Pakistan’s top gaming start-ups from Game Launcher pitch investors in Singapore

Photo - Game launcher

Singapore(Cliff News) Seven of Pakistan’s top game developers pitched their gaming products to renowned investors at Google’s Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore to raise capital for scaling up their games. These game developers were chosen through a Google-partnered ‘Game Launcher’ cohort of Telenor Pakistan’s famed digital start-up accelerator program ‘Telenor Velocity’.In presence, at the Google Launcher event, were the world’s top gaming industry talent, technology leaders, as well as renowned investors. A day prior to the pitch gathering, top three of Pakistan’s seven teams, OT Ventures, The Knights and Big Alpha, were announced and were given the awards by the Pakistani High Commissioner to Singapore, Ms. Rukhsana Afzal.“To strengthen and transform the local gaming community in the country, Telenor Pakistan has made serious commitments and a testament to these efforts is Game Launcher,” said Sardar Abubakr, Chief Digital & Strategy Officer Telenor Pakistan. “The potential in Pakistan’s remarkably booming gaming industry is immense and Game Launcher is an effort by Telenor Velocity and Google to provide a platform to ambitious game developers and guide them on how to scale their ventures. I congratulate the participants of the seed funding event and wish them the very best of luck.”Out of the 40 participating Game Launcher teams, seven were chosen to join the investment funding event at Google HQ in Singapore. Launched in May 2019, Velocity’s gaming cohort, Game Launcher, aimed to convince the next gaming start-up generation to scale their service offerings by leveraging Telenor Pakistan’s platform and insights. Targeting Pakistan’s underdog game developers to bring the next multi-million-dollar games out of Pakistan, Game Launcher brought in industry gurus to educate and up-skill promising gaming start-ups on smart game development and monetization.

About Telenor Pakistan

Telenor Pakistan is 100% owned by Telenor Group and has a footprint spanning throughout the country. With a subscriber base of over 45 Million, it is the second largest mobile operator in Pakistan. Telenor launched its operations in Pakistan in 2005 and has a workforce of over 1,600 employees. 


ACCA and Board of Investment work together on “Ease of Doing Business” reforms


Karachi(Cliff News)During a meeting with Helen Brand OBE, Chief Executive, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Haroon Sharif said that the government is focused on addressing the structural problems in the economy to ensure export-led development and achieve stabilisation through development of human resource in the country.Highlighting some of the structural issues, the BoI chairman said that the professional bodies such as ACCA has a significant role to play in the development of human resource in the fields of corporate management, particularly corporate finance. Helen Brand highlighted that ACCA is training professionals on the line of fulfilling the requirements of digital age and is inculcating the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.“We are looking for tangible partnerships with private sector to bring in their knowledge and expertise to get the desired results.” – Haroon Sharif, Chairman, Board of Investment (BoI)The ACCA team also shared some of the insights on ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and overall business environment in Pakistan. Haroon Sharif appreciated the efforts of ACCA in finding the gaps in the policy and implementation and asked them to share concrete recommendations with the BoI, which is the Secretariat for ‘Ease of Doing Business’ reforms in the country.Earlier, Helen Brand OBE called on the Chairman of Audit Oversight Board (AOB), Mr. Tariq Iqbal Khan in Islamabad to explore opportunities for future partnerships. Senior representatives from the AOB, including Usman Hayat, Chief Executive Officer and Shahid Karim FCCA, Chief Regulatory Officer were also present at the meeting.Helen also met with Zia ul Mustafa Awan, President, ICMA Pakistan to discuss greater collaboration between both the professional accountancy bodies in developing the accountancy profession in Pakistan. Helen was also joined by Alan Johnson, Deputy President, International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and Chair of ACCA’s Accountants for Business Global Forum.Helen Brand OBE was in Pakistan to attend the third edition of Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit. Powered by ACCA’s award-winning Professional Insights and featuring business leaders and luminaries from around the world, ACCA joined the summit as a Knowledge Partner.On the sidelines of the summit, Helen also attended different sessions hosted by country’s top leadership, most notably the sessions hosted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, President Dr. Arif Alvi and General Zubair Mahmood Hayat NI, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.



