Global demand for LNG grew by 12.5%:Shell Annual Outlook

Karachi(Cliff News)Global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) grew by 12.5% to 359 million tonnes in 2019, according to Shell’s latest annual LNG Outlook published today – a significant increase that bolsters LNG’s growing role in the transition to a lower-carbon energy system.2019 saw key developments that are helping to reshape the industry, namely;  

  • an industry record of 40 million tonnes of additional supply becoming available and being consumed by the market.
  • the belief in long-term demand growth triggering record investment decisions in liquefaction capacity of 71 million tonnes.
  • an increase in diversity of contractual structures, providing a wider range of options to LNG buyers.
  • the growing role of gas in improving air quality through coal-to-gas switching in the power and industrial sectors, with coal generation phase-out announcements more than trebling.

Natural gas emits between 45 and 55% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and less than one-tenth of the air pollutants than coal when used to generate electricity.“The global LNG market continued to evolve in 2019 with demand increasing for LNG and natural gas in power and non-power sectors,” said Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas and New Energies Director at Shell. “Record supply investments will meet people’s growing need for the most flexible and cleanest-burning fossil fuel.”“While we see weak market conditions today due to record new supply coming in, two successive mild winters and the Coronavirus situation, we expect equilibrium to return, driven by a combination of continued demand growth and reduction in new supply coming on-stream until the mid-2020s.”Europe absorbed the majority of 2019 supply growth as competitively-priced LNG furthered coal-to-gas switching in the power sector and replaced declining domestic gas production and pipeline gas imports.  New spot-trading mechanisms and a wider variety of indices used for long-term contracts point towards LNG becoming an increasingly flexible commodity.There was a modest rise in imports to Asia in 2019, compared to the previous two years, a result of mild weather and rising electricity generation from nuclear power in Japan and South Korea, two of the three largest global importers.In China, LNG imports increased by 14% in 2019 as efforts continued to improve urban air quality.Also notable was LNG demand growth in South Asia. In total, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan imported 36 million tonnes, an increase of 19% over last year, pointing to emerging growth countries in Asia.Over the longer-term, global LNG demand is expected to double to 700 million tonnes by 2040, according to forecasts*, as gas plays a significant role in shaping a lower-carbon energy system.Asia is expected to remain the dominant region in the decades to come, with South and South-east Asia generating more than half of the increased demand.

 

 

 

 

 

EBM participated Gulffood 2020 exhibition at Dubai

English Picture Release

Karachi (Cliff News)Following the recent launch of their new corporate brand identity, EBM participated in the Gulffood 2020 Exhibition held in Dubai. The overall response received from the buyers present at the exhibition has helped create multiple opportunities for EBM to expand their reach across international markets.In recent months, EBM has focused on enhancing its operational capabilities in order to be able to meet the increased level of international demand. With a reach that already spans to many major countries around the world, EBM hopes to further expand its consumer network to include other countries as well. While speaking on the subject, Dr. Zeelaf Munir, CEO of EBM, said, ‘We have taken the ownership as well as the responsibility to provide wholesome and nourishing food-between-meals to our consumers. With ever increasing levels of demand, EBM has kept innovation, research and development at the core of its production process. Through our market-research, we have observed the evolving needs of our consumers, both at home and abroad, and have been able to fulfill the needs of those looking for high quality innovative offerings including ethnic varieties.’Shahzain Munir, Director Business Development further added, ‘The response from this year’s fair has been overwhelming for our organization. We will continue to break barriers to enter into new markets and adopt cutting edge technologies for efficient operations. International markets are and continue to remain our primary focus for business growth. We are determined to continue contributing to the national exchequer by increasing the export of our products.’With a legacy of over 50 years, as a leading food company from Pakistan, and an example of flourishing entrepreneurship, EBM firmly believes that success and growth are achieved only through consistently striving for excellence. EBM’s commitment to remain abreast of global trends, while staying true to its roots, has enabled the company to satiate the needs of local and international consumers belonging to diverse markets.

