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HBL Pakistan Super League trophy unveiled in Dubai

  • All six captains eye glittering winner’s trophy produced by Swarovski
  • “We look forward to seeing competitive tournament with a galaxy of international and Pakistan stars showcasing their talent: Ehsan Mani
  • Tournament to be launched with the opening ceremony and opening match on Thursday at Dubai International Stadium

The HBL Pakistan Super League 2019 trophy was unveiled at a crowded press conference at the Dubai International Stadium, the venue where the tournament would kick-start on Thursday with a glittering opening ceremony followed by the opening match between defending champions Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars.

Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Ehsan Mani, Chief Marketing Officer HBL Naveed Asghar, Professionals Director Commercial for Middle East and Africa Mr Arsalan Saif representing Swarovski were joined by the captains of the six franchises at the trophy launch press conference.

“The HBL PSL 2019 is set to provide incredible excitement to cricket fans all around the world; we thank our sponsors, partners, the six franchises and all stakeholders who have contributed in putting together this cricket extravaganza. We look forward to seeing a competitive tournament with a galaxy of international and Pakistan stars showcasing their talent.” said Ehsan Mani.

Naveed Asghar and Arsalan Saif spoke about the opportunity that the HBL PSL provides to its sponsors and how the tournament has become an international cricket spectacle that is hugely attractive for local and international brands.

Captain of the defending champions Islamabad United, Mohammad Sami said, “It is a huge honour for me to be given this responsibility to lead Islamabad United this year.  I have looked at the squad and there are so many options for us. The young guys have impressed everyone in our training sessions and we are carrying on our tradition of developing the emerging talent of Pakistan. I hope I can lead this group to another HBL PSL trophy.

We are all working really hard but in the end, we just want to keep things simple, play good cricket and if we do that then the results will come on their own.”

Captain of the HBL PSL 2017 champions Daren Sammy said, “All six teams are very balanced and that is good because we will get to see quality cricket in HBL PSL once again.

I have had the great honour of leading a very talented Peshawar Zalmi side for two years and, this year, we have greater depth in the squad and the experience that guys like Misbah and Pollard bring to our squad is invaluable. We always get great support from our Zalmi fans in the UAE but we are all very excited to experience the love and warmth of crowds in Karachi once again. We are Zalmis and our goal is always to win.”

Karachi Kings captain Imad Wasim said, “The Karachi Kings squad has a balanced core of local players and some excellent foreign players. We are keen to do well this year and get our hands on the magnificent HBL PSL trophy. It will be a dream come true for all of us to lift the trophy in front of our home crowd on 17 March and we are going to do everything in our control to win it.”

Sarfaraz Ahmed who is captaining the Quetta Gladiators for the fourth successive year said, “I think we have a lot of depth in our squad this year. We have come close in the past three years but we have not been able to get the desired results. The entire Quetta Gladiators squad is determined to change that this time around.

We focused on our retention list this year since we wanted consistency in developing our squad. It helps that we have senior pros like Shane Watson and Rilee Rossouw returning and they will help the young boys ease into the tournament. I am particularly excited about our young pace bowling talent and I can’t wait to see Ghulam Mudassar and Mohammad Hasnain in action whenever they get a chance.”

Captain of the Multan Sultans Shoaib Malik said, “We have a strong squad with depth and variety, and we all are looking forward to a competitive HBLPSL Season four. Of course, our eyes are on the trophy, and we as a team have decided that the best way to get there is to only focus on one match at a time. I wish rest of the teams the very best from the Sultans.”

Lahore Qalandars captain Mohammad Hafeez said, “This is an exciting time for me because I am leading a very talented bunch of cricketers. We have reworked our strategy this year and we are confident that if we play our natural game, and enjoy each moment of the tournament, we will do well. We realise what our performance means to our Qalandars fans across the world and we want to make them proud of their association with us. I am confident that they will be right behind us, as always.”

The HBL PSL 2019 Trophy:

The star, the crescent, the green and the white! This year’s HBL PSL Trophy is a visual representation of the Pakistani flag in all its sparkling beauty.

The central core, covered in Swarovski’s 16 faceted Xirius crystals one by one rises up as a dazzling green beam and shows off the majestic Shooting Star at the pinnacle.