Frequent changes in policies discourage investment in Pakistan:Japanese Consul General



Karachi (Cliff News)More Japanese companies are interested
to invest in Pakistan in different sectors but are hesitant to because of frequent changes in investment and trade policies especially about taxation and tariffs.Continuity of economic policies is must to attract investors,especially foreign ones. The policies should sustain at least for ten years.Investors come with their long-term business plans and it becomes very disturbing for them in Pakistan when new taxes are suddenly levied or the existing ones are increased, Consul General of
Japan in Karachi Toshikazu Isomura said.He was talking to a group of journalists after inaugurating a mango
festival here at Beach Luxury Hotel.
The Japanese Government and the investors were also seriously
watching political developments in Pakistan and expected political
stability  after the scheduled general elections, which is vital for
sustained economic activities.
He informed that eighty three Japanese companies were operating
in Pakistan including  Toyota and Suzuki Motor companies. Of these
more thirty companies were in Karachi. Japanese dry milk producing
company Morinaga was setting up its plant in Punjab.He said that in Pakistan the yearly demand for vehicles was around 0.3 million. Of these, 0.2 million were being produced in Pakistan and
0.1 million were imported from Japan.   Whereas, Iran had big vehicle
market with around 0.9 million vehicles annual demand.To a question that the quality of cars being assembled in
Pakistan using Japanese spare parts did not match with those imported
from Japan, he said that more demand for vehicles in a country brings
better auto manufacturing or assembling companies/facilities leading
to better quality products at lower price.Japanese Consul General said his country could supply buses to
Pakistan for Green Line Bus project  in Karachi at lower price.  In
addition, he said, Pakistan would get spare parts and service for
these buses at low cost.To another  question, he said it was not Japan but Sindh Government which abandoned Karachi Circular Railway project to be executed under the umbrella of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which coordinates official development assistance.”Without informing us, former Sindh chief minister Syed MuradAli Shah announced to include KCR project in China-Pakistan Economic
Corridor,” he explained.Japanese Consul General praised Pakistani mangoes’ taste especially of Sindhri and Caunsa.
“Pakistani Sindhri and Chaunsa had big demand in Japan, “he remarked.Last year, 100 tones of Sindhri and Chaunsa were imported by Japan and this volume could  be increased to 500 tonnes if Pakistan government provided trade  incentives. Japan also imports good quantity of  mangoes from Iran. Pakistani mangoes could be their
better replacement, he said.Acting General Manager, Beach Luxury Hotel  Syed Kashif Rizvi,said that being king of fruits, mango has unique flavour, fragrance and health promoting qualities. It is widely used ingredient in different cuisines. With passage of time,
its use has tremendously increased. Earlier, mango was to be used as
dessert but now people do use it as starter, appetizer and main course, he said.


Chairman BOI speaks at Toronto webinar on investment opportunities in Pakistan

Karachi/Toronto(Cliff News)As part of its mandate to project Pakistan’s image and its trade and investment potential, the Consulate General of Pakistan Toronto arranged a webinar titled ‘Investment opportunities in Pakistan’ held recently at Pakistan House. The Minister of State and Chairman Board of Investment Mr. Naeem Zamindar made a live skype presentation to the participants.The webinar was attended by prominent and reputed Canadian businesses including President & CEO of Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), Vice President of OCC, CEO of JCM Power, Chairman of Robson Capital, Chairman of Morgan Solar, Partner Stikeman Elliot, Director MIDAS Safety, Chairman of CMI Group and representatives of Gravitas Financial and Polaris Capital Power.In his presentation, the Minister of State said, “Pakistan has made progressive strides recently for improvement of ease of doing business and created a favorable environment to attract investment. Pakistan’s large population and geo-strategic location makes it an ideal investment destination.”Referring to marked improvement in ratings for Pakistan in the recent international surveys and reports, the Minister said that appropriate mechanisms were in place in Pakistan for protection and high return on investments.On ease of doing business, the participants were informed that the government has established a single window facility for setting up of a company. There is 100% repatriation allowed on remittances of royalty, technical and franchise fee, profits, dividends, capital and capital gains. Moreover, utilities and land connectivity are ensured by law and there is one time duty exemption on import of plant and machinery. Earlier, Mr. Imran Ahmed Siddiqui, Consul-General for Pakistan while welcoming the participants, said “It is the right time and the right place for doing business in Pakistan, we are on a vertical curve, our ratings are positive, innovation and technology are the focus, widespread infra-structure developments in place and a thriving economy is a strong indicator. I am grateful to you for showing your interest in doing business with Pakistan.”The participants gave positive feedback on the event and keeping in view the incentives on the offer, expressed interest in exploring investment opportunities in Pakistan.