About EBM:

EBM has been baking nutritious delights for Pakistani consumers under the brand name Peek Freans since 1966. As one of the pioneers of the industry as well as a dominating market leader, EBM continues to innovate on each of the three fronts: product, quality, and communication.

 

A1 decoded-accountants and policy makers can benefit from ongoing work

Karachi (Cliff News)ACCA’s (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) latest report Explainable AI addresses explainability from the perspective of practitioners, i.e. accountancy and finance professionals. Head of Business Insights, Narayanan Vaidyanathan, said: ‘It is in the public interest to improve understanding of XAI, which helps to balance the protection of the consumer with innovation in the marketplace.’Complexity, speed and volume of AI decision-making often obscure what is going on in the background (the black box), which makes the model difficult to interrogate.  Explainability, or the lack of this, affects the ability of professional accountants to understand and display scepticism. In a recent ACCA survey, more than double, 54%, agreed with this statement compared to those who didn’t.Vaidyanathan continued: ‘It’s an area that’s relevant to being able to trust technology and to be confident that it’s used ethically and XAI can help in this scenario.  It’s helpful to think of it as a design principle as much as a set of tools. Moreover, this is AI decoded, and designed to augment the human ability to understand and interrogate the results returned by the model.’

Key messages for practitioners:

  • Maintain awareness of evolving trends in AI: 51% of respondents were unaware of XAI.  This impairs the ability to engage. The report sets out some of the key developments in this emerging area to help raise awareness.  
  • Beware of oversimplified narratives: In accountancy, AI isn’t fully autonomous, but nor is it a complete fantasy. The middle path of augmenting, as opposed to replacing, the human works best when the human understands what the AI is doing; which needs explainability. 
  • Embed explainability into enterprise adoption:  Consider the level of explainability needed, and how it can help with model performance, ethical use and legal compliance. 

Policy makers, for instance in government or at regulators, frequently hear the developer/supplier perspective from the AI industry. This report can complement that with a view from the user/demand side, so that policy can incorporate consumer needs.  

The report’s key messages for policy makers are:

  • Explainability empowers consumers and regulators: improved explainability reduces the deep asymmetry between experts who understand AI and the wider public. And for regulators, it can help reduce systemic risk if there is a better understanding of factors influencing algorithms that are being increasingly deployed across the marketplace. 
  • Emphasise explainability as a design principle: An environment that balances innovation and regulation can be achieved by supporting industry to continue, indeed redouble, its efforts to include explainability as a core feature in product development.

 

Narayanan Vaidyanathan added: ‘XAI can be polarising, with some having unrealistic expectations for it to be like magic and answer all questions. While others are deeply suspicious of what the algorithm is doing in the background. XAI seeks to bridge this gap, by improving understanding to manage unrealistic expectations, and to give a level of comfort and clarity to the doubters.’

About ACCA

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. ACCA supports its 219,000 members and 527,000 students (including affiliates) in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 110 offices and centres and 7,571 Approved Employers worldwide, and 328 approved learning providers who provide high standards of learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally. 

 

 

 

