Pakistan Consumer Boom Driving Media Advertising Revenue

Rising buying power of rapidly expanding middle class in Pakistan drove the nation's media advertising revenue up 14% to a record Rs. 76.2 billion ($727 million), making the country's media market among the world's fastest growing for FY 2015-16. Half of this ad spending (Rs. 38 billion or $362 million) went to television channels while the rest was divided among print, outdoor, radio and digital media.

Media Ad Revenue by platform. Source: Aurora











Digital media spending rose 27% in 2015-16 over prior year, the fastest of all the media platforms. It was followed by 20% increase in radio, 13% in television, 12% in print and 6% in outdoor advertising, according to data published by Aurora media market research

HUM TV channel had the highest revenue at Rs. 3.84 billion, followed by ARY Digital's Rs. 3.802 billion, PTV Sports Rs. 3 billion, Geo Entertainment Rs. 2.93 billion, Geo News Rs. 2.6 billion, Urdu1 2.5 billion, PTV Home Rs. 2.5 billion, Samaa Rs. 1.9 billion, and Dunya News, ARY News and Express News Rs. 1.8 billion each.

The television channels with the highest revenue increases in 2015-16 were: Samaa (88%), Geo News (82%), Geo Entertainment (81%) and ARY News (76%).

Global Advertising Growth 2016. Source: Magna



The current media boom in Pakistan started in early 2000s when Pakistan had just one television channel, according to the UK's Prospect Magazine. Today it has over 100. Together they have begun to open up a country long shrouded by political, moral and religious censorship—taking on the government, breaking social taboos and, most recently, pushing a new national consensus against the Taliban. The birth of privately owned commercial media has been enabled by the Musharraf-era deregulation, and funded by the tremendous growth in revenue from advertising targeted at the burgeoning urban middle class consumers.

Pakistan has managed to significantly reduce poverty and rapidly grow its middle class since 2001 in spite of major political, security and economic challenges. The foundation for the rise of the middle class and the electronic media boom was laid on President Musharraf's watch by his government's decisions to invest in education and infrastructure projects and deregulate the media that led to the expansion of both human and financial capital. My hope is that the continued improvement in security situation and implementation of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects will bring in higher long-term investments and accelerate Pakistan's progress toward prosperity for all of its citizens.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016

Pakistan: A Majority Middle Class Country

Pakistan Mass Media Boom

State Bank: Pakistan's Actual GDP Higher Than Officially Reported

College Enrollment in Pakistan

Musharraf Accelerated Development of Pakistan's Human and Financial Capital

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
#WorldBank sees #Pakistan FY17 #GDP #Growth at 5.2%, best in 9 yrs. Forecasts 5.5% in FY18, 5.8% FY19 http://reut.rs/2pW7072 via @Reuters

May 20 The World Bank on Saturday forecast Pakistan's GDP growth in fiscal year 2017 to climb to 5.2 percent, the highest expansion rate in nine years, boosted by consumer confidence and fiscal reforms.

Growth is expected to accelerate to 5.5 percent in FY18 and 5.8 percent in FY19, according to a World Bank report released on Saturday.

But it warned that weakening trade and fiscal balances made it crucial to continue reform efforts and to develop skills to find jobs for the country's growing youth population.

"Pakistan's accelerating growth is good news and reflects the country's success in building confidence. But the pace of reforms has slowed and it is important for the structural reforms to accelerate," said Illango Patchamuthu, World Bank country director for Pakistan.

The World Bank forecast came the same day as Pakistan's central bank estimated slightly higher real GDP growth in FY17 of 5.3 percent, which would represent a 10-year high.

Private sector credit showed a net expansion of 503 billion rupees ($4.81 billion) during the nine months through April, well above the 334 billion-rupee expansion recorded in the corresponding period of last year, the central bank said in a statement.

The World Bank's twice-yearly report was released in Lahore on Saturday in collaboration with Lahore School of Economics.

