Pakistani Diaspora's Role in National Development

Nearly 5 million Pakistani emigrants make up the world's 7th largest disapora, according to the World Bank Factbook 2011. Adding the foreign-born children of these Pakistani emigres to the tally pushes the total figure up to about 7 million. The top five nations that the Pakistani diaspora calls home include the United Kingdom (1.2 million), The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (1.2 million), the United Arab Emirates (1.1 million), the United States (700,000) and Canada (300,000), according to Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.

The nations ranking ahead of Pakistan are Mexico at #1, India at #2, Russia at #3, China at #4, Ukraine at #5 and Bangladesh at #6. Both the UK and Pakistan are tied at #7 with 4.7 million emigres, according to the World Bank.

World's Top 10 Diasporas:

Here are the top 10 national diasporas:

1. Mexico 11.9 million

2. India 11.4 million

3. Russia 11.1 million

4. China 8.3 million

5. Ukraine 6.6 million

6. Bangladesh 5.4 million

7. Pakistan 4.7 million

7. United Kingdom 4.7 million

8. Philippines 4.3 million

8. Turkey 4.3 million

9. Egypt 3.7 million

9. Kazakhstan 3.7 million

10. Germany 3.5 million

10. Italy 3.5 million

Diaspora Remittances:

The World Bank's Migration and Remittances Factbook 2011 ranks Pakistan at #11 in 2010 for remittances of $9.4 billion sent home by its diaspora. The State Bank of Pakistan reported that overseas Pakistanis sent home $5.291 billion during six months from July to Dec, 2010, an increase of $761 million or 17 per cent year over year, according to Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.

India tops this list with remittances of $55 billion sent home in 2010, followed by China ($51 billion), Mexico ($22.6 billion), Philippines ($21.3 billion), France ($15.9 billion), Germany ($11.6 billion), Bangladesh ($11.1 billion), Belgium ($10.4 billion), Spain ($10.2 billion), Nigeria ($10 billion) and Pakistan ($9.4 billion).

Per Capita Remittances:

In terms of per capita remittances based the World Bank data, China leads the world with an average of $6,100 sent home by each member of the Chinese diaspora, followed by the Philippines ($4,953), India ($4,824), Bangladesh ($2055), Pakistan ($2000), Mexico ($1904), UK ($1,574), Ukraine ($803) and Russia ($504). These per capita figures are an indication of the wealth of each diaspora and the extent of the brain drain experienced by these nations.

Top Immigration Countries:

With 42.8 million immigrants, the United States is home to the world's largest immigrant population. India and Pakistan also have the distinction of being on the list with 5.4 million immigrants in India at #10 and Pakistan with 4.2 million immigrants at #13. Other nations on this list include Russia at #2 (12.3 million immigrants), Germany at #3 (10.8 million), Saudi Arabia at #4 (7.3 million), Canada at #5 (7.2 million), the UK at #6 (7 million), Spain at #7 (6.9 million), France at #8 (6.7 million) and Australia at #9 (5.5 million).

Examples of Diaspora's Role:

Diasporas of various nations are mutually beneficial to both the sending and the receiving countries. They send home the money to help their families and friends financially. And they often acquire advanced education and technical, professional and managerial skills and contribute to solving problems in their host nations in the West. And given the right political and policy context, the members of the diaspora can also help their countries of origin by using their deep knowledge of their home countries and by offering advanced skills, experience and knowledge acquired in more developed nations.

In terms of development help with the skills and capital of the diaspora for their home nations, there are three examples of fairly old and mature diasporas: China, India and Armenia. While China and India have benefited greatly from their diasporas, Armenia has lagged badly, according to a World Bank report titled "Work Globally, Develop Locally: Diaspora Networks as Springboards of Knowledge-Based Development".

Pakistani Diaspora's Role:

In Pakistan's case, growing remittances amounting to 5% of its gdp in 2010 from the nation's diaspora provided an important lifeline for the state of Pakistan in funding its large current account deficit and in helping the individuals and families receiving the funds to supplement their incomes.

Remittances are a source of income for households in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and other provinces in Pakistan, according to a 2010 World Bank report titled "Poverty fell in Pakistan in 2001-08 partly because of remittances". A recent Asian Development Bank study found that foreign remittances constituted 9.4 percent of household income in KP, compared to 5.1% for Punjab, 1.5% for Baluchistan, and 0.7% for Sindh.

Beyond the remittances, can Pakistan also benefit from its growing diaspora like India and China have from theirs? With millions of Pakistanis in Europe and America, many of them highly skilled entrepreneurs and business and technology professionals, Pakistani diaspora can be very helpful to their home country in its business, economic, social, political, educational and technological development. The realization of such great potential will only be possible if Pakistani government's public policy, public-private partnerships and state-to-state relations with the West create the necessary conditions for it to happen. Existing organizations of Pakistanis, such as OPEN Silicon Valley, APPNA, and PakAlumni Worldwide, can be helpful in such an endeavor.



Among the emerging diaspora networks, the effort of South African Network of Skills Abroad (SANSA), established by the University of Cape Town’s Science and Technology Policy Research Center, is worth watching. SANSA aims to promote collaboration between highly skilled expatriate scientists and technologists and their counterparts in South Africa. The target group is alumni of all major South African universities working in the West.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

PakAlumni Worldwide

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision

OPEN Forum 2010

Pakistani-American in $500 Million NFL Deal

Is Pakistan Too Big to Fail?

Pakistani-American Elected Mayor

Fighting Poverty Through Microfinance in Pakistan

Silicon Valley Summit of Pakistani Entrepreneurs

Pakistan's Multi-Billion Dollar IT Industry

Media and Telecom Sectors Growing in Pakistan

Pakistan's Middle Class Growth in 1999-2009

Social Entrepreneurs Target India, Pakistan

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
While there is nothing wrong with being a taxi driver, all this bigoted talk by presumably Indian commentators(sent to me but not posted) about most of the taxi drivers in America being Pakistani is just nonsense as confirmed by the NY Times data.

It shows that there are 16000 Indian taxi drivers in America versus 10,000 Pakistan taxi drivers.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/04/07/us/20090407-immigration-country.html#view=52100

I see that most taxi drivers, 711 workers, gas station attendants, liquor store clerks and newsstand sellers in the United States are Indian....and it's not surprising given that there are a large number of legal and illegal Indian immigrants in US.

Even Hilary Clinton once joked about it saying "He (Gandhi) ran a gas station down in St. Louis.”


Anecdotally, here's this excerpt from Time Magazine about Indians in New Jersey:

"I am very much in favor of immigration everywhere in the U.S. except Edison, N.J. The mostly white suburban town I left when I graduated from high school in 1989 — the town that was called Menlo Park when Thomas Alva Edison set up shop there and was later renamed in his honor — has become home to one of the biggest Indian communities in the U.S., as familiar to people in India as how to instruct stupid Americans to reboot their Internet routers....

For a while, we assumed all Indians were geniuses. Then, in the 1980s, the doctors and engineers brought over their merchant cousins, and we were no longer so sure about the genius thing. In the 1990s, the not-as-brilliant merchants brought their even-less-bright cousins, and we started to understand why India is so damn poor.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1999416,00.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a fact about the "Money Order Economy" of the Indian state of Kerala often ignored:

Kerala has about two million people working overseas out of the total state population of about 30 million, according to BBC's Soutik Biswas....two orders of magnitude higher proportion (66 per 1000) than either Bangladesh (0.65 per 1000) or Pakistan (0.5 per 1000), according to Nationmaster. Their remittances may be one of the reasons why Kerala has less poverty and higher social indicators than the rest of India.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Express Tribune report on US Congressman Kucinich speaking to Pakistani-American doctors in America:

WASHINGTON: A United States Congressman from Ohio has called on his government to apologise to Pakistan, and for NATO to pay compensation to the families of 24 soldiers killed in a NATO air strike on a Pakistani border check post on November 26.

Speaking at an event organised by the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, a Democrat, said relations with Pakistan was a critical issue. “We need to apologise to the people of Pakistan, NATO must pay reparations to the families of the soldiers.”

His remarks come a day after US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham called for Pakistan’s funding to be reviewed.

(Read: Key US Senators urge review of Pakistan funding)

Pakistani doctors face visa wall to working in US

Dr Zaffar Iqbal, a member of the 17000-member strong APPNA said “Last year, only 90 doctors came to work in the US.”

