Showing posts from December, 2019

Pakistan's Year 2019 in Review: Economic and Security Challenges

Pakistan started the year 2019 in the midst of a very serious  economic crisis  with very high twin deficits and extremely low foreign exchange reserves. While Pakistan's internal security challenges subsided, the external security concerns grew with  India's attack on Balakot  in 2019. Tough actions by PTI government have started to pay off at the end of year 2019.  Toward the end of the year, Pakistan's twin deficits declined substantially and credit rating agency Moody's upgraded Pakistan's outlook from negative to stable. Mass migration continued both within and outside Pakistan. About  600,000 Pakistanis  went to work overseas in 2019. And at least 4 times more Pakistanis moved from rural to urban areas.  Pakistan had high profile visits of the royal families from the UK and the Netherlands as well as the visit of the Sri Lankan cricket team, the first foreign team to play test series in Pakistan in a decade. Conde Nast Travel picked Pakistan as the top  touris

Nearly 600,000 Pakistanis Migrated Overseas in 2019

Nearly 600,000 Pakistanis have gone overseas for work in the first 11 months of this year, according to figures recently released by Pakistan  Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment . This phenomenon has helped reduce unemployment in a country where about  2 million young people  are entering the job market each year. It has also helped  remittances soar  nearly 21X since the year 2000. Emigrants From Pakistan 1990-2019. Source: Pakistan Bureau of Emigration Migration Overseas: Over 11 million Pakistanis have left home for employment in Europe, America, Middle East and elsewhere since 1971, according to Pakistan Bureau of Emigration. The pace has particularly picked up over the last 10 years with over half a million Pakistanis migrating abroad each year.  This phenomenon has helped reduce unemployment in a country where about 2 million young people are entering the job market each year. Emigrants From Pakistan 1971-2019. Source: Pakistan Bureau of Emigration Mo

Is Pakistan Ready For Clean Energy Revolution?

Rising worries about  climate change  have recently made me join the Clean Energy Revolution by installing rooftop solar and leasing an electric car. What is the Clean Energy Revolution? It is the growing use of solar panels, battery storage and electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions. Is Pakistan ready to join the Clean Energy Revolution? Tesla Surpasses China's BYD in EV Sales. Courtesy Electrek Tesla Electric Cars: Silicon Valley is at the forefront of this  clean energy  revolution led by Tesla. Tesla is more than an electric car company; the company also supplies solar panels and batteries. Other automakers are also taking their cues from Tesla.  China's BYD Auto has only recently been surpassed by Tesla in production volumes. Auto giants  General Motors  and  BMW  are both building electric cars and planning to build "gigafactories" like Tesla's to manufacture battery packs for vehicles and homes. Pakistan is building up renewable power generat

Ex Supreme Court Judge Mr. Katju: "Dark Clouds Over India"

Justice Markandey Katju, retired judge of Supreme Court of India, talked of "dark clouds over India" in a speech to about 200 people of all faiths at an interfaith event in Silicon Valley.  He said "Muslims making up only 15% of the population are on the r eceiving end " but the rest of India is also paying the price. India's economy is in serious trouble. There is rampant poverty and high rates of malnutrition in the country. There are heavy job losses across the entire labor market.  The event was organized by Ibadatkhana Foundation led by Tasawar Jalali. Other organizers included Javed Ellahie, Naren Singh, Santosh Addagulla and Prabakar Karuppiah . "Indian  Supreme Court has surrendered , Indian  media have surrendered " to the "dark forces" of Modi's "Hindutva", he said. He said "there was no communalism in India before 1857", the year Delhi fell to the British colonizers. The colonial rulers from Britain t

AdAsia 2019: Asia's Biggest Advertising Industry Conference in Lahore, Pakistan

On December 2, 3, 4 and 5, 2019,  Pakistan played host to AdAsia 2019 after a gap of 30 years. It is the largest and most prestigious advertising industry conference in Asia – organized bi-annually by the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations (AFAA). It drew attendees from all over the world to Lahore, Pakistan.  This conference has taken place at a time when Pakistan's 88 billion rupee media industry is in the midst of a major shakeout after a long period of rapid double-digit growth since the turn of the century. The only advertising segment still hot and growing at double digit rates is digital. Pakistan President Arif Alavi delivered the closing keynote address. Other speakers included Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder, WPP; Philip Thomas, CEO, Cannes Lions; Randi Zuckerberg, CEO, Zuckerberg Media and former Director Market Development, Facebook; Kaveri Khullar, Marketing Director, Mastercard Southeast Asia; Fernando Machado, Global CMO, Burger King; Asad J. Malik, an ar

Pakistan to Become World's 6th Largest Cement Producer By 2030

Pakistan's rank as world's leading cement producer will rise from 16th in 2018 to 6th by 2030. It will replace Japan among the world's top 10 cement producing nations in 2030, according to  World Cement Association forecast . Cement consumption is an important indicator of development activity and economic growth. Pakistan's domestic cement sales are continuing to grow, up 9.2% in October, 2019 from the same month last year. Total sales (local and export) in 4-month period between July and October 2019 stood at 16.117 million tons, 4.5 per cent higher than 15.419 million tons during the same period last year. Source: World Cement Association Last year, Pakistan produced 41.14 million tons of cement, according to  International Cement Review . The country's cement industry has already built capacity to produce  59.5 million tons  in anticipation of future demand for housing and infrastructure.  World Cement Association expects Pakistan to produce 85 million tons, 2%