High demand of CarFirst sales center franchise amoung used car dealers

Digital Picture Release - CarFirst

Lahore(Cliff News)In line with their commitment to revolutionize the used car industry in Pakistan, CarFirst, Pakistan’s most trusted used car trading platform, under their CarFirst Sales Center business introduced a complete franchising business solution for used car dealers and traders. After multiple successful launches in Lahore, a high demand for the franchise came in from used car traders and dealers from cities across Pakistan, and thus, CarFirst Sales Center Franchise is now available nationwide.All CarFirst Sales Center franchisees enjoy exclusive access to arguably the largest inventory of used cars in Pakistan at the best prices, as well as the standard online marketplace, easing the buying and selling of cars, as well as marketing and branding support. The Franchising services provide full support to used car dealerships and traders and helps them in increasing their revenue and profitability. The franchises also enable ease of access to CarFirst Sales Center customer base and digital operations.Commenting on this Shanawar Khan, Head of Operations,  at CarFirst Sales Center said, “ Our innovative franchising business solutions helps increase brand value, with franchisees receiving an increasing number of customers at their locations, with our dedicated Call Center generating leads and redirecting them to their dealerships. Our regular Gala events exclusively allow franchisees in their city to showcase their stock to a wide range of potential buyers. The Franchise Support Executives present at franchises helps improve customer service experience. We also help in generating additional income by providing our Franchise owners’ customers with many value added services under one roof, like Insurance, Takaful, Financing, Tracker, Auto service and many more.”Commenting on this Sheikh Rehan Ahmed, Owner of Car Boulevard, a CarFirst Sales Center Franchise said,“Working with CarFirst Sales Center has increased my customers and I have been able to multiply the scale of my business. It has taught me the benefit of bringing my business online, with more information on prices and varieties of cars.  By owning a CarFirst Sales Center Franchise I get exclusive access to inventory as well as 10 free OLX featured Ads that really help in getting attraction. Marketing and branding support to maximize lead generation and people who are helpful in managing operations is another bonus. The tech element of inspected cars in an online inventory has helped increase the speed of operations. I have had a very good experience so far and Insha Allah it will become even better. I recommend this exceptional service to my peers in the used car auto industry.”

About CarFirst

CarFirst is Pakistan’s most trusted trading platform, with a nationwide network of purchase centres and warehouses. CarFirst was founded in 2016 and has been the recipient of the largest Series ‘A’ investment in Pakistan from Frontier Car Group, and the largest Series ‘B’ investment from OLX Group. Consumers Association of Pakistan awarded CarFirst as the ‘Fastest Growing Tech Company’ in 2019. CarFirst aims to revolutionize the way cars are traded in Pakistan by offering comprehensive solutions for all things related to cars, such as evaluation, certification, financing, insurance, live auctions, and many more. CarFirst aim is to keep adding value across the customer’s journey, improving efficiency and transparency at every milestone of the car trading process.

 

 

Finland government to train 1 million Pakistani students

IMG-20200212-WA0032

Karachi(Cliff News)The Federal Minister of Planning & Development – Asad Umar, chaired the signing ceremony of a historic MoU between the Governments of Finland and Pakistan, to launch an initiative to train 1 million students on disruptive technologies like; Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), Gaming-Tech, Health-Tech, etc. This is the first and the largest ‘Mass IT Education Program’ in collaboration with the Government of Finland. It will be managed by prestigious institutions like the “Kajaani University of Applied Sciences”, Finland, “Allied ICT”, Finland and the Virtual University (VU) Pakistan, while also engaging a local partner – Integration Xperts (IX), in Pakistan to provide technical expertise.The former Minister of Information-Technology – Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui (MNA) also graced the occasion, accompanied by senior officials of the Ministry of IT & Telecom, CEO of Kajaani University Matti Saren, Rector of VU-Mr. Naeem Tariq, Delegates of Allied ICT Finland and Global Alliance, etc., while the CEO of Vendor Junction (Regional Partner) – Sayed Jawed also witnessed the signing ceremony, along with Mr. Umair Azam – Managing Director of Integration Xperts (Representative in Pakistan). All these stakeholders have been working hard for the last one year, to make this venture a reality.Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui thanked the Government of Finland for their support and stated that: “This valuable initiative reflects Pakistan government’s commitment to enrich the economy with an additional qualified workforce of one million youngsters, educated on European professional standards, to learn special skill-sets. It will enable them to capitalize on the latest trends evolving in Information-Technology. With their globally recognized certifications, these fresh human-resources will strengthen Pakistan’s IT industry, by nurturing a wide range of technology start-ups. Pakistan will thus gain competitive-advantage in the global free-lance work-space, to become an attractive destination for international companies searching for qualified technology experts.”The President & CEO of Kajaani University and Member ICT Finland – Matti Saren, said: The Economist Intelligence Report has declared Finland as the best country in the world for future skills-education, while the PISA research by OECD also ranks Finland as the best higher-education & training system in the world. Since Last year, Vendor Junction and Integration Xperts have been exploring ways to access the highest quality of mass-education, technologies and ideas. By following the proven system of Finland, millions of Pakistanis will now become highly-rated experts in the global business environment. The European enterprises are also being engaged to identify investment opportunities in this region, which promises great talents for building innovative businesses.Anas Al Natsheh – Director of International Education Cooperation at Kajaani University said: Resourceful international collaborations and digital technologies are enabling accessibility to quality education across the globe, nurture innovations, new ideas and products. These collaborations serve as great platforms for knowledge-exchange, teaching and learning. Rapid advancement promises accelerated progress, especially for developing countries.Jarmo Jarvenpaa, member of Allied ICT Finland and CEO of iSTOC stated: Digitalization is creating a whole new world of possibilities for growth. Partnerships are enabling new ways to attract investments and achieve agility for success. Working research institutes and local healthcare partners, Allied ICT has already executed a successful infectious-diseases program in Pakistan. Now we are implementing this international training program for nurses and healthcare workers, through mHealth education.The experts involved in this initiative recognize that; AI, IoT, Machine Learning, Data Analytics, Digital Networking, Gaming and Drone Technology, are essential skills for success in the global ICT market. Investing on quality incubation and commercialization centres with accredited certifications are needed to nurture local talent, start-ups, based on research, that can impact, sustainability and lives in society as a whole.