It said a moderate increase in investment was expected to supplement growth, driven primarily by public and private consumption.

The report said there need to be more technical and vocational training programme to boost job prospects for the "youth bulge". Sixty percent of Pakistan's estimated population of 190 million is under the age of 30.

It emphasized that federal and provincial governments must work together on reforms, since many policies are handled at the province level.

"Effective collaboration between federal and provincial governments will be crucial if Pakistan has to deliver on its growth potential" said Muhammad Waheed, World Bank senior economist for Pakistan. (Editing by Andrew Roche)
Riaz Haq said…
Ad spending seen growing at 15.5% in 2016, driven by digital
GroupM estimates show digital advertising will account for 12.7% of all ad spending in 2016, up from 9.9% in 2015

http://www.livemint.com/Consumer/LjI3ZO4nYkN8DNdyMIlJlJ/Ad-spending-to-grow-at-155-in-2016-higher-than-2015s-14.html

Print advertising will expand 6%, compared to 5.2% last year. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

New Delhi: Ad spending in India will grow 15.5% in 2016 to Rs.57,486 crore ($7.5 billion) with digital advertising expanding at the fastest pace of 47.5%, media agency GroupM, part of global advertising group WPP Plc., said in its This Year Next Year report released on Tuesday.

Last year saw ad spending grow by 14.2%, higher than GroupM’s estimate of 12.4%, to Rs.49,758 crore.

Digital advertising will account for 12.7% of all ad spending in 2016, the agency estimated, up from 9.9% in 2015. Print media’s share will shrink from 32.4% to 29.7%. And TV will remain the dominant medium with a 47.1% share, up from 46.3%.

“India is the fastest growing ad market among all the major markets of the world. 2015 was the best year for ad spend growth we’ve had in the last five years,” said C.V.L. Srinivas, chief executive at GroupM South Asia. “While global headwinds are building up in the new year, there are a number of positive factors that will help the Indian ad sector grow at higher levels in 2016.”

Consumer product, automobile and e-commerce companies will continue to drive growth (as they did in 2015) and telecom, banking and finance, and the government sector will join the party, according to Srinivas. Growth is also expected to get a fillip from events such as the T20 World Cup cricket tournament, Indian Premier League (IPL) and state elections. “While digital media will remain the fastest growing platform, India is one of the few large markets where all traditional media platforms will show positive growth,” added Srinivas.

Riaz Haq said…
Key Highlights:

The overall total minutes of advertising in 2016 decreased by 17.75% compared to 2015.
Comparing the quarter-wise total minutes spend; the trend remains mostly similar across Q1, Q2 and Q4. Whereas Q3 of 2016 witnessed an increase of 4% over 2016.
Top 10 categories have maintained their positions in year 2016 with minor change in % share in total minutes of advertising in each category.
The top advertisers on TV for 2016 were Unilever (20%), P&G (7%), Reckitt Benckiser (6%), Pepsi Cola (6%), Coca Cola (5%) and Nestle (4%). There is a increase of 6% seen in advertising of Unilever brands in 2016.
Coca Cola remained the top brand in 2016 with increased of 1% as compare to 2015.
In both years top three channels including Abb Takk (4%), News one (4%) and Tv one (4%) remains at the top.
The most significant increase of share of advertising across news channels is witnessed by Express News by 2%. Abb Takk has dropped its first position in 2015 and secured third position in 2016.
Similarly, for Entertainment channels, major change is seen across Express Ent which came from 10th place in 2015 (4%) to 2nd place in 2016 (8%).
In 2016, channel Jalwa remain the top position and increased its advertising spend share by 14% compared to 2015.
Health Tv and Nickelodeon has visibly lost its % of share spent while Filmazia has maintained a top spot position with an increase of 8%.
News and entertainment segments remain most popular with their share of 40% and 42% respectively throughout 2015 and 2016.
The most popular time band for both 2015 and 2016 remains prime time slot (7pm to midnight) and afternoon (12pm to 5pm).

http://www.pas.org.pk/tv-advertising-yearly-industry-report-2016/
Riaz Haq said…
Facebook and Google will eat up 70% of advertising revenue by 2020

https://www.techjuice.pk/facebook-google-eat-70-advertising-revenue-2020/


Press Gazette, a UK-based trade website for newspapers and magazines, is launching a campaign to stop Facebook and Google from destroying the journalism industry.