Speaking to The Express Tribune on the sidelines of an event organized by APPNA at the Rayburn House Office Building to highlight to Congressmen the issues faced by Pakistani physicians applying for visas to work in the US, Dr Iqbal said numerous young physicians applying for visas to work in the US are facing delays or are being rejected by the US embassy and consulates. “They don’t get their visas on time, and hence can’t join their residencies that they’ve been offered.” Dr Iqbal said that hospitals then become reluctant to offer residencies to Pakistani physicians.

He added that due to less Pakistanis being given visas, the number of Indian doctors coming to the US to work has more than doubled in the past few years.

Dr Manzoor Tariq, President of APPNA, said that they had held meetings with the State Department and Homeland Security to urge them to facilitate the process.

The event also saw a number of members of Congress attending, and looking at APPNA posters highlighting statistics of the decrease in Pakistani physicians coming to the US. APPNA says that a majority of Pakistani doctors work in the rural areas of the US, and provide a vital service to the country.

Addressing the event, Congressman Kucinich said, “I’m aware of complexities around US-Pakistan relations, but you are our brothers and sisters, and we need to help facilitate those who want to take care of people here”.

Paying tribute to the Pakistani community in her district of Nevada, Congresswoman Birkley added that the US was facing a shortage of medical professionals, and offered her support to APPNA to push for more visas for Pakistani doctors.

Other members of Congress who attended the event and lent support to APPNA included Senator Bob Casey, Claire McCaskill, Congressman Guthrie and others.

Addressing the event, Tim Lenderking, the head of the Pakistan desk at the State Department, said that it was important to talk to the Embassy. “Pakistan has done a great job in contributing to healthcare in the United States, and we want to support that.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly quoted Dr Iqbal that this year 90 doctors from Pakistan came to the US. Also Congressman Kucinich was listed a Republican. This is incorrect. The error is regretted.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/303012/us-should-appologise-to-pakistan-nato-pay-reparations-to-soldiers-congressman-kucinich/
Riaz Haq said…
Here are some of the highlights of Pakistani-American data from US Census 2010 as gleaned from a report titled "A Community of Contrasts Asian Americans in the United States: 2011" published by Asian-American Center For Advancing Justice:

1. There are 409,163 Pakistani-Americans in 2010, the 7th largest Asian-American community in America.

2. Pakistani-American population doubled from 2000 to 2010, the second largest percentage increase after Bangladeshis' 157% increase in the same period.

3. 6% of Pakistani-American population is mixed race.

4. 65% of Pakistanis in America are foreign-born. 57% of Pakistani-American population is naturalized citizens.

5. There are 120,000 Pakistani legal permanent residents of which 42% are eligible to naturalize.

6. There were 69,202 immigrant visas issued to Pakistanis from 2001 to 2010.

7. 28% of Pakistanis have limited English proficiency.

8. Average per capita income of Pakistani-Americans is $24,663.00 and 15% of them are classified as poor.

9. 55% of Pakistanis own their own homes.

10. 55% of Pakistanis have bachelor's degree or higher.

http://www.advancingjustice.org/pdf/Community_of_Contrast.pdf
Riaz Haq said…
Here are a few excerpts of a NY Times blog post on voting rights for overseas Pakistanis:

.....the diaspora found much cause for celebration in last week’s announcement by the Election Commission of Pakistan (E.C.P.) that 3.7 million Pakistani expatriates will be allowed to vote in the next general elections, scheduled for spring 2013.

A leading Pakistani-American has hailed the decision as an opportunity to strengthen the “solidarity and integrity of our motherland.” Suniya Qureshi, the executive director of the British Pakistan Foundation, a charity that aims to mobilize the diaspora in Britain, told me on Tuesday that the decision is the “right way for the Pakistan government to chart out a relationship with the overseas community and create ownership among the diaspora.”

But back in Pakistan, the E.C.P.’s announcement has sparked the latest round of political mudslinging. The idea of granting Pakistani expats voting rights only gained traction when the political upstart Khan petitioned for it in the Supreme Court. His political opponents claim that Khan stands to gain most from the change since his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (P.T.I.) party enjoys widespread support in the diaspora. Some analysts and pro-government activists also say it undermines President Zardari’s ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, which has recently clashed with the court over corruption cases against the president, leading to contempt-of-court charges against the prime minister.

It is unlikely that any nefarious politics motivated the ECP’s announcement. For once, the matter boils down to simple economics. Remittances from expatriate Pakistanis are the backbone of Pakistan’s economy. The inflows ease the country’s current account deficit and boost its foreign exchange reserves. In 2010, remittances accounted for more than 5 percent of the country’s G.D.P. Between July and December last year, overseas Pakistanis sent back $6.3 billion, almost 20 percent more over the same period the year before. The World Bank ranks Pakistan among the top ten recipients of remittances.

Engaging the diaspora by allowing expats to vote is a way of keeping the money flowing. As Qureshi puts it, “British-Pakistanis are hugely passionate about the country, and there’s a growing appetite to influence things and improve governance.”

In the long run, though, these new voting rights may also prove to be a test of allegiance. The E.C.P. has ruled that Pakistanis holding dual citizenship are not eligible to vote. Will Pakistani expats put off applying for a second nationality in order to retain their right to vote back home?

My butcher, who became British in the late 1990s, says he wouldn’t trade his red passport for a ballot: “It’s easier to complain about the politicians back home than try to do something about their shenanigans.”


http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/pakistani-expats-given-right-to-vote-back-home-to-ensure-remittances/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Business Recorder story on 23% YoY increase in remittances to Pakistan:

KARACHI: Overseas Pakistani workers remitted $8,592.79 million in first eight months (July 2011- February 2012) of current fiscal year 2011-12 (FY12), showing impressive growth of 23.40percent or $1,629.51 million when compared with $6,963.28 million received during same period of last fiscal year (July- February 2011).

Remittances received from all countries of the world showed growth in first eight months of current fiscal year. Inflow of remittances during July- February 2012 from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC states (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar & Oman) and EU countries amounted to $2,325.98 million, $1,903.89 million, $1,525.45 million, $991.20 million, $968.91 million and $244.91 million respectively as compared with $1,563.00 million, $1,627.09 million, $1,298.26 million, $770.91 million, $820.02 million and $220.24 million respectively in July- February 2011, State Bank of Pakistan SBP said Friday.

Remittances from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries in first eight months of current fiscal (July- February 2012) amounted to $632.45 million as against $663.73 million received in first eight months of last fiscal (July- February 2011).

Monthly average remittances for July-February 2012 period comes out to $1,074.10 million as compared to $870.41 million during corresponding period of last fiscal, registering increase of 23.40%. Last month, $1,156.81 million was sent home by overseas Pakistanis, up 36.86%, when compared with $845.28 million received in same month of February, 2011.

Almost all of this growth in remittances during February, 2012 over corresponding period of last fiscal year was through banking channels.

In February, 2012, inflow of remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC states (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar & Oman) and EU countries amounted to $317.51 million, $259.55 million, $197.14 million, $137.73 million, $123.50 million and $29.27 million respectively as compared with $209.60 million, $190.04 million, $152.55 million, $101.21 million, $98.55 million and $24.58 million respectively in February 2011.

Remittances from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries in February 2012 amounted to $92.11 million as against $68.75 million received in same month (February 2011) of last fiscal.

The continued impressive growth in workers' remittances is result of efforts made by Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI) in collaboration with other stakeholders to facilitate both Overseas Pakistanis and their families back home.....


http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/1-front-top-news/48902-pakistan-workers-remittances-rise-over-23pc-to-859bn-.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here are excerpts of a Business Recorder report on migration and remittances in Asia:

Pakistan has been placed among six top remittance-receiving states of the world in the year 2011 while the South Asian region is expected to receive $ 97 billion in the current calendar year, 2012.

An Asian development Bank (ADB) report titled, "Addressing Climate Change and Migration in Asia and the Pacific" says that according to the World Bank's forecasts, remittance flows to East Asia and the Pacific will reach $109 billion in 2012 (up from $85 million in 2008), while South Asia is forecast to receive $97 billion (up from $72 billion in 2008). In 2011, six of the top eight remittance-receiving nations of the world were in Asia: India ($58 billion), PRC ($57 billion), Philippines ($23 billion), Pakistan ($12 billion), Bangladesh ($12 billion) and Vietnam ($9 billion)

The ADB report says that by 2050 it is anticipated that 1.4 billion Indians will be living in areas experiencing negative climate change impacts. Moreover, there will be more than 250 million people living in hot spots at multiple risk of climate change in both Bangladesh and Pakistan. While most people will adapt in situ, the potential for redistribution of population through migration is substantial.