Around the star, six pillars covered on the sides with Swarovski’s Fine Rocks, open to make a crescent, depicting the six participating teams of the HBL PSL.

More than 50,000 crystals have been used in the trophy that took 4 months to be made, from concept to creation.

‘The Pakistan Trophy’ celebrates the different cultures in Pakistan and the harmony with which they stand together to call this country home. The green and white unite the many colours of this land under one flag, each colour being vivid as it is.

The people of this land join together to form the sparkling the star and crescent, the people join together to form a strong Pakistan.

HBL PSL is driven by this diversity and celebrates the best of Pakistan’s cricketing talent with the people of Pakistan.

HBL PSL Individual Player Awards:

Keeping up with the HBL Pakistan Super League traditions, the league will be giving out magnificent Swarovski trophies for top performers of the tournament.

The awards include:

  • Man of the Tournament
  • Best Batsman of the Tournament
  • Best Fielder of the Tournament
  • Best Bowler of the Tournament
  • Safest Hands (Best Wicket-Keeper of the Tournament)
  • Spirit of Cricket Award (Most disciplined team of the Tournament)
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Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has congratulated eight-year-old Ayesha Ayaz on winning a medal in an international taekwondo championship.
In his message of congratulations from Saudi Arabia, the Chief Minister said that wining of medal at such a young-age by Ayesha Ayaz is an honor for the country. She has earned distinction with her sports-talent and we are proud of her, he said. Talented girls like Ayesha Ayaz are a symbol of bright future and she has proved that Pakistani children are very bright and talented, concluded the Chief Minister.

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A Celebration of Italian Chefs, Producers and Ingredients all Week at Gulfood

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  • The Italian Trade Agency’s pavilion was officially opened this morning in the presence of Italian Consul General in Dubai and the Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, Oman and Pakistan

Visitors heading to Gulfood this week can meet their favourite Italian chefs, enjoy a food-tasting journey and sample authentic ingredients from over 200 producers at the Italian Pavilion which is now officially open for business.

The Italian Trade Agency’s pavilion was opened this morning by the Italian Consul General in Dubai alongside Gianpaolo Bruno, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, Oman and Pakistan.

For the first time this year, over fifteen experienced, Italian chefs from Dubai and Italy’s best restaurants will be creating a wealth of dishes catering to a range of dietary requirements including, intolerances and allergies, food contrasts and vegetarianism, alongside modern interpretations of traditional family-favourites and an array of stylish and trendy recipes.

All week, renowned Italian Chef Carla Brigliadori, will be showcasing Sfoglina or ‘the art of fresh pasta making’ at the Italian Food Lab. Interested professionals and food lovers are invited to watch, learn and enjoy great pasta recipes and tastings.

Tomorrow, Chef Walter Potenza, a passionate and accomplished practitioner of traditional and historical Italian cuisine, will be cooking with authentic Italian products at Tastes of The World. Also performing tomorrow is world-renowned, 3-star Michelin and master of innovative cuisine Chef Heinz Beck will be presenting modern, yet light and sensual recipes at Tastes of The World and at the Italian Food Lab Masterclasses on the Wednesday 20 February.

The Italian Food Lab will be hosting ETIHAD CREDIT INSURANCE (ECI) in partnership with Italian Insurance group SACE on Tuesday 19 February at 12noon, presenting the seminar Business Opportunities in the UAE for Halal industry. This informative seminar is targeted at Italian producers who would like to know more about the importance of Halal certification and procedures relevant to the food market in the UAE and Asian markets.

The Italian Pavilion is one of the largest at Gulfood and is supported by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA). It will be showcasing a broad range of authentic ‘Made in Italy’ branded food products and crafted ingredients including grains, pulses, flours, pasta, rice, dairy products, canned produce, jams and juices, bread and baking, biscuits, sweets and snacks, seafood, oils and fats, condiments such as vinegar, coffee and beverages. The perfect event for importers, suppliers and distributors who will find everything they need to outsource.

Continuing the food celebrations, the Italian Trade Agency will be hosting the TuttoFood Event (an Italian phrase that celebrates and means all food!) at the Four Seasons Resort Jumeirah on Wednesday, which will be a special night to promote and celebrate one of the most important food fairs being held in Milan later this year from 6 to 9 May 2019. The international B2B show is dedicated to food & beverage and in just six years, it has become highly regarded in the national and international food and ingredients scene.