According to Press Gazette, Facebook and Google have created a strong monopoly in the advertising industry of UK. Owing to this monopoly, the journalism industry is badly affected as a major chunk of advertising revenue is going to this duo.

The advertising industry of UK was 20 billion pounds in 2015. In the past decade, the revenue sharing to the newspapers has gone from half to one-tenth. This is an alarming situation for publishers.

Press Gazette said, “The Government would not allow such a duopoly to stand. Campaigners would call for them to be broken up in the name of media plurality.”

Due to dip in revenues, a major chunk of news publishers are slashing the salaries of employees and the number of journalists being employed has been thinning down as well.

In the past one decade, the newspaper has increased their reach and readership but this scale hasn’t positively affected their revenue graphs.
Okara said…
This mean government is the biggest commodity in Pakistan as PMLN lead government is spending minimum of 60% of total money spent on advertisement in Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
Okara: "This mean government is the biggest commodity in Pakistan as PMLN lead government is spending minimum of 60% of total money spent on advertisement in Pakistan."

Given that in the FY 2015-16, the Government of Pakistan was the fourth largest advertiser in the print media in terms of product categories (source: Aurora Fact File November-December 2016), the importance of the Government as a client for newspapers cannot be overestimated.

Traditionally, governments have always advertised heavily in the print media, particularly during the 80s and 90s. A major reason is that tender advertising, as per the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules must be published in print, and tenders constitute a considerable chunk of the total government advertising. However, since the late 90s, the share of government advertising in print has reduced considerably. According to Umer Mujib Shami, Secretary General, APNS, “the television-print break-up at one point used to be about 50-50; however, in recent years it has changed, with print’s share going down to 25 to 30%.”

There have been ongoing negotiations between the APNS and the Government to rectify this situation. Dr Tanvir A. Tahir, Executive Director, APNS, believes that the importance of newspapers as a medium cannot be ignored. This is particularly true when it comes to information dissemination and influencing opinions of key decision-makers in diplomatic and bureaucratic circles. It is on this basis that the APNS has asked that the Government increase the share of the pie by fixing its advertising spend at two percent of the cumulative development budget. Furthermore, the APNS has asked that the budget allocation between media should follow a 50-40-10 proportion, for electronic, print and digital respectively, as is done in other countries such as India. The APNS stance is that this will ensure that these policy changes will continue to allow the print media to play its role in informing, educating and influencing public opinion.

http://aurora.dawn.com/news/1141941
Riaz Haq said…
From Seeking Alpha by Bader Al-Hussain


https://seekingalpha.com/article/4056008-facebook-higher-growth-digital-ad-spending-compels-high-valuations


Summary

Global digital marketing would grow to $335 billion.

Facebook has a market share of 14%.

Base case warrants for 23% upside.

(Facebook) Revenue would lead the valuations

My narrative for double-digit growth in the future revenue of FB stems from the following arguments:

The ability of the company to pursue aggressive growth by partnering with local mobile network companies of large developing nations such as Indonesia, Pakistan, India, and Brazil.

For instance, in India, which is one of the largest populations with an increasing broadband penetration rate, Facebook has partnered with Reliance Communications and Airtel to offer basic Facebook internet services for free. Similarly, in Pakistan, Facebook partnered with Telenor, which is the second largest operator in the country. In Indonesia and Brazil, FB has partnered with XL Axiata and Oi respectively. Further, Facebook has similar arrangements with TMN in Portugal, Three in Ireland, Vivacom in Bulgaria, Bakcell in Azerbaijan, SMART in the Philippines, STC in Saudi Arabia and much more.