Turkey keen to explore investment opportunities in Energy and Infrastructure Project says CG Tolga Ucak

Karachi (Cliff News)Newly appointed Turkish Consul General in Karachi Tolga Ucak has speak about the importance of the people-to-people contact at Turkish Airlines Agency Award Ceremony 2017 in Karachi.He also underlined the progress that the Turkish Airlines achieved in the timeline and contribution of the Turkish Airlines to the image and tourism sector in Turkey.He said that Pakistan and Turkey can also benefit from each other experiences and expertise in the aviation sector and PIA and Turkish Airlines already enjoy working relationship.Tolga Ucak while praising the recent decision by government of Pakistan to introduce visa on arrival policy said that it’s a good step to promote inbound tourism in Pakistan. Since security environment is improving in Karachi, we would like to introduce Karachi to Turkish people as a safe and interesting tourism destination and hopefully more Turkish tourists would come to Pakistan in 2018. He praised the role of travel agencies in promoting Turkey as a preferred tourism destination for Pakistani tourists and informed that, according to the figures of Turkish Statistical Institute, in 2017 approximately 77,000 Pakistanis travelled to Turkey. Tolga Ucak informed that in year 2000 the number of visitors to Turkey from Pakistan was just 7,908 which reached to almost 21,000 travelers in 2007, 50,000 in 2014 and ultimately 77,000 travelers in year 2017.He hoped that with several attractive packages by Turkish Airlines, year 2018 would set a new record of Pakistani travelers travelling to Turkey. Consul General said that UN World Tourism Organization figures for global tourism for 2017 is 1.3 billion people with an annual rise of 6.7%. The number of foreigners visited Turkey in 2017 was 32.5 million with an annual increase of 27.8 percent compare to 2016.Mr. Fatih Atacan Temel GM Karachi Turkish Airlines informed that his airline has recorded 352% Increase in its corporate sales from Karachi station, achieved 34.5% revenue Increase, 5% passenger load factor Increase and 13% business class cabin load factor increase in 2017.Turkish Airlines has achieved an increase of 9.3 percent in the number of passengers in 2017 compared to the previous year, carrying 68 million 616 thousand passengers. Passenger occupancy rate increased by 4.7 percentage points to 79.1 percent. In the last month of 2017, the flag carrier reached its occupancy rate of 79.5%, the highest of its history.Established in 1933 with a fleet of five aircraft, Star Alliance-member Turkish Airlines is a 4-star airline today with a fleet of 330 (passenger and cargo) aircraft flying to 301 destinations worldwide with 252 international and 49 domestic. According to the 2017 Skytrax survey, Turkish Airlines already has a six consecutive years of “Best Airline in Europe”award between 2011-2016, now chosen as the“Best Airline in Southern Europe” for the ninth consecutive times.