According to the report, environmental factors are already increasingly important migration drivers in many countries of Asia and the Pacific, including Bangladesh, the PRC, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Viet Nam. Floods, cyclones, and desertification have led in recent years to significant population movements, mostly from rural to urban areas.
--------------
In July 2010, Pakistan was affected by heavy monsoon rains, which led to massive flooding in the IndusRiver basin. The flood led to the displacement of more than 10 million people, with about 20 percent of the country under water. About 2,000 people perished in the disaster. The provision of international aid relief was widely considered as insufficient, and the floods took a very heavy toll on the country and its population, with millions of farmers housed in refugee camps, and crops and cattle destroyed.

The report reveals that the climate-related disruptions of human populations and consequent migrations can be expected over the coming decades. Climatic changes in Pakistan and Bangladesh would likely exacerbate present environmental conditions that

give rise to land degradation, shortfalls in food production, rural poverty and urban unrest In association with an intensification of the monsoon, river and local flooding will be increased in many areas, the Himalaya, northern Pakistan, northern India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Landslide risk will increase in association with flood risk in steep terrain, particularly in the Himalaya.

According to the ADB report, the widespread salinization, land degradation, water stress, and desertification are expected to affect many parts of Central and West Asia. Increased cyclonic activity is expected to affect southern Pakistan. The mega city of Karachi in Pakistan is at high risk from sea-level rise, prolonged cyclonic activity, and greater salt-water intrusion.


http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/1-front-top-news/49590-pakistan-among-six-top-remittance-receiving-states-.html

http://beta.adb.org/sites/default/files/pub/2012/addressing-climate-change-migration.pdf
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an excerpt of Daily Mail report on Dr. Hasnat Khan who dated Princess Diana now volunteering in Pakistan, following in the footsteps of plastic surgeon Dr. Jawad of "Saving Face" fame:

The backwater in Pakistan for which Hasnat Khan will leave Britain couldn’t be further removed from the glamour of his London life and his Kensington Palace liaisons with Princess Diana.

But his work there will at last fulfil a dream that he and Diana once shared – to help those in need.

As head of cardiac surgery in the first charity-run hospital of its kind in Pakistan, Dr Khan will transform lives and communities.

The Abdul Razzaq Medical Trust hospital, in Badlote village, will treat for free rural patients too poor to afford even the transport fares to a hospital in the nearest town, let alone surgery costs.

Those patients will include children suffering rheumatic fever, which leaves many with narrowed arteries to the heart which become fatal if untreated.

Even for the few families who can afford surgery, waiting lists for treatment at the nearest heart hospital are two years. Most have no choice but to watch their children weaken and die.

Every time Dr Khan visits his parents in the nearby town of Jhelum, a queue of patients forms outside the house to seek his help, many of them poor families with desperately ill children.

‘They ring my mother to find out when I am coming home,’ he said.

He recalled a nine-year-old boy who came to see him with his father, with arteries so narrowed Dr Khan realised he would not survive long.

‘I said to his father, “I can’t believe he has got to this stage and you haven’t taken him to hospital,” ’ he said. ‘He told me he had taken him to hospital but it was going to cost 250,000 Rupees (£171) for an operation and there was no way he could afford it.

‘So he just left it, knowing the boy was going to die soon. He was such a happy kid. He was still running about and he had no idea what was going on.

‘I felt helpless. All I had was a stethoscope. I couldn’t even give him the money for the operation because it was too late for him to be operated on. He wouldn’t have survived the surgery.’

As he recounted the case, Dr Khan phoned a friend in Jhelum to find out if the boy was still alive. An hour later, the call came back with the news that first the boy and then his father had died.

The hospital where Dr Khan’s heart unit will be based is the first charitable cardiology unit in Pakistan. He is setting it up with fellow cardiologist Dr Azhar Kayani, director of medicine for the Pakistan Armed Forces and the Pakistani president’s personal physician.

Dr Kayani, who grew up in Badlote and studied with Dr Khan in Lahore, said the hospital would cost the equivalent of £1 million and should open before the end of the year. It is named after his father.

Volunteers from Basildon Hospital in Essex, where Dr Khan works, are helping the fundraising drive for the unit and will help train doctors and nurses. They have also helped find donated equipment from other NHS hospitals.

Describing the life that awaits him in Pakistan, he said: ‘If you look out from the hospital you see open countryside with cows and camels. There are no taxis or cars or buses. People walk for miles and miles just to see someone.

‘It is very simple to live here. My [family] home is just down the road so I will have no rent to pay.

‘This unit is a dream come true. It is very satisfying. Of course I find my work in England satisfying but my work there is also routine. To come here and to build something from scratch is very different.’..


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2143555/Phone-hacking-Princess-Dianas-lover-Hasnat-Khan-victim.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an APF PR release via Marketwatch:

The American Pakistan Foundation (APF) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have announced plans to collaborate on sustainable socio-economic development in Pakistan. USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah and APF CEO Awais Khan recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Islamabad to establish a working alliance between the two organizations.

APF seeks to effectively catalyze long term economic development and social change in Pakistan by engaging the diaspora and the private sector and by building partnerships with key stakeholders in Pakistan and the United States. APF identifies and supports credible and scalable socio-economic initiatives by collaborating with partners on the ground in Pakistan, and by mobilizing intellectual and financial resources towards these programs.

This partnership between APF and USAID will focus on development activities across various sectors - including basic and higher education, vocational and technical training, an investment fund, and a small grants program. The partnership also seeks to engage the Pakistani diaspora and the private and philanthropic sectors in the US to further support innovation and civil society in Pakistan.

"The private sector is the engine of growth, and is vitally important to Pakistan. The US government recognizes that as part of private sector engagement, the Pakistani diaspora can play an important role in the development of Pakistan by building partnerships, networks and linkages, economic opportunities, and helping to increase access to social services", said Dr. Rajiv Shah at the signing ceremony.

"We will leverage our network and experience in the United States and Pakistan to facilitate funding, skills transfer, and knowledge-building to support activities and programs. The collaboration will pursue a robust engagement of the Pakistani diaspora, and private and philanthropic sectors to boost development impact for the people of Pakistan", said Awais Khan.

The signing ceremony was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, APF Board Vice Chair Wahid Hamid, Board Members of the British Pakistan Foundation (APF's sister organization in the UK), members of the APF Leadership and Advisory Councils, and representatives from the Pakistani private sector and the U.S. government.

About the American Pakistan Foundation (APF)

APF seeks to effectively catalyze long term economic development and social change in Pakistan by engaging the diaspora and the private sector and by building partnerships with key stakeholders in Pakistan and the United States. APF identifies and supports credible and scalable socio-economic initiatives by collaborating with partners on the ground in Pakistan, and by mobilizing intellectual and financial resources towards these programs. APF's recent flood recovery and rehabilitation program is impacting over 42,000 lives in Pakistan. APF offers a secure and transparent channel for charitable giving and is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in the United States.


http://www.marketwatch.com/story/american-pakistan-foundation-and-usaid-to-strengthen-private-investment-in-pakistan-2012-05-23
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Times of India report on women migrant workers from India & Pakistan:

NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan together account for 71% of international female migrants from South Asia. While 2.7 million were from India, about 1.9 million female migrants came from Pakistan.

Widespread poverty, unemployment at home and wage differences at the destination have triggered international labour migration from India to Gulf countries, according to a study 'Migration of Women Workers from South Asia to the Gulf'.

The study by UN Women and the V V Giri Labour Institute analyzed the current situation in five major sending countries of South Asia - Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - and six major receiving countries of the Gulf region - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Women are half of international migrants, comprising 49.6% of 190 million migrant workers. A majority of these women migrate alone as domestic workers to make more money or to support their families with an ever-increasing proportion of migrants from South Asia migrating to the Gulf region, where the demand for domestic workers, especially female workers, is high.

In 2010, about 6.45 million international female migrants originated from South Asia. Of these, 71% came from India and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia was the Gulf country that received the highest proportion of Indian migrant workers.

"Most of the low-skilled women migrants are caught in a web of marginal existence, on account of being women and low-skilled migrants working in the confines of the households where the piercing eyes of labour law do not reach," Anne F Stenhammer, regional programme director of UN Women South Asia said.

The report recommended making policy discourse more sensitive to the needs of women migrant workers, coordinated regional interventions by sending countries and countries of employment, standard operating procedures for gender sensitive labour migration management and joint response by UN agencies and intergovernmental bodies.

"The impact of the migration of women workers is much broader than its immediate economic aspect. There is great potential of such migration to bring forth the social and political empowerment of women, and reshape gender power relations," Dr S K Sasikumar, V V Giri National Institute lead author, said.