It is to be noted that more than 3 billion people of the world reside in these countries, accounting for ~40% of the world population. I expect a large portion of expected growth would come from South Asia and Asia-Pacific region.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pizza Hut set to open 75 new outlets to double its restaurants in #Pakistan - The Express Tribune #FastFood
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1414386/pizza-hut-set-open-75-new-outlets-pakistan/


KARACHI: American fast food giant Pizza Hut has decided to double its presence in Pakistan, the company and its local partner announced on Friday, adding that they would open 75 new outlets at an approximate investment of $3.4 million.

During a ceremony at the US Consulate in Karachi, a new franchise agreement was signed between Yum! Brands – a Fortune 500 company that owns Pizza Hut – and its local partner MCR. The deal was aimed at expanding Pizza Hut’s presence in Pakistan and adding to its network of 75 outlets over the period of next five years.

Robot waiter serves food in Multan’s pizza outlet
While the official press release stated that the agreement commits to an expansion of “150 new Pizza Hut units in Pakistan”, Pizza Hut (Middle East) General Manager Randall Blackford confirmed that the company is targeting a total number of 150 outlets across the country.

“We are currently operating at almost 75 units in Pakistan and we are going to double this number in the next four to five years,” he told The Express Tribune.

“Pizza Hut has a long list of first milestones, which include the first food product to be sold over the internet and the first food product to be delivered to outer space. Therefore, it is natural that we want to reach the milestone of first restaurant chain to have 150 outlets in Pakistan,” he added.

Inaugurated in December 1993, Pizza Hut was the first international franchise to enter Pakistan and also the first one to expand its presence in all four provinces of the country. It currently operates under MCR, a Pakistani company that is part of the services sector for the past 25 years.

“Pakistan is a great market for us and we have made so much progress over the years that we want to double it again,” said Blackford, when asked about the motivation behind expansion. “Additionally, Pizza Hut is a massive revenue-generating brand especially in this part of the world, hence our eagerness to capitalise on the market.”

Meanwhile, MCR President Aqueel Hasan said that the agreement presents a massive opportunity for Pakistan, adding that the country was looking at approximately $3.4 million on average in investment alone from the deal. “The amount of investment varies between the size of the proposed outlets, but the figure is anywhere from $300,000 to $600,000 per unit,” he said. Moreover, the agreement has been slated to generate around 3,500 jobs, excluding the spill-over effects from the expansion.

Social media battle erupts over pineapple on pizza

“This is a huge investment not only in monetary terms, but also it terms of skilled labour force available in the economy,” said Blackford. “Each outlet has a couple of dozen people working, so hiring them and training them – that is a massive investment in time.”
Riaz Haq said…
Ogilvy #India, #Pakistan co-create #Ramzan ad for spice #brand #Shan Foods. #advertising #Ramadan

http://www.livemint.com/Consumer/8j3UNzkKpZzW72dolTE6CL/Ogilvy-India-Pakistan-cocreate-Ramzan-ad-for-spice-brand-S.html

Shan Foods, Ogilvy India and Pakistan will also set up ‘neighbourhood tables’ in two cities of Pakistan where people will be invited to share a meal

Food opens the door to people’s hearts, breaking barriers of language, culture and nationality. Ogilvy India and Ogilvy Pakistan highlight this in a heart-winning campaign for Shan Foods, one of Pakistan’s biggest brands of spices and recipe mixes. Set up in 1981 by Sikander Sultan, Shan now has a presence in over 65 countries, including India.

The campaign, rolled out weeks before Ramzan, aims to bring new neighbours together using the power of food. Shot in Lahore, Pakistan, the film opens with a Chinese couple who has recently moved into the neighbourhood. The wife, still adjusting to the new place, complains she cannot make new friends locally considering they don’t even eat the same food. Minutes later she asks the husband to drop her off at the supermarket where she buys biryani masala and prepares the flavoured rice dish to break the ice with her neighbours. Surprised at her skill (aided by Shan, of course), the women in her neighbourhood open their homes and hearts to her with great warmth.