Ambassador of Bosnia advises bussiness community to explore investment opportunities


Karachi (Cliff News)Ambassador of Bosnia & Herzegovina Sakib Foric has advised the business and industrial community of Karachi to explore the investment opportunities in Bosnia & Herzegovina where they can enjoy many benefits including cheaper fuel and electricity along with tax free regime and other facilities being offered through the Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA) which facilitates and supports foreign direct investment in Bosnia.Exchanging views with President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik, Senior Vice President KCCI Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak and KCCI Managing Committee Members during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Bosnian Ambassador added that FIPA offers practical assistance in dealing with government institutions by working directly with investors and it also assist investors to develop contacts with the public and private sector.Bosnian Ambassador informed that FIPA carries out extensive research to ensure that investors are fully aware of the opportunities available in different sectors of the Bosnian economy. “Moreover, FIPA works alongside the embassies and diplomatic missions of Bosnia & Herzegovina that can also help explore investment opportunities in Bosnia & Herzegovina. We need investors and business from your country. You must visit Bosnia & Herzegovina to see this business and tourist friendly Muslim country which is very close to European Union”, he added.Luring the business and industrial community, he said that 70 percent of Bosnian & Herzegovinian border touches European Union hence, it can be used as a logistics base by Pakistani investors which can be used as a road to EU.He opined that Bosnia & Herzegovina and Pakistan maintain good relations since many years and it was really heartening to see that Pakistan has continued to extend full support and cooperation to Bosnia particularly during difficult times. “Pakistan and Bosnia, being two brotherly countries, have special feelings for each other. We not only need to have more exchanges of business delegations but students, cultural, sports and other exchanges must also be encouraged in order to further improve the relations between the two brotherly countries”, he added.To a query, he said that Bosnia has been producing surplus Hydroelectricity and also using coal for electricity production which is being exported. “Keeping in view the immense knowledge and expertise available in Bosnia, we can certainly assist Pakistan in establishing Hydro Power Plants”, he added.In response to another question, he said that any Pakistani individual or businessman having a valid US, UK or Schengen Visa can easily enter Bosnia & Herzegovina without acquiring Bosnian visa whereas business and tourist visas are only issued to those applicants who are invited by someone in Bosnia and the businessmen intending to make investments in Bosnia are granted Multiple Visas.Bosnian Ambassador also invited Karachi Chamber to participate in Sarajevo Business Forum 2018 which is scheduled to be organized on 25th and 26th April 2018 which would provide a perfect platform to not only review investment opportunities but also enhance trade ties with counterparts in Bosnia & Herzegovina.Earlier, President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik, in his remarks, underscored the need for a more liberal visa policy by the Bosnian government particularly for Pakistani business and industrial community which would certainly help in effectively dealing with the meager trade volume between the two countries. He said that Karachi, which is the financial and economic hub of Pakistan, offers profitable investment opportunities and added facilities for investment and joint ventures to Bosnian Investors. The improved law and order situation across the country has resulted in attracting many potential investors from around the world. Karachi city, which contributes more than 65 percent revenue to the national exchequer, is an attractive place for Bosnian investors, who can surely earn maximum profits by setting up their businesses and undertaking joint ventures in this city.Commenting on bilateral trade, President KCCI noted that the bilateral trade between Pakistan & Herzegovina has not been very extensive and currently based on very limited trade volume. During Fiscal Year 2017, Pakistan exported goods worth $0.36 million and its imports stood at $2.6 million. “I believe there is a dire need for enhancing bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and Bosnia as the current level of trade is too low. In this regard, frequent exchanges of trade delegations and people-to-people exchanges have to take place whereas the linkages between KCCI and its peer chamber in Bosnia must also be enhanced which will prove favorable for both the brotherly countries. He also requested Bosnian Ambassador to help KCCI in effectively promoting its My Karachi Exhibition amongst the Bosnian Business and Industrial Community. The Bosnian companies should participate in 15th My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony exhibition scheduled to be organized at Karachi Expo Center from 20thApril to 22nd April 2018. This three-day long event is regularly being organized since 2004 which is attended by around 1 million visitors every year. My Karachi will provide an excellent opportunity to Bosnian businessmen and industrialists to showcase their products and create strong linkages with the business community of Karachi by holding B2B meetings in a cordial atmosphere, he added.