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/India-Pakistan-account-for-71-of-female-migrants-from-South-Asia/articleshow/13831960.cms
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an ET report on record high remittances from Pakistani diaspora:

With an impressive 17.7% annual growth, remittances sent home by overseas Pakistanis surged to a record high and crossed the psychological mark of $13 billion in the previous fiscal year 2011-12, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced on Tuesday.

Continuous growth in remittances is being billed as a lifeline for Pakistan’s economy, especially when energy shortages and high inflation have hurt gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

“Remittances have been playing a key role in the country’s economic performance,” said Muzammil Aslam, Managing Director of Emerging Economics Consultancy.

“One can safely say that the continuous rise in remittances in the last few years has saved Pakistan from serious economic problems including default on debt repayments.”

Aslam suggested that the government can further increase the flow of remittances if it reduces the difference between interbank and open market exchange rates for the US dollar from the present one rupee to 10 to 15 paisa. “This will encourage overseas workers to send more and more dollars through banking channels instead of illegal means.”

Invest Capital Markets analyst Khurram Schehzad commented that the continuous rise in remittances is significantly positive for the country as the money supported the economy in different forms. Overseas Pakistani workers remitted a record amount of $13.186 billion in the last fiscal year ended June 30, 2012, compared with $11.201 billion received a year earlier, the SBP said.

Except for September ($890.42 million) and November ($924.92 million), Pakistanis remitted more than $1 billion in each of the remaining 10 months.

Monthly average of remittances rose 17.73% to $1.099 billion compared with $933.41 million a year earlier.

In June overseas Pakistanis sent home $1.117 billion compared to $1.104 billion received in the same month of 2010-11.

In the same month, remittances from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries and EU countries amounted to $333.68 million, $219.14 million, $206.60 million, $128.12 million, $126.72 million and $29.24 million respectively. In comparison, remittances from these countries were $291.55 million, $270.04 million, $204.64 million, $121.35 million, $106.20 million and $33.83 million respectively in June 2011.

Analysts believe that the SBP’s initiative for facilitation of remittances, called the Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI), has significantly contributed to the growth of remittances.

Since its inception in April 2009, PRI has taken a number of steps to enhance the flow of remittances through legal channels. These include preparation of strategies on remittances, taking all necessary steps to implement the overall strategy, playing an advisory role for the financial sector in terms of preparing a business case, relationship building with overseas correspondents, creating separate and efficient remittance payment highways and becoming a national focal point for overseas Pakistanis through a round-the-clock call centre.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/406343/remittances-surge-to-record-high/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a News story about rising remittances from Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia:

Expatriates in Saudi Arabia send more remittances to Pakistan than from anywhere else in the world, according to a senior official of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).

Khalid Bin Shaheen, senior executive vice president and group chief of the Global Home Remittance Management Group at NBP said: “Saudi Arabia is no longer just one of the leading sources of remittances for Pakistan. Instead it is the forerunner followed closely by UAE”.

This was corroborated by figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan recently, which showed that Pakistanis residing in Saudi Arabia sent home $657.78 million in the first two months of July-August FY12. In comparison, the inflow of remittances from the US, UK and Europe was only $446.61 million, $334.06 million, and $63.57 million.

He said that it was a widely held misguided view that affluent Pakistani immigrants in Western countries including USA, UK and Europe sent more remittances back home than their Middle Eastern counterparts.

The remittances sent home by overseas Pakistani workers have more than quadrupled in the last eight years to more than $13.186 billion, the highest-ever amount received in a year by the country in the last fiscal year, which ended in June 2012.

Explaining the reason for this anomaly, Shaheen said: “Even though the Pakistani diaspora living in the West is more prosperous than the majority of working class doing menial jobs in Saudi Arabia, UAE and the Gulf region, the former invest more in the countries they are residing in as they acquire citizenship there whereas the latter are unable to acquire foreign citizenship and therefore, they send back more money to their relatives and families in Pakistan.”

He added: “The rising remittances, which are the second major source of foreign exchange earnings after exports, has helped sustain Pakistan’s economy despite the extreme political instability, high oil prices and costly imports.

He praised the Pakistani community residing abroad who have always played an important role in the country’s foreign exchange reserves and credited the sharp increase to a crackdown on the illegal hundi and hawala money transfer system in general and to easier methods of transferring money though banks.


He said: “NBP is one of the largest players in the remittance market of Pakistan and partnerships with Western Union and other international exchanges will only consolidate the Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI), which has increased worker remittances coming through the banking channel considerably and this ultimately has spillover effects for the entire economy.”

According to the World Bank data, Pakistan has become the fifth largest remittances recipient developing country in 2011 after India ($58 billion), China ($57 billion), Mexico ($24 billion), and the Philippines ($23 billion).

The World Bank has estimated that the remittance flows are expected to continue growing, with global remittances expected to exceed $593 billion by 2014, of which $441 billion will flow to developing countries.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-131948-Saudi-Arabia-becomes-largest-remittance-provider-to-Pakistan
Riaz Haq said…
Here's Nation's story on allocating parliamentary seats for Pakistan diaspora:

In the wake of disqualification of lawmakers holding dual nationalities by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran has called for amendments in the constitution, enabling overseas Pakistanis to be elected for parliament through reserved seats, as remittances from abroad proved a lifeline for Pakistan’s economy.The APAT urged the government as well as the opposition parties to allocate at least 10 per cent reserved seats for overseas Pakistanis in the parliament. The government will have to amend the constitution with the support of all opposition parties to facilitate those Pakistanis having dual nationality, living abroad, he said. In this way, their interest in affairs of their motherland will further increase, as remittances have been playing a key role in the economic performance of Pakistan, it observed.Continuous rise in remittances in the last few years has saved Pakistan from serious economic problems including default on debt repayments, stated general secretary Naeem Mir.He said that presently, several countries including all the seven states of South Asia, counting India as well, and Pakistan’s share has been phenomenal during 2011-12 when overseas Pakistanis sent home record $13.21 billion that eclipsed all the receipts of several decades. Pakistan has now become among top five countries of the world which are receiving big remittances from overseas workers, majority of them might have dual nationality, he added.“This goes without saying that remittances from abroad proved a lifeline for Pakistan’s economy at a time when energy shortages, high inflation and missing revenue collection targets have hurt gross domestic product (GDP) growth.” He appreciated the right of vote for the overseas, calling for their representation too in parliament, as in this way, they will turned to be the ambassadors of Pakistan. They will not only remit their income but also pursue foreign investors to make investment in Pakistan. He said that if more incentives are introduced for sending money home in easier way by overseas Pakistanis, they might send more than $20 billion remittances as experts expect. He said that except for September ($890.42 million) and November ($924.92 million) in last fiscal, Pakistanis remitted $1 billion or more in each of the remaining 10 months of 2011-12.

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/business/22-Sep-2012/10-per-cent-seats-be-reserved-for-expats-in-na-for-more-remittances
Riaz Haq said…
Here's Express Trib on Pakistani Norwegian as culture minister:

A 29-year-old woman of Pakistani origin has earned a position in Norway’s cabinet, Express News reported Monday.

Hadia Tajik, the first Muslim member of the Norwegian cabinet, has been named as the culture minister.

Tajik is also the youngest in the cabinet.

The newly elected minister said that in future, multicultural values will become a part of Norway’s everyday life.

Tajik, of Pakistani origin, was elected as a member of the Norwegian parliament in 2009.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/441623/pakistan-origin-woman-named-norways-culture-minister/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an excerpt of an interesting Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry paper regarding Indian diaspora:

In the theatre of development, the competitiveness and growth of an economy is determined by its capacity to acquire and apply new knowledge. In a rapidly globalizing world, learning new ways of doing things depends in no small measure on the ability to integrate with the larger world outside. We live in a world in which the free movement of goods and capital across borders is seen as a virtue. Arguably, it is seen to reinforce the principle of competitive advantage and help spur savings, investment and demand. What is less recognised is that International migration of human capital: the movement of knowledge, talent and skills across borders is central to learning and development.

The emergence of significant Diasporas has in recent years brought into sharp focus two key facts. First, there is a large expatriate population of skilled people from emerging economies in the developed world. Second, overseas communities can constitute a significant resource for the development of the countries of origin. The movement of the high skilled and low skilled workers from less to more developed economies and back opens several new opportunities for development. To view the Diaspora only through the looking glass of remittances and financial flows is to take a myopic view. Not all expatriates need to be investors and their development impact measured only in terms of financial contributions to the home country.