“The neighbourhood comes alive by sharing food. It was a nice concept to bring back in today’s busy world that we live in. There are many Chinese expats living in Lahore hence we decided to tell the story from their perspective. The product is weaved in the story beautifully and highlights how Shan Foods brings out the ease of cooking. We collaborate on lot of projects with Ogilvy Pakistan and the credit also goes to the client (Shan Foods) to believe and own the work we do,” said Sukesh Nayak, executive creative director, Ogilvy Mumbai.

Apart from television and digital, the campaign will look at on-ground activation. The brand along with its agency will set up “neighbourhood tables” in two different cities of Pakistan where people will be invited to share a meal.

Noting that the space of food eliminating cultural differences has been explored, Deepak Singh, chief creative officer, The Social Street, said, “The insight of neighbours connecting over food is quite true and relevant to us Indians as well. I also quite like the plot, the cast and particularly the music.” Singh also noted that since food is an integral part of any festival, and Ramzan being the holy month followed by Eid which is one of the biggest festivals in Pakistan, the on-ground activity to set up “neighbourhood tables” will connect the brand with consumers.
Riaz Haq said…
Top ads in Pakistan

Basking in the spotlight
Updated Apr 24, 2017 09:43am
By Amber Arshad
The winners of the PAS Awards 2017.

http://aurora.dawn.com/news/1141985

The big winners were Adcom Leo Burnett who received six awards, Soho Square got five, while J. Walter Thompson, IAL Saatchi & Saatchi and MullenLowe Rauf bagged four awards each.


Here are the winners of the PAS Awards:

Category: Agriculture & Related Industries
Brand: Refree
Campaign: Lambay Aur Mottay Gannay!
Company: Evyol Group
Agency: Aray Wah

Category: Automotive & Transport
Brand: Shell Rimula
Campaign: Shell Rimula Real Destinations
Company: Shell Pakistan
Agencies: J. Walter Thompson, Azaad Films

Category: Banking & Financial Services
Brand: Bank Alfalah Islamic
Company: Bank Alfalah Limited
Agencies: MullenLowe Rauf, Azaad Films

Category: Beverages - Cold
Brand: Coca-Cola
Campaign: Zalima Coca-Cola Piladay
Company: The Coca-Cola Export Corporation
Agencies: Soho Square, Starcom, Digitz, Kinetic, The Vision Factory

Category: Confectionary & Snacks
Brand: Oye Hoye!
Campaign: Oye Hoye! launch campaign
Company: United Snacks
Agencies: Ogilvy & Mather, Hashtag tribe, Maxus Global, Addynamics, Stimulus Productions, Soho Square

Category: Construction, Real Estate & Allied Industries
Brand: Diamond Paints
Campaign: Dil Deewar Saaf
Company: Diamond Paints
Agencies: Adcom Leo Burnett, Adcom ZenithOptimedia, Echo Digital Marketing, ID Creations

Category: Cosmetics and Personal Care (Men, Women and Children)
Brand: Lux
Campaign: LUX White ReLaunch
Company: Unilever Pakistan
Agencies: J. Walter Thompson, TML Activations, Mindshare, Creative Chaos, Arrows

Category: Culinary
Brand: Mezan Cooking Oil
Campaign: Mezan Ramadan 2016
Company: Paracha Textile Mills
Agencies: Adcom Leo Burnett, Adcom ZenithOptimedia, ID Creations

Category: Office Furniture
Brand: Interwood – Office Furniture
Campaign: Space Workstation Launch
Company: Interwood Mobel
Agency: IAL Saatchi & Saatchi