The Italian Trade Agency Food Lab is located in Sheikh Saeed Hall, Stand S1-302 and Italian producers available to meet will include:

  • Casinetto, a distributor focusing on regional, natural and largely artisanal “real food” currently offering more than 1,500 products to its clients in UAE
  • Cirio, a leading Italian producer of a wide range of quality canned tomatoes
  • I Love Italian Food, a non-profit cultural association promoting Italian food
  • Medi Mais, manufacturer of citrus juices since 1989
  • Monini, a leading producer and major exporter of Italian olive oils
  • Oli Oliena, olive oil producer of quality olive oils
  • Santa Tecla, Italian olive oil producer
  • Torrefazione Monforte, one of Europe’s most technologically innovative and environment- friendly coffee roasting plants
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Boxer Amir Khan tells investors “do your research and avoid yes men”

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  • Fighter who turned to private equity says one of his best ‘money decisions’ was shaped in Dubai where he is exploring new business opportunities

Boxer Amir Khan, who has become the latest celebrity to choose private equity ahead of other investment options, has some simple advice for anyone who fears losing money by talking to the wrong financial partner.

“There are a lot of people out there who will promise you the world, but if it sounds too good to be true, it is,” says the 32 year old British fighter who has built an estimated $30 million fortune and used much of it outside the ring to help good causes.

“My advice to anyone with money that other people want to get their hands on is – do your research, ask as many questions as you can, trust your gut instinct and try not to surround yourself with ‘yes’ men.”

Khan, who admits to making some bad decisions earlier in his career, has since been wise enough to protect his earnings against the financial traps that have broken many other boxing stars, among them former world champion Mike Tyson who squandered $300 million on his way into bankruptcy.

He now says one of the best “money decisions” of his career was shaped in Dubai, where he’s a regular visitor and hopes to have one of his last pay days before retiring from boxing.

Khan recently turned to Berkeley Assets, the private equity firm with offices in Dubai and London, to help build more financial security for himself and his family. The company brought him out to the emirate in December to unveil him as their brand ambassador and discuss new business opportunities.

Looking after his interests in Dubai is Omar Jackson, Partner of Berkeley Assets, who will be ringside for Khan’s next bout with American Terence Crawford on 20 April in Madison Square Gardens in New York City.

“Omar and his team are straight talkers who like to push the boundaries,” says Khan. “That fits in with my ethos. I know I’ve made one of my best money decisions.

“They’ve taught me a lot and I’m really looking forward to developing our business opportunities more in Dubai, which is like a second home to me.

“I decided to invest in private equity because it’s all about tangible assets like real estate and actual businesses, so everything is physically backed. This gives security to me and my family because I know there’s something solid behind my investment.”

Khan admits that he has only handful of fights left before retiring from the sport, and wants one of them to take place in Dubai.

“Quite a lot of things have to come together to make it happen, but one thing I’ve learnt in my career is that boxing can produce surprises, so don’t rule it out,” he says.

When he does hang up his gloves, he will continue his work as a philanthropist. The Amir Khan Foundation feeds the homeless, supports orphans and provides clean drinking water in the developing world, while also delivering hot meals, shelter, clothes and blankets to families and children fleeing the Syrian conflict.

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Chief of Defence Staff Sri Lankan Armed Forces , Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne called on Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi at Naval Headquarters, Islamabad.

Upon arrival at Naval Headquarters, the visiting dignitary was received by Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi. A smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Navy presented him the Guard of Honour. The visiting dignitary was then introduced to Chiefs of Staff and Principal Staff Officers at Naval Headquarters. 

Later, Chief of Defence Staff Sri Lankan Armed Forces  called on Chief of the Naval Staff in his office.  During the meetings matters of mutual interest including defence related collaborations and maritime security dynamics were discussed. The Naval Chief highlighted Pakistan Navy’s efforts for ensuring maritime security and peace in the region through Regional Maritime Security Patrol and regular bilateral/ multilateral engagements with other countries. The Naval Chief also thanked Admiral Ravindra C. Wijegunaratne for participation of Sri Lanka in Multinational Maritime Exercise AMAN 19 to enhance the collaborative efforts for peace and security. The dignitary highly appreciated and acknowledged Pakistan Navy’s efforts and commitments in support of collaborative maritime security in the region and successful conduct of Exercise AMAN.