An overseas community can and does serve as an important 'bridge' to access knowledge, expertise, resources and markets for the development of the country of origin. The success of this bridge is often predicated upon two conditions: the ability of the Diaspora to develop and project a coherent, intrinsically motivated and progressive identity and the capacity of the home country to establish conditions and institutions for sustainable, symbiotic and mutually rewarding engagement. Home countries are now beginning to recognise the need to pursue and promote the dynamic of the Diaspora and development.


http://moia.gov.in/writereaddata/pdf/Strategic_Plan.pdf
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Bloomberg report on remittances helping the poor and keeping Pak economy afloat:

Living in poverty in a mud shack in Pakistan, Mazhar Ali dropped out of school, sold the family’s two buffalo and bought a visa to work in Dubai. The money he sends home is paying for a new house.

“We’re going to build three rooms with bricks and cement, plus a courtyard and a washroom,” said his younger brother Azhar in Larkana, home town of the ruling People’s Party about 300 kilometers north of Karachi. “We will then start marrying one by one, starting with Mazhar sometime this year.”

The family’s change in fortunes reflects a rising trend of rich nations with aging workers tapping poorer ones for labor -- total remittances to developing economies will rise 7.9 percent this year, and reach $534 billion by 2015, the World Bank says. For Pakistan, the income offers a source of stability, with the country poised for its first civilian handover of government in May even amid power shortages, bombings and a Taliban insurgency.

“This is our savior for keeping Pakistan out of the oxygen tent,” Farooq Sattar, former Minister for Overseas Pakistanis said in an interview in Karachi last month before his party quit the government alliance. “It has kept us from a complete economic collapse.”

Almost 10 million Pakistanis work overseas and the sum they’ve sent home has doubled in the four years through June, to a record $13 billion.

The rising tide of funds from overseas contrasts with a struggle by President Asif Ali Zardari’s administration to raise enough revenue to fund programs that would boost domestic growth. Pakistan owes the IMF $7.5 billion by 2015 and is evaluating a possible further loan from the fund as a buffer against shocks, Saleem H. Mandviwalla said in December as Finance Minister.
Falling Rupee

The local currency has fallen on concern loan repayments will erode foreign-exchange reserves, which fell to $7.5 billion in January from $11.8 billion a year earlier, according to the central bank. The rupee traded yesterday at 98.35 per dollar, near a record low, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Pakistan was among the 15 lowest revenue-gathering nations in the world as a percentage of GDP, according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s World Fact Book 2012. The South Asian nation recorded the highest budget deficit in two decades in the fiscal year through June as it missed its tax target.

The nation’s fiscal deficit may be 7.5 percent of gross domestic product this year, wider than the government’s target of 4.7 percent, the IMF said in January.

Among the biggest challenges for the government is the need to add almost 4,000 megawatts of power generation to end a shortage that’s causing blackouts for as long as 18 hours a day, idling factories and swelling unemployment. The government said energy shortages cut economic growth last year by as much as 4 percentage points.

Keeping Afloat

“Extreme poverty has not risen as much as it would have without remittances,” Rashid Amjad, a professor at the Lahore School of Economics said in an e-mail. “Most of the remittances are flowing into consumption, real estate, housing and the stock market, and have played a critical role in keeping Pakistan’s economy afloat.”

Pakistan will hold parliamentary elections on May 11, after the outgoing government, led by Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party, became the first democratically elected administration in 65 years of independence to complete its term.
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Remittances that fuel a thriving underground economy may rise further in the next few years as more Pakistanis seek employment overseas, said G.M. Arif, an economist at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in Islamabad.

---

Some Pakistanis also use the system to avoid paying tax..
...


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-25/pakistan-s-army-of-overseas-workers-keeps-economy-from-collapse.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Express Tribune report on Australia's first Pakistani female in a state legislature:

AUSTRALIA: A Pakistan-born migrant Mehreen Faruqi became the first Muslim woman to enter the Australian state parliament as she was selected by the New South Wales Greens to fill a position in the upper house of the state legislature, Voice of America (VOA) reported on Wednesday.

Faruqi was selected by a postal ballot of party members, from a field of seven in a contest in which only women could run.

She is all set to become part of Australia’s first and oldest parliament in New South Wales in July as the first female Muslim in any of Australia’s state, territory or federal parliaments.

While Muslim groups worry that Faruqi will face problem in merging the teachings of Islam and Greens policies, she believes that faith should have no bearing on Australian politics.

“I see no role that religion plays in government and nor should it. I am not a spokesperson, you know, for religious Islam. There are many other MPs who are Christians and likewise they are not spokespeople for the church,” she stated.

“And, like I said earlier, I joined the Greens because of a really strong position on sustainability, social justice, human rights [and] multiculturalism.”

“She would support things such as gay marriage and that is directly in conflict with the teachings of Islam. I do not know whether she is going to stick to that, how she is going to harmonize between the two,” Keysar Trad, the founder of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia said.

Faruqi studied environmental engineering after she migrated from Pakistan with her family in 1992 and is a professor at the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales.

As the ethnic diversity increases in Australia, analysts expect more participation from minorities in the political arena.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/539848/pakistan-born-first-muslim-female-to-enter-australian-parliament/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an excerpt from Dawn Op Ed on foreign remittances holding up reserves:

AT a time when the rupee is under constant pressure because of rapidly falling foreign exchange reserves, the increase in the amount of money sent home by overseas Pakistanis is good news. Remittances have grown 9pc in the first quarter of the present fiscal to $3.9bn — equal to the liquid reserves of the central bank. Although foreign currency earnings of overseas Pakistanis have been feeding the country’s reserves and propping up the rupee for some time now, the importance of remittances has increased recently as exports stagnate and foreign official and private flows dry up. Even an IMF loan has failed to shore up the reserves or revive public confidence in the rupee. In recent days, the latter was hit hard by a weakening exchange rate and capital flight. Most people like to park their savings in dollars rather than in rupees as indicated by the rising volume of foreign currency accounts of commercial banks to $5.17bn — an amount that is substantially higher than that of the official liquid reserves.

http://dawn.com/news/1049075/relying-on-remittances-reserves-situation
Riaz Haq said…
The fifth edition of the ICC World T20 which commenced in Dhaka on Sunday, features at least 36 Pakistan born players playing for various teams including Pakistan.

The Green Shirts’ 15 member squad led by Muhammad Hafeez will launch their campaign on March 21st when they take on arch-rivals India.

The remaining 21 Pakistan born players are representing six teams.

Hong Kong has the most number of Pakistan born players, after Pakistan’s squad. Gujrat born Tanvir Afzal and Munir Dar, Babar Hayyat and Ehsan Nawaz of Attock, Haseeb Amjad and Waqas Barkat of Rawalpindi along with Irfan Ahmed, Nadeem Ahmed and Nizakat Khan – all will be representing Hong Kong in ICC World T20 2014.

The United Arab Emirates has seven Pakistan born players in their squad and they’re Khurram Khan, Amjad Ali, Faizan Asif, Rohan Mustafa, Shaiman Anwar, Sharif Asadullah & Kamran Shahzad.

South Africa, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and the Netherlands have one Pakistan born player each in their squads.

Pakistan born Imran Tahir will be representing South Africa, Mudassar Bukhari will be playing for the Netherlands, Sikandar Raza is selected in Zimbabwe’s squad while Gulbadin Naib will be wearing Afghanistan’s jersey in the event.
http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-141316-Thirty-Six-Pakistan-born-players-playing-in-World-T20
Riaz Haq said…
Economist Magazine: In Britain, Bangladeshis have overtaken Pakistanis. Credit the poor job market when they arrived and the magical effect of London
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In many people’s minds, and often in official statistics, the 447,201 people who called themselves Bangladeshi in the 2011 census and the 1,124,511 who identified themselves as Pakistani are lumped together. And the two groups have much in common. Mass immigration for both began in the 1950s. Both are largely working-class and Muslim. Both tend to vote Labour (see Bagehot). Both are concentrated in one business—restaurants in the case of Bangladeshis, taxi-driving among Pakistanis. But their fortunes are now diverging. And that says something about what it takes to succeed as an immigrant in Britain.

Even during the half-term holiday, the library in Morpeth School in Tower Hamlets is busy with mostly Bangladeshi children. Around three-quarters of the school’s pupils are so poor that they qualify for free school meals. A similar share do not speak English as their first language. And yet, last year, 70% got five good GCSEs, the exams taken at 16—much higher than the national average.

Pakistani pupils do not fare too badly in school either, considering how poorly educated and badly off their parents tend to be. But Bangladeshis overtook them more than a decade ago and have pulled farther ahead since then (see chart 1). Some 61% of Bangladeshis got five good GCSEs in 2014 compared with 51% of Pakistanis and 56% of British whites.