 

 

ACCA promotes KP as a gateway to economic prosperity

ACCA - Picture Release

Karachi(Cliff News)ACCA(the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) hosted a high-profile corporate networking conference in Peshawar on the theme ‘KP: Pakistan’s gateway to economic prosperity’ providing a platform to region’s key stakeholders and thought leaders to engage in interdisciplinary, forward thinking conversations and encouraging collaborative action by proposing a common agenda aimed at revitalising the private sector to kick start an era of sustainable, inclusive economic growth in the province.Taimur Jhagra, Minister for Finance, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Hassan Daud Butt, CEO, KP Board of Investment & Trade, Mujahid Saleem, Advisor on Economic Growth, USAID, and Assad Hameed Khan, Market Head, ACCA were among the keynote speakers who shared their insights and proposed tips for organisations to become future-ready.“It’s a source of pride to see the city opening up again and providing a platform for thought leaders to engage in meaningful conversations. The province is a large consumer market and offers exciting opportunities for investors. We strongly believe that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is our country’s gateway to economic prosperity.” – Taimur Jhagra.Commenting on the theme of the conference, Director of National Incubation Centre (NIC) Peshawar, Faisal Jamil said, “Around 60pc of all the investments and funding raised by the start-ups at NIC Peshawar have been raised by women-led start-ups. The key takeaway from the conference is that the stakeholders of this region need to focus more on inclusivity and sustainability to drive the business forward.”Recognising the aggregated impact of the conference, Mujahid Saleem said, “Today’s event will go a long way in chalking out a clear path forward to promote sustainable economic development in this region. We look forward to working with ACCA on similar initiatives in the future for the benefit of this region.”From robotics and cloud to AI and block chain, digital is arguably the biggest factor shaping the future of business around the world. At the conference, ACCA shared insights, practical guidance, strategies, and solutions to enable businesses and policy makers to embrace these new technologies and create a conducive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.“The conference offered great insights into developing future-ready talent and preparing the youth of our country for the challenges ahead.” – Dr Sahibzada Ali Mahmud, Chief Strategy & Information Officer, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC).One of the event highlights was a future-focused panel conversation on the topic ‘Digital transformation and economic growth – journey towards sustainable development’. The conversation leaders for the segment included, Dr Mohsin Khan, Director, Institute of Management Sciences, Shafique Ur Rehman, CEO, Rehman Medical Institute, Dr Shahbaz Khan, Managing Director, KP IT Board, Dr Sahibzada Ali Mahmud, Chief Strategy & Information Officer, KPEZDMC, Syed Asmat Ullah FCCA, Executive Director Audit & Assurance, Deloitte and Arif Masud Mirza FCCA, Regional Head of Policy, ACCA.To emphasise on the importance of inclusivity and to discuss the changing nature of work, and evolving business models, the conference also hosted a thought-provoking panel conversation on the theme ‘Building an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem’, with contributions from Hassan Daud Butt, CEO, KP Board of Investment & Trade, Usman Zulfiqar, Academia Head SKANS School of Accountancy Peshawar, Ihsan Ullah Ihsan, Managing Director, The Bank of Khyber, Mubarak Ali Senior Faculty Member Professionals Academy of Commerce Peshawar, Faisal Jamil, Executive Vice President, LMKT and Maryam Arshad, CEO, Impact Dynamics.“We believe healthy and prosperous economies are ones that build equitable and thriving societies. In Pakistan, ACCA will continue to play its role in building a healthy and prosperous economy where people of all backgrounds are able to flourish and there’s an open access to opportunity.” – Assad Hameed Khan, Market Head, ACCA.Bank Islami Pvt Ltd. joined ACCA as an exclusive Strategic Partner. The Bank of Khyber, DHA Peshawar, and Rehman Medical Institute were the Platinum Partners, and Professionals’ Academy of Commerce (PAC), and SKANS School of Accountancy joined as Gold Partners.The conference was also supported by SECP’s Jama Punji, IM Sciences, IM Durshal, Deloitte, SMEDA, KP Information Technology Board, Pakistan Stock Exchange, KPRA, KPCCI, WCCI and KPEZDMC. Nutshell Conferences powered the conference as a Knowledge Partner.With more than 219,000 fully qualified members and 527,000 students worldwide, ACCA is the world’s leading body for professional accountants which uses its unrivalled connections across the world to connect people with fulfilling careers, organisations with the best finance talent, and economies with the ingredients for growth. With strong partnerships with top employers and social sector across the globe and an award-winning Professional Insights programme offering ground-breaking futures insight, ACCA is at the forefront of finance talent development and creating future-proof careers. 