It is expected that the recent visit of Chief of Defence Staff Sri Lankan Armed Forces will further enhance defence collaboration between the two countries in general and Navies in particular.


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First Lady: Neerja Birla on raising awareness about mental health, effective parenting

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Through numerous initiatives and collaborations with various organisations, Mrs. Neerja Birla
endeavours to reach out to various factions of society in order to empower them to lead fulfilling
and enriched lives.
She is the Founder and Chairperson of Mpower, a movement that aims to affect a positive change
in the attitudes towards mental health. Through Mpower, Mrs. Birla hopes to spread awareness
about mental health, alleviate stigma, and provide quality care to individuals from all walks of life
and from all sections of the community.
She is a strong advocate in the field of education. Her endless love for children is reflected in her
dedication to her role as the Chairperson of The Aditya Birla World Academy, which is a pioneering
educational institute. In line with her staunch focus on the holistic development of children. It has
been ranked the 3rd best international school in Mumbai and the 6th best international school in
the country.
Mrs. Birla is also the Chairperson of The Aditya Birla Integrated School, which provides state-of- the-art holistic and personalised learning environment to children with learning and intellectual
disabilities. It has been ranked as number 1 in India under the Schools for Special Needs by
In her latest foray into building a holistic education base, Mrs Birla founded the Aditya Birla
Education Academy, an attempt to nurture the aspirations of the brilliant and dedicated educators
who nurture young minds; to give them impetus to pursue their ambitions and fast-track their
career growths.
A source of inspiration and a woman with great zeal, from setting the strategic direction to
overseeing that the operations are in-line with her vision, Mrs Birla plays a hands-on role across all
these organisations on a day-to-day basis. She also serves on the Board of Pratham and Make-a- Wish Foundation while being actively involved with NGO’s like Muktangan, Save the Children and
Seva Sadan.
For her tireless commitment and influential work, she has been honoured with the Icon of
Excellence Award by FICCI-FLO – Sambhavaa, as well as the Woman of Excellence Award by FICCI’s
Ladies Wing.
For her contribution to society, she has been honoured with the Hall of Fame award by the Hello
Magazine in March 2017.
For her commitment to the cause of stamping out the stigma around Mental Illness in India, she
has been honoured with the DEVI Award by the New Indian Express in December 2017.
For her stellar contribution in the field of mental healthcare, she has been honoured with Women
of the decade in community mental healthcare by Women Economic Forum in August – 2018.
Holding an Honors Bachelor Degree in Psychology from the University of Derby, she is married to
Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla and is the proud mother of three successful and loving children,
Ananyashree, Aryaman Vikram and Advaitesha. Her role as a mother is the closest to her heart. An
outdoor sports enthusiast, she is an avid reader who finds solace in listening to music and wishes
to call herself a traveller.

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Sir Richard Branson cites conflict resolution and climate change as world’s most pressing issues

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  • Business mogul talks space travel, sustainability, Hyperloop, Virgin Unite,cruise liners and retirement at The Retail Summit in Dubai

Sir Richard Branson has identified conflict resolution among world leaders and climate change as the two most pressing issues he wants to tackle in his lifetime, during a fireside chat at The Retail Summit in Dubai on Wednesday.

Speaking to Gary Thatcher, CEO and Co-Founder of The Retail Summit, the business mogul praised the Dubai government for their appointment of a Minister of Tolerance, and believes now is the time for world leaders to become better at resolving their differences.

“If you have conflict everything else falls apart,” said Branson.  “In this day and age, we need more good leaders to compromise in order to resolve issues quickly.  Great Britain needs a Minister of Tolerance, it would be wonderful.”

The founder of the Virgin Group discussed issues ranging from sustainability to space travel and said he has no plans of slowing down or retiring.

“I don’t ever think anyone should retire.  If you’re doing something interesting, you should carry on doing it and if you’re in a position to make a difference, you should make a difference,” he told the delegation of global retailers gathered at Atlantis, The Palm for the first day of The Retail Summit.