That will help their job prospects. Both Bangladeshis and Pakistanis have low employment rates because so many women do not work. But among the young, Bangladeshis are more likely to be studying or in work. And Yaojun Li, a sociologist at the University of Manchester, calculates that Bangladeshis’ average monthly household income, though still low, is now slightly higher than that of Pakistanis.

Bangladeshis born in Britain are also more likely than their Pakistani counterparts to socialise with people of a different ethnicity, according to another study (see chart 2). Both still overwhelmingly wed within their own ethnic group. But among young men, for whom marrying out is easier, 26% of Bangladeshis now do so compared with 17% of Pakistani youths.

The explanations lie partly in the past. Pakistanis—many of them from the rural Mirpur Valley in Kashmir—began to settle thickly in Britain in the 1960s. They often took jobs in the textile mills of the north and the foundries of the West Midlands.

Most Bangladeshis came later. Many men arrived in the 1970s as refugees, but the peak of migration was in the early 1980s, when the women and children turned up. They thus arrived when British industry was on the ropes—which was oddly lucky, suggests Shamit Saggar of Essex University. Though many were working in the rag trade, they had not committed themselves to one doomed industry. Pakistanis had: they suffered greatly from the collapse of British textile-making.

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21644155-britain-bangladeshis-have-overtaken-pakistanis-credit-poor-job-market-when-they-arrived
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan food in #Vienna. All You Can Eat,Pay As You Wish Restaurant Draws crowds in #Austria

http://www.dawn.com/news/1180531/this-pakistani-restaurant-in-vienna-runs-on-trust …
As immigrant communities grow in cities around the world, Pakistani, Indian, Chinese, Arabian and other exotic cuisines have found their way into the hearts of a diverse range of people.

In Austria, one set of restaurant owners has introduced yet another dimension to the dining experience — the concept of a 'suggested donation' at an eatery.

'Der Weiner Deewan' in Vienna is a Pakistani restaurant based on a pay-as-you-wish concept: diners pay according to what they thought the food, quality and experience of their meal was worth.

We contacted Afzaal and Natalie Deewan to find out if you can base a restaurant on good karma.

Dawn.com: As the owners, tell us about yourselves.

Natalie Deewan: Afzaal Deewan, a cricket-player, cook and businessman from Mandi Bahauddin, Pakistan, landed in Vienna, Austria, in 2004 as an asylum seeker. There he met me, Natalie, a student in Languages and Philosophy, and we decided to join forces. Deewan would cook and I handled the rest. One year of intensive research later, we opened the Der Wiener Deewan, which translates to the Viennese divan, with the tagline 'Pakistani Food, Essen für alle' (Food for Everybody). It was the first Pakistani curry buffet-restaurant in town.

Dawn.com: How did the idea for pay-as-you-like come about for the restaurant?

Natalie: We wanted it to be a very accessible place, where the two of us, a student and an asylum seeker, as we were at that time, could have been our own guests. The idea of pay as you wish emerged at the very end: it sounded simple, but radical – and funny! People should be invited to choose their own price, according to their satisfaction, the amount they have eaten and their financial means. Deewan was confident people would like his food, so hopefully, they would pay accordingly. We decided to give it a try and see how far we would get.

Dawn.com: How do you manage to make money or break even when you just trust people to pay as much as they want?

Natalie: We give trust and it comes back! We can trust in people’s capacity to think for themselves: if they did not pay at least a fair price and we therefore had to close, where would they find such a good meal for such a cheap price then? We have lots of regular customers who eat several times a week, some even daily, at our restaurant. They want to come again and in order to find the shop open and food ready, they simply have to pay a fair price. It looks like the majority of our guests want us to keep going.

Dawn.com: Is there a minimum amount to be paid per diner, as is the case with most all-you-can-eat buffets?

Natalie: Before leaving, our guests come to the counter and are invited to choose a price that fits. It should be fair and sometimes our take-away boxes (which have fixed prices, ranging from 5 to 10 Euros) serve as orientation. Since we don’t have fixed prices for the buffet, you are not forced to eat all you can to justify an already set price. You can also eat only a small plate or only dessert and then pay a small amount. We just chose to combine two known concepts, all-you-can-eat and pay-as-you-wish.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan’s trade deficit of $22b in FY15 almost equals $19 billion remitted by diaspora http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/?p=428958 via @ePakistanToday

Pakistan’s merchandise trade deficit surged by 10.68 per cent to $22.095 billion in 2014-15 from $19.963 billion in the preceding fiscal year, according to the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

Exports have been witnessing a falling trend since July 2014. However, imports rebounded which was reflected in higher volumes of machinery, food products, transport, agriculture, chemicals and textile groups.

The government has projected a trade deficit target of $17.2 billion for the fiscal year.

An official report reveals that the trade deficit witnessed in 2014-15 was the highest since 1980-81. The second highest trade deficit was recorded at $21.271 billion in 2011-12, mainly driven by imports of consumer goods and higher international crude prices.

The import bill reached $45.98 billion in 2014-15 as compared to $45.073 billion in the previous year, an increase of 2.01pc. Its target for the year was projected at $44.2 billion. In June 2015, the imports volume reached $4.394 billion as compared to $4.318 billion in the same month last year, an increase of 1.76pc.

Monthly imports, during the year, averaged at $3.8 billion as compared to $3.758 billion in 2013-14. Around 50pc of Pakistan imports were originated from just a few countries like China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, India, Indonesia, etc.

During the fiscal year, imports from China increased sharply to 23pc from 17pc a year ago.

The trade imbalance in favour of China is highly alarming. Free Trade Agreements signed with some of the countries appear to have been playing a major role for this imbalance. By and large, the relative shares of imports from other countries have remained almost the same.

On the other hand, exports fell by 4.88pc to $23.885 billion during the period under review as compared to $25.11 billion a year ago, the highest ever export figure recorded as of yet. In June 2015, the export proceeds fell to $2.016 billion as against $2.018 billion in the same month last year.

Monthly exports averaged at $1.997 billion as against $2.098 billion during 2013-14.

The country’s exports have been stagnant at $24-25 billion for the last few years.

According to a UN study, covering a 30-year period (1980-2011), India’s share of world exports improved from 0.43pc to 1.7pc; Bangladesh’s from 0.04pc to 0.14pc; Malaysia’s from 0.74pc to 1.34pc and Thailand’s from 0.37pc to 1.35pc.

Pakistan’s share, however, remained stagnant at 0.15pc.

Since January 2014, when duty-free access to the European Union under the GSP+ scheme was granted, Pakistan’s exports to Europe spiked by 21pc, but this was at the cost of other markets.

Pakistan’s exports base and markets are extremely narrow.

Over 55pc of its exports earnings are contributed by the cotton group alone. Leather, synthetic made-ups and rice contribute about 14pc of total exports. Unfortunately, these items are relatively low value-added products.
Riaz Haq said…
British #Pakistani Sadiq Khan (Labour) widens lead in polls ahead of #MayoralElection2016 in #London election

http://www.itv.com/news/london/2016-01-07/labours-sadiq-khan-on-course-to-be-the-next-mayor-of-london-says-poll/ …

Labour's Sadiq Khan is on course to be the next Mayor of London, according to a new opinion poll.

Khan has widened the gap with his Tory rival Zac Goldsmith since a similar survey in November.

The YouGov poll for radio station LBC puts Khan seven points in front of Goldsmith.

Ukip's candidate is ahead of both the Liberal Democrats and Greens.

Khan's lead extends to a massive 10% if other candidates are eliminated.

A Labour victory in the contest to replace Boris Johnson in May could help secure Jeremy Corbyn's position as party leader.
Khan, the MP for Tooting, polled 31% to Goldsmith's 24%
Ukip candidate Peter Whittle is on 4%
Green's Sian Berry in fourth place on 3%
Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon and former Respect MP George Galloway both polling 2%
The survey asked Londoners how they would vote if the election was tomorrow.

But polling day is four months away and a third of voters (32%) are still undecided, suggesting the election is still wide open.

