good number of orders,” Zia said, declining to share the numbers, but added that his company grew to 10-worker payrolls from four in the past two years.

Zia said payment from foreign buyers gives him jittery and “so, if Alipay comes in there will be a much relief”. “Currently, we receive payment from banking channels, and Alibaba’s involvement in payment too will make all the things integrated,” he added.

Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, agreed to acquire 45 percent stake worth around Rs20 billion in a subsidiary of Norwegian Telenor to broaden access to financial services through digital payment solutions in Pakistan. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. Ant’s technology Alipay, the world’s largest digital payment platform, would bring mobile payment and inclusive financial services to individuals as well as small and micro businesses in Pakistan where 90 percent of online orders of around Rs10 billion are fulfilled using cash-on-delivery.