“I’ve never seen myself as working in a job.  From the age of 15 I’ve created things that I can be proud of, and people around me can be proud of, and had a lot of fun doing it.  I see every day as one long learning process; I’m learning all the time.

“I love challenging myself and the people around me.  I will continue doing what I love doing because I enjoy it and I’m in a position where I can make a difference.”

Thanking the organisers of The Retail Summit for their donation to his non-profit foundation Virgin Unite, in exchange for his participation in the event, he also called upon investors to get behind companies that will make the world better for future generations.  “We need billions to be invested in positive things that make sure climate change can be beaten.

“Every year we ask our staff, ‘what are the most audacious ideas that need fixing?’ and we set up organisations in the same way as setting up a business, to tackle these issues.  We try to use our entrepreneurial skills to tackle issues differently.”

Finally, he talked in more detail about his newly announced plans to fly to space in July 2019, following the successful launch at the end of 2018, which saw two new astronauts created from his Virgin Galactic team.  “It had been 14 years of joy and tears and joy, and in December we finally got into space and it was a very emotional day,” he said, revealing that he is now getting fit for his own mission.

One of the most compelling and motivating sessions on the opening day of the event was from Jo Malone CBE, Founder of Jo Loves, who talked about how her battle with breast cancer helped make her into a more passionate business leader.  She cited passion, resilience and respect for the currency of creativity as the three most important values in developing a new brand.

“Don’t be afraid of the hard times, because they will come and they’re on our doorstep,” she said.  “Unity will get us over the challenges.  You will learn resilience and learn to be a much better CEO, founder, leader because resilience is so important.

“Invest in creativity.  That will be our future.  And ask, how do we change the world with our products?  How can you change the world?  I created a paintbrush that paints your body with fragrance.  That one single product has opened a global market for me.  Walk towards your goals and make them happen.  Stick to your guns.”

Held in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Meydan One, The Retail Summit has brought together a new generation of retailers who are delivering a winning combination of outstanding service and ground-breaking use of technology to deliver memorable shopping experiences.

The first day of the Summit was packed with thought provoking content and lively debate, and the second day promises more of the same with industry heavyweight speakers including:

  • Huda Kattan, CEO and Co-Founder, Huda Beauty
  • Julia Goldin, CMO, Lego
  • John Veichmanis, CMO, Farfetch
  • Faraz Khalid, CEO, Noon

With more than 80 speakers and 900 participants, The Retail Summit has brought together disruptive brands and legacy retailers to discuss the future of retail in the digital age.

The Retail Summit is supported by event partners Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Meydan One; Innovation partner: Accenture; Silver partners: Black Jack, CBRE, CEGID, KPMG, SAP, Umdasch and Xpandretail; Strategic partners: Al Futtaim Malls, Arvind Internet, Bentley, BJSS, Content Square, Department of International Trade, Gate Avenue, Lava Moments, Mcube, Nook, Openbravo, Parcelly, Ponant, Presso, Samsung and Sensemi.

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Danat Al Ain Resort Wins at 2019 MEA Business Excellence Program.

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The lavish and fast-growing Danat al Ain Resort has proven themselves with yet another prestigious award, this time for 2019 MEA Business Excellence Program hosted by MEA Markets magazine.

MEA Business Excellence program 2019 bestowed the resort with the United Arab Emirates Leading Luxury Resort 2019 Award for providing impeccable standard of service in the hospitality industry. The winners are picked based on comprehensive analysis and research that takes place by the MEA Markets in-house team which carefully selects candidates based purely on merit.

Resort General Manager, Khaled Sharabassy said, “We are pleased to accept this honor from 2019 MEA Business Excellence Program, last year has proved to be very successful as a result of continuous commitment and efforts by our team. The dedication of our hardworking employees, the training of our management team and our loyal guests contributed majorly to this honorable accolade.”

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FUNN Opens Registration for Seventh Edition of Sharjah International Children & Youth Film Festival

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  • This year’s edition comes with added new award categories and an extended age-group

FUNN, the Sharjah-based organization that promotes and supports media arts learning for children and the youth, has announced the opening of registration for the 7th edition of Sharjah International Children & Youth Film Festival (SICYFF).