Labour has moved ahead in the finest to replace Boris Johnson as the next Mayor of London.
Riaz Haq said…
#India's 15.6m diaspora is world's largest: UN. #Pakistan's diaspora 6th at 5.9m #Bangladesh's 7.2m 5th largest

https://shar.es/16Ske3

United Nations, January 14
India’s diaspora population is the largest in the world with 16 million people from India living outside their country in 2015, according to a latest UN survey on international migrant trends.
The survey conducted by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) said the number of international migrants — persons living in a country other than where they were born — reached 244 million in 2015 for the world as a whole, a 41 per cent increase compared to 2000.
The 2015 Revision, nearly two thirds of international migrants live in Europe (76 million) or Asia (75 million), according to the Trends in International Migrant Stock.
“The rise in the number of international migrants reflects the increasing importance of international migration, which has become an integral part of our economies and societies,” said Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.
“Well-managed migration brings important benefits to countries of origin and destination, as well as to migrants and their families,” Hongbo added. India has the largest diaspora in the world, followed by Mexico and Russia. In 2015, 16 million people from India were living outside of their country, a growth from 6.7 million in 1990, the survey stated. Mexico’s diaspora population stood at 12 million. Other countries with large diasporas included Russia, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ukraine.
Of the 20 countries with the largest number of international migrants living abroad, 11 were in Asia, six in Europe, and one each in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Northern America, the survey said. This figure includes almost 20 million refugees.
The survey further said in 2015, two thirds of all international migrants were living in only 20 countries, starting with the US, which hosted 19 per cent of all migrants at 46.6 million, followed by Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and the UAE. — PTI
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan ranks 8th with its 6 million strong diaspora sending $20 billion home in remittances http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/?p=503292 via @ePakistanToday

Pakistan stands on the eight place among the top 10 recipients of remittances this year at $20.1 billion, according to a report.

According to Khaleej Times, the World Bank estimates that more than 247 million people, or 3.4 per cent of the world population, live outside their countries of birth among which more than six million are Pakistanis.

These Pakistanis, between July 2015 and January 2016, have sent an estimated $11.2 billion a marked increase of about 6 per cent compared with July 2014 to January 2015.

Overseas Pakistanis are remitting more than $1.5 billion a month, making a significant contribution to their families and bringing about a socio-economic change. The State Bank of Pakistan expects remittances to cross $20 billion this financial year, the highest ever and these expectations are in line with the World Bank’s calculations that place Pakistan on the eight rung among the top 10 recipients of remittances this year at $20.1 billion.

“The inflows from remittances (at current levels) now fully cover the country’s petroleum imports. Currently, international remittances are moving six per cent of the total GDP of Pakistan,” says Rizwan Wyne, a Pakistan-based expert on international remittances from Middle East to South Asia. The Migration and Remittance Factbook 2016 produced by the World Bank notes as of 2015 international migrants are expected to have sent $601 billion to their families in their home countries, of which developing countries like Pakistan received $441 billion.

At more than three times the size of development aid, international migrants’ remittances provide a lifeline for millions of households in developing countries. In addition, migrants hold more than $500 billion in annual savings. Together remittances and migrant savings offer a substantial source of financing for development projects that can improve lives and livelihoods in developing countries, says the report.
Riaz Haq said…
Fair allocation algorithm developed by #Pakistan mathematician in #Australia hailed as "major breakthrough" http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/fair-allocation-algorithm-that-cuts-cakes-and-may-settle-trump-divorces-20160502-gokmwt.html … via @smh


The field of game theory in which they work – fair allocation – has potential to develop computerised conflict-resolution algorithms, the researchers claim.

Haris Azizand Simon Mackenzie published their paper on the Cornell University Library archive site, arXiv.org in April.
Their solution has been described as a "major breakthrough" by Professor Steven Brams at New York University, who has worked on such problems for more than 20 years.

And it all comes down to cake.

Imagine a rowdy kid's birthday party and a cake to cut. Simple right? Nine children, cut nine equal slices.

"My piece didn't get any chocolate curls!" wails some over-entitled brat. It's not just size but the value you place on a slice that counts.

Cake is a metaphor for any kind of divisible good, be it time, property settlement, or computing resources.

And "envy-free"? By this, mathematicians mean no one prefers another person's share ahead of their own.

Solving this problem for two people is simple and is at least as old as the Bible, where Lot and Abraham divided the lands of Canaan (Genesis 13).

One person cuts the cake into what they perceive as two equal slices. The other person chooses their preferred piece and the cutter takes the other. Simple.

But add more people and it gets much trickier.

In the 1960s, John Selfridge and John Conway independently developed a solution for envy-free cake cutting for three people.

By this Selfridge-Conway protocol, if the envy-free allocation is not solved by an initial three-way division, then it takes just three more cuts to solve the problem. You can read about it here.

And there it sat for years. However, in 2015 Dr Aziz and Mr Mackenzie at CSIRO's Data61 and UNSW published a solution for envy-free allocation among four agents. That can take between three and 203 cuts of the cake.

Not to rest on their laurels, Dr Aziz and PhD student Mr Mackenzie have published an algorithm for any number of agents.

The paper is yet to be peer reviewed, however, Professor Brams told the Herald the "results look solid".

In an associated field Professor Brams has developed an "adjusted winner" system of division that he has applied to problems as diverse as Donald Trump's divorce to his former wife Ivana and the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt.

"There could even be applications in your part of the world," the NYU professor said. "It could be applied to the Spratlys Island dispute in the South China Sea."

Professor Brams said that while the Aziz-Mackenzie protocol is too complex for practical application, it is an important theoretical step forward.

Another researcher in this field is Ariel Procaccia at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He told the Herald: "I was convinced that a bounded, envy-free cake-cutting algorithm [did] not exist. So the breakthrough result of Aziz and Mackenzie is nothing short of amazing. It is a beautiful piece of mathematics."

Professor Procaccia hopes the research will inspire new solutions to solving fair-division problems in the real world.

Dr Aziz said: "We hope that our new algorithm opens the door for simpler and faster methods of allocation. One day, problems such as allocating access to a telescope among astronomers or the fair distribution of scarce water resources could be made very easy."
Riaz Haq said…
Most people choose not to migrate in spite of poverty and oppression as obvious from lowest rates of migration out of sub-Saharan Africa.

Results show that despite increase in the absolute number of migrants, Africa, particularly SubSaharan Africa has one of the lowest rate of emigration in the world and a majority of them migrate to other African countries signifying the importance of south-south migration. Poorer countries generally have lower rate of emigration and higher rate of intra-African migrant. Bad socio-economic conditions generally seem to lead to higher rate of emigration by highly skilled individuals. Generally, migration is driven by motives to
improve livelihoods with notable evidence on changes in labor market status. Often, self-employed or unemployed émigré ended up in wage employment. The paper outlines policy issues emerging from the migration trend in Africa.


http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Procurement/Project-related-Procurement/WORKING%20119%20word%20document%20AA.PDF

t is often said that the only way to reduce migration from poor countries is to boost development, but this ignores the inconvenient fact that development is generally not associated with lower levels of emigration. Important emigration countries such as Mexico, Morocco, Turkey and the Philippines are typically not among the poorest countries. Meanwhile – and against popular perceptions of a “continent on the move” – Sub-Saharan Africa is the least migratory region of the world.

Development drives migration

In fact, when you examine the data, human and economic development is initially associated with increasing emigration. Any form of development in the poorest countries of the world is therefore likely to lead to accelerating emigration. Such findings contradict conventional thinking and force us to radically change our views on migration. Such rethinking can be achieved by learning to see migration as an intrinsic part of broader development processes rather than as a problem to be solved, or the temporary response to development “disequilibria”.

http://theconversation.com/explainer-what-makes-people-migrate-21442
Riaz Haq said…
Emigrants (Pew, UN)

1. India tops with 15.9 million

2. Mexico 12.3 million

3. Russia 10.6 million

4. China 9.5 million

5. Bangladesh 7.2 million

6. Pakistan 5.9 million

7. Ukraine 5.83 million

8. Philippines 5.32 million

9. Syria 5.01 million

10. Afghanistan 4.84 million

11. United Kingdom 4.92 million

12. Poland 4.45 million

13. Kazakstan 4.08 million

14. Germany 4.0 million

15. Indonesia 3.88 million

16. Palestine 3.55 million

17. Romania 3.41 million

18. Egypt 3.27 million

19. Turkey 3.11 million

20. United States 3.02 million

21. Italy 2.9 million

22. Burma (Myanmar) 2.88 million

23. Colombia 2.64 million

24. Vietnam 2.56 million

25. South Korea 2.35 million



http://www.pewglobal.org/interactives/migration-tables/
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistani woman Hina Bhatti makes history in #Belgium as City Council President

http://gulfnews.com/news/asia/pakistan/pakistani-woman-makes-history-in-belgium-1.1966723

A Pakistan-origin woman has been appointed president of the municipal council of Ostend, in Belgium’s West Flanders province.
Hina Bhatti, a 34-year-old liberal politician who was born in Belgium is proud of her Pakistani roots.
“I have found it always very positive that I can combine the better aspects of two cultures. I don’t mind when people talk about my roots. I have many contacts within the different communities. We have [always] had an open house where everybody is welcome,” Bhatti said in an interview with Het Laatste Nieuws, a Dutch newspaper.
Bhatti said her parents arrived in Belgium 40 years ago from Pakistan.
“I was born and raised in Ostend and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” she adds.