 

About ACCA:

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.ACCA supports its 208,000 members and 503,000 students in 178 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 104 offices and centres and more than 7,300 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability.

Shaping Digital Pakistan: Uber hosts media workshop

PR_Uber Media Training Lahore

Lahore(Cliff News)A one-day workshop for journalists was organized by Uber at Lahore Press Club. The global ride-hailing giant, as a part of their initiative to impart marketable digital skills to create successful freelancers, employees, and entrepreneurs.Keeping pace with an increasingly digital world that requires an in-depth understanding of technological trends and advancements across the globe. The workshop discussed the role of disruptive technologies in terms of transforming the landscape of a Digital Pakistan.Speaking at the training, Hyder Bilgrami, Head of Communications-Uber, commented, “With the digital shift challenging old norms, it has become a necessity for the media to acquire skills to keep pace with emerging technologies. Capacity-building initiatives enabling innovation and growth are imperative for the media fraternity to be digitally equipped.”President Lahore Press Club, Mr. Arshad Ansari, remarked on the occasion, “We are hopeful that this workshop improves the digital media capabilities of participants and encourages a solutions-based approach to journalism. On behalf of the journalists community we would like to thank Uber Pakistan on organizing such an initiative which will help the media fraternity to learn new skills and collaborate for a digital Pakistan”.While giving an overview of rapidly transforming communication technologies, the session discussed the need for the media to have an in-depth understanding of emerging trends in the digital era. With the right training, journalists can play a crucial role in the technological revolution by enhancing society’s readiness for Digital Pakistan.Journalists reporting on various beats including business and IT from print, electronic and digital mediums were part of the workshop. The goal of the training was to equip reporters with marketable digital skills that can be turned into a sustainable stream of income.Emerging technologies have provided the world with new avenues in overcoming economic problems by disrupting economies and businesses. The right skills will create jobs that can not only help the economy grow quickly through poverty alleviation but also improve the country’s business environment.

What is Uber?

Uber is evolving the way the world moves through its app. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers at the push of a button, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for our partner drivers and transport operators. Uber’s rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer and is currently providing service in more than 600 cities across 77 countries on six continents.