Children and youth, who are aspiring and/or professional filmmakers with a passion for cinematography, are encouraged to submit their entries to the organisation, no later than 31st March 2019.

It is notable that organized annually as Sharjah International Children Film Festival, this year the event has been renamed Sharjah International Children & Youth Film Festival to reflect the extended age-group and new added categories for this edition.

As per its youth-focused theme, the festival, this year, comes with three new award categories in addition to the existing seven award categories, namely Best Child-made Film, Best Student-made Film, Best GCC Short Film, Best International Short Film, Best Animation Film, Best Documentary Film, Best Feature Film. The added new categories are Best Teenage-made Film, Best Youth-made Film and Best UAE Short Film.

Sheikha Jawaher Bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and Sharjah International Children & Youth Film Festival, said: “Widening the scope of the Festival, this year we have set new objectives, thereby including participation of youth aged 18-30 years, in addition to children and teenagers. Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the Festival has been renamed reflecting the interest and commitment of His Highness to support youth in contributing towards uplifting the filmmaking industry.”

Sheikha Jawaher added: “The festival is open for all cinema professionals, aspiring filmmakers, and young film enthusiasts, in all categories. We hope that the seventh edition will take the festival to another new level, giving young talents the opportunity to promote the Arab film industry and make a mark in the regional and global film market.”

The annual celebration of cinema and movies aims to promote creativity and talent in children and young people by providing them a platform to nurture and develop their skills in visual arts and showcase their filmmaking talent to the world. The purpose of the festival is to allow the young aspirants to thrive as creative and inspiring filmmakers, who can make competitive Emirati and Arab movies, based on their dreams and ideas.

Submissions are now open online via Deadline is 31 March

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Experts call for revising PPRA rules for enhanced competition, improved development effectiveness

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Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules have a lot of shortcomings and lack comprehensiveness which requires a thorough revision for enhance competition and improved development effectiveness. There are some clauses in PPRA rules, such as rule 10, which prevent open competition. Also, at federal and provincial levels, there is a need to bring greater efficiency and effectiveness in outlays of development budgets.

Experts express these views in a panel discussion on “Open Data Systems for Development Effectiveness in Pakistan”, organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Wednesday at Islamabad.

Director General, Competition Commission of Pakistan, Ahmed Qadir said that one of the major goals of public procurement is to get good value for the government, which can be ensured through vigorous competition. He said annually, Pakistan is losing PKR 1.38 trillion in its public procurement, which can be saved through effective and efficient procurement system. For improved public procurement in Pakistan, there is a need of a holistic approach that includes all stakeholders, he added.

Joint Executive Director, SDPI, Dr. Vaqar Ahmed said that Pakistan needs to increase availability of free of cost information and data on national statistics, particularly, disaggregated government budgets, procurements, company registers, operations of state-owned enterprises, land ownership records and bank borrowing. Integrating these data sets will not only improve Pakistan’s rank in open data index, but also increase demand for using Right to Information law in Pakistan for accessing public information. Big data and automation of income and wealth datasets can also help Federal Board of Revenues (FBR) in improving tax collection. Open data systems of public procurement and spending from federal public sector development programme and provincial annual development programs can enhance effectiveness of government spending, he added.

Dr Vaqar said countries in the region have implemented e-procurement system and electronic invoicing mechanism. Pakistan can learn from these experiences and save almost PKR 1.5 trillion which is lost annually, among other reasons, because of corruption. He said various form of financial leakages can be curtailed if procurement information available with PPRA, Accountant General of Pakistan Revenues, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) can be shared, integrated and made available for any government department, which is byer of goods and services. PTI’s government’s goal of moving towards e-governance will also require improved understanding and use of data which is already collected and available with various public sector procurement bodies, he added.

Chief Information Technology (IT) and Tax Acceleration Growth and Regulation (TAGR), Syeda Adeela Bokhari, said that the biggest challenge for us is to check and control kick-backs in the procurement process. She said that her organization is working on restructuring of PRAL (Pakistan Revenue Automation (Pvt.) Ltd) and moving towards integration of big data system. Asim Jalil, Deputy Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) said the big challenge is that the government don’t have procurement specialist to materialize the procurements in effective and efficient manner. Also, the government lacks infrastructure, where data of thousands of contractors can be maintain effectively. He said that there is a need to develop a mechanism where everyone including government institutions can be held accountable.