Her family speaks both Urdu and Dutch at home and finds it very encouraging to live the best of both cultures — Pakistani and Belgian.
She studied economy-modern languages in the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe College in Antwerp, Belgium.
Later, Bhati worked for a year in the cabinet of Bart Tommelein when he was secretary of state.
With her new position, Bhatti said she aims to work for the progress of all Belgian citizens.
“I am into mainstream politics with a vision to work for all Belgians. I mobilised my support mainly among local Belgian masses and have support of all immigrants as well as the Pakistani community based in West Flanders province,” she said peaking to Pakistan’s Geo News.
Bhatti sees her new position within the council as an important symbol.
“Young people attach little importance to politics and therefore it is good that young women are offered opportunities. I want to work for all equally as President of the Council and with my work, I hope to attain a place in the council in next elections too,” shew was quoted as saying by daily Het Laatste Nieuws.
There are many important regional and national politicians in the municipal council of Ostend including John Crombez, head of the Flemish socialists, Johan Vande Lanotte, minister of state and mayor; Wouter De Vriend, important MP of the green party and Björn Anseeuw regional MP for the Flemish nationalists.
Riaz Haq said…
THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > BUSINESS
Dissatisfied with size of Pakistan’s economy, Dar authorises World Bank study

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1397094/dissatisfied-size-pakistans-economy-dar-authorises-world-bank-study/

Pakistan has authorised the World Bank to undertake a study to come out of what an economist called the age of ‘statistical darkness’, after the country’s finance minister also started believing that the nation’s gross income is understated by as much as 25%.

“I have asked the World Bank to trigger a study and come out with the actual size of Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which I believe is currently understated by 20% to 25%”, said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday while addressing a gathering of chartered accountants from South Asian nations.

His statements came in the backdrop of a widely used figure for the size of the Pakistani economy, currently stated to be hovering around the $280-billion mark.
Dar said after noticing this undercounting of economic output, he decided to stick to 7% GDP growth rate target for 2019.

What is wrong with Pakistan’s economy?

He said that the input output coefficient of various industries has not been worked out for the last two decades. Dar said that the World Bank would require at least one year to complete the study.

He assigned the task to the World Bank last week during his visit to Washington. He is the second person and the first in the government who has now started believing that the country’s national output could be far more than what it is at the moment.

The idea was first floated by Shahid Javed Burki, former vice-president of the World Bank, during a meeting with Dar that took place two months ago.

Pakistani policymakers are taking decisions in statistical darkness and the World Bank can help to end this, wrote Shahid Javed Burki in an article published in The Express Tribune after his meeting with Dar.

He had written that China was also making a similar mistake and was underestimating its gross income by as much as 25%. He believed that Pakistan was under-counting its GDP by the same order of magnitude.

A 25% upward adjustment in the estimate of GDP will bring 2017 Pakistani income from $280 billion to $350 billion, improving its world ranking from 43rd to 31st. It is then likely to cross South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia and Egypt, according to Burki.

According to Burki, some of the methods that Pakistan was using and the surveys that collected required data were seriously outdated. Pakistan was also not correctly estimating the size of its modern services – in particular information, communications, entertainment, travel and advanced commerce. All these sectors contribute much more to the economy than suggested by official numbers, he wrote.

Tax target

Meanwhile, Dar on Saturday finally announced that this fiscal year’s tax target of Rs3.621 trillion has been revised downwards. “We are aiming for over Rs3.5 trillion tax collections for fiscal year 2016-17,” said Dar.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is now aiming to collect Rs3.521 trillion – a cut of Rs100 billion.

Pakistan’s economy quietly rises even as terror makes headlines

The government had to lower the target after it faced a shortfall of Rs168 billion during the first nine months (July-March) of the current year. The shortfall has further widened in April to Rs198 billion after the FBR also missed its April target by a margin of Rs30 billion. Against the monthly target of Rs290 billion, the FBR could pool Rs260 billion, according to provisional results. The monthly collection is expected to slightly go up to Rs263 billion.

The cumulative tax collection during the first ten months (July-April) increased to Rs2.55 trillion. The FBR needs to generate Rs996 billion in the remaining two months of the fiscal year, which seems like an uphill task.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar said that the FBR sustained Rs121 billion shortfall due to change in polices by the government after the announcement of the last budget.
Riaz Haq said…
12 #Pakistan-origin candidates win parliament seats #UK elections. #Election2017 https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/209599-12-Pakistan-origin-candidates-win-UK-elections

Twelve Pakistani-origin British candidates have been declared winner in the Britain’s general elections.

Seven Pakistan-origin British contestants belong to Labour Party and three to Conservative. Among them five are women.

Shahbana Mahmood of the labour party originally hails from Mirpur Azad Kashmir crushed all opponents in Birmingham Ladywood securing 34,166 votes (82.7% of the total vote). There was a turnout of 59 per cent which was lower than most in the region.

Dr. Roseena Allin Khan of the labour party won Tooting with 34,201 votes. Khan’s mother is from Poland and her father is originally from Pakistan.

Yasmin Qureshi originally from Gujrat has been re-elected in Bolton South East with 25,676 votes. The voter turnout in Bolton South East was 61.4%.

Naseem Naz Shah of the labour party won Bradford West with 27,444 votes which is 64.7% of the total votes. She was born in Bradford and spent some of her childhood in Pakistan where she went through a tragic youth before moving back to Britain.


Imran Hussain of the labour party won Bradford East with 29,831 votes. He is originally of Pakistani descent.

Khalid Mahmood from Mirpuri descent won Birmingham Perry Bar for the labour party with 30,109 votes.


Afzal Khan of the labour party won the constituency of Manchester Gordon and Faisal Rashid Faisal Rashid of the labour party won Warrington South.


Nusrat Munir Ul Ghani of the conservative party won 37,027 votes 61.2% of the total votes. Her parents are originally from Kashmir.

Rehman Chishti of the conservative party won Gillingham and Rainham with 27,091 votes. He was born in Muzaffarabad Azad Kashmir. His father has served as Federal Adviser on religious affairs to the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s era.

Sajid Javed of the conservative party won Bromsgrove with 33,493 votes. He is one of the five sons of parents of Pakistani descent.

30 candidates of Pakistani origin be contested the June 8 general elections in the United Kingdom, BBC Urdu reported.

According to lists of candidates released by different political parties, the Labour Party had given more tickets to women and Pakistani-origin citizens than any other party.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani community in Estonia ‘highly qualified and skilled’

The total number Pakistanis in the country is 200 people and vast majority of them are highest degree holders

https://www.geo.tv/latest/165490-pakistani-community-in-estonia-highly-qualified-and-skilled

Majority of the Pakistanis residing in Estonia constitute highly qualified and skilled people including engineers and software experts, said Chairman Pakistan-Estonia Association (PEA) Dr Yar Mohammad Mughal.

In a meeting with Enn Eesmaa, the first Vice-President of the Estonian Parliament at the parliament House in Tallinn, Mughal said that the total number Pakistanis in the country is 200 people and vast majority of them are highest degree holders.

30 % of the community is highly skilled engineers and software engineers who obtained jobs after completion of their education in Estonia, a country of 1.3 million in the Baltic area. 20% are either self-employed or have odd jobs. The rest are mostly students of PhD, Masters and Bachelors degree programs.

Dr Yar Mohammad also briefed the Vice President of the parliament about aims and objectives of his organisation. The PEA is a platform to strengthen relationships between both countries, to increase trade and cooperation in different sectors such as e-Governance and IT. The organisation also works to promote international mobility to exchange of faculty members, researchers and students

Dr Yar also told the leading Estonian lawmaker about the cultural activities of Pakistani community in different cities of Estonia. Steps and objectives of Pakistan Association Estonia were highly appreciated by Mr. Enn Eesmaa. He emphasized on further efforts for enhancement of ties between Pakistan and Estonia.

Dr Yar Mohammad, who is assistant professor at University of Tartu, Estonia has started his efforts for exchange of students and scholars between the two countries and so far has achieved an agreement on exchange faculty members between NUST University of Pakistan and an Estonian university. During the meeting, the two sides agreed that educational diplomacy can be used as an effective tool in Pak-EU ties, especially Pakistan’s relations with Estonia.

Higher educational institutions of both sides play a significant role to promote bilateral relations, he added. Dr Yar sad that collaborative study and research projects, joint degree, consulting contracts and others activities can be increased between Pakistani and Estonia.

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