Rehan Hyder, Senior Procurement Specialist said for enhance citizen engagement and ensuring transparency in public procurements, all the public institutions need to open the data and also active disclosure of all tenders to public. He stressed the need for enhance advocacy and raising awareness among public on public procurements.  Asim Ghaffar Vice President, Resource and Development, LMK Resources Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd. said that in Pakistan we lack a dedicated authority which manages and maintain data for development effectiveness. He said that comprehensive data should be available to the public at large which can ensure transparency, accountability and encourage engagement. There is a need of holistic framework, where every institution needs to work together and evolve consensus for big data format, for which political ownership and commitment direly needed, he added.

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The Retail Summit officially opens

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The Retail Summit was officially opened today with a welcome address by H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO, Dubai Chamber Of Commerce & Industry.

Sir Richard Branson took to the stage on the first day as headline speaker at the new event, which runs until 14 February at Atlantis, The Palm.

Other industry heavyweight speakers include:

  • Huda Kattan, CEO and Co-Founder, Huda Beauty
  • Julia Goldin, CMO, Lego
  • Hans Christian Meyer, CEO, Tiger of Sweden
  • John Veichmanis, CMO, Farfetch
  • Fahad Abdulrahim Kazim, VP, Meydan Malls, Meydan Group
  • Ghizlan Guenez, CEO & Founder, The Modist
  • Jo Malone, Founder, Jo Loves
  • Niu Gang, Chairman, Dashang Group

With more than 80 speakers and 900 participants, The Retail Summit has brought together disruptive brands and legacy retailers to discuss the future of retail in the digital age.

The Retail Summit is supported by event partners Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Meydan One; Innovation partner: Accenture; Silver partners: Black Jack, CBRE, CEGID, KPMG, SAP, Umdasch and Xpandretail; Strategic partners: Al Futtaim Malls, Arvind Internet, Bentley, BJSS, Content Square, Department of International Trade, Gate Avenue, Lava Moments, Mcube, Nook, Openbravo, Parcelly, Ponant, Presso, Samsung and Sensemi.

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Valentines Day Gift Guide from Anker

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  • A selection of innovative practical gadgets that eases the life of your loved ones

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Anker with the perfect gift for your loved ones that lasts a lot longer than flowers and chocolates. Gifting gadgets for special occasions satisfies any personality from Anker Innovations where products range from Bluetooth speakers, headphones to power banks. The products are now in major retail stores in the Middle East.

Soundcore Flare:

Soundcore Flare is a cylindrical Portable Bluetooth speaker that provides immersive 360O all around sound with BassUpTM Technology. The uniquely designed Flare is water proof with IPX7 protection and comes with a beat driven ambient light show as well as offers 12 hours of continuous use on one charge. A perfect gift for someone who loves music on the go.

Liberty Air:

Liberty Air, true wireless in-ear headphones come with two built-in microphones with uplink noise cancellation and filters out ambient noises to ensure you sound crystal-clear even in noisy spaces. The latest Bluetooth 5.0 technology and a FPC antenna create a rock-solid connection for skip-free music. One-Step Pairing ensures automatic connection to your device. A seamlessly concealed sensor in both the earbuds allows you to effortlessly answer calls or adjust music without reaching for your phone. The charging case provides a longer battery life on the go for the earphones.

Soundcore Space NC:

The Soundcore Space NC, the state of the art over-the-ear headphones, are affordable, extremely comfortable and have a collapsible design making them perfect for travelling. With leading active noise cancellation technology and exceptional battery life, it is the perfect choice for the ultimate listening experience. The convenient touch controls on the on-ear touch pads and buttons allows users to have easy control on the music playback and effortless call answering. Soundcore Space NC is perfect for long haul listening with 20 hours playtime of uninterrupted music.

PowerCore IQ 5200mAh:

The PowerCore IQ 5200mAh is compact and perfect for charging your phone on the go. Equipped with High Speed Charging Power IQ technology, it detects the optimal and fastest charge speed required for the device.  It comes in incredibly compact candy bar size with cutting-edge technology and has enough charge to power your average smartphone up to 2 times. The intelligent high-speed charging, premium battery cells, together with advanced materials ensure reliability.

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