Category: Events
Brand: FPCCI FocusPK 16
Campaign: Focus PK 16 Entertainment & Production Conference
Company: FPCCI Focus PK
Agencies: Bond Advertising, Aikman Studios, Talking Point, Mind Map Communications

Category: Fabric Care, Home Care and Furnishing
Brand: Surf Excel
Campaign: Madad Ek Ibadat
Company: Unilever Pakistan Limited
Agencies: Lowe Lintas, Mindshare Pakistan Limited, Mullen Lowe Rauf, Kinetic Pakistan

Category: Food and Dairy
Brand: Nurpur
Campaign: Nurpur Corporate Thematic
Company: Fauji Foods Limited
Agencies: Fishbowl, Stimulus Productions

Category: Hospitals, Healthcare and Hygiene
Brand: The Indus Hospital
Campaign: Rishta Nahi Ehsaas Zaroori Hai
Company: The Indus Hospital
Agency: Manhattan Communications

Category: Ice Creams and Desserts
Brand: Cornetto
Campaign: Cornetto 2016
Company: Unilever Pakistan Limited
Agencies: BBPR, Empact Activations, Mindshare

Category: Public Service & CSR
Brand: UN Women Pakistan
Campaign: #BeatMe
Company: UN Women Pakistan
Agencies: BBDO Pakistan, The Videographers, Azad Film Company


Category: Telecommunication Hardware & Consumer Electronics
Brand: Haier
Campaign: Sirf DC Nahi, Haier Ka Mukammal DC Inverter
Company: Haier Pakistan
Agencies: Synergy Dentsu, Marketing Works


Category: Telecommunication Service Providers
Brand: Telenor
Campaign: Sacha Saath
Company: Telenor Pakistan
Agencies: Adcom Leo Burnett, OMD Pakistan, Stimulus Productions

Category: Textile, Fashion & Accessories
Brand: Borjan
Campaign: Join the Fashion Walk
Company: Borjan
Agencies: Adcom Leo Burnett, Adcom ZenithOptimedia, 9.8 Films
Riaz Haq said…
Telecom Revenues Reach to Rs 234.9 Billion (US$2.24 Billion) During Last Six Months...about $5 billion a year


http://www.pakistankakhudahafiz.com/news/telecom-revenues-reach-rs-234-9-billion-last-six-months/


The telecom sector of Pakistan has witnessed a huge boom after the launch of 3G & 4G services in the country. In 2004, Pakistan had just 5 million mobile phone users whereas presently the figure has exceeded to around 139 million. Who could have thought of such a mind blowing increase in this figure? Today, Pakistan has over 39 million 3G/4G subscribers and an annual 70% cellular tele-density rate, according to PTA. Telecom Revenues Reach to Rs 234.9 Billion During Last Six Months.

Due to the increasing demand and potential of telecom services in the Pakistan, the telecom revenues from the sector have reached around Rs. 234.9 billion during first two quarters of current fiscal year.

Telecom Revenues Reach to Rs 234.9 Billion During Last Six Months

As the availability of 3G/4G services has enabled the development of new applications and m-services for the people of country. Additionally the public is also quickly adapting these new technologies and services.

Similarly, during first two quarters of 2016-17, telecom sector contributed estimated Rs. 53.76 billion to the national exchequer in terms of regulatory fees, taxes, initial and annual license fees, activation tax and other charges.

Riaz Haq said…
Media Advertising Spend
An overview of Digital, OOH and Radio spend in Fiscal Year 2015-16.
AURORA UPDATED MAY 24, 2017 10:21AM


http://aurora.dawn.com/news/1142058


Digital spend (Rs. 4.5 billion or $43 million)

Google 44%

Facebook 33%

Rest 23%


Product/Service Categories:


FMCG 34%

Telecom 12%

Beverages 10%

Electronics 7%

Rest 37%
Riaz Haq said…
Big Brands Stage Raves in #Pakistan to Attract Young Money. #EDM #Art #Music #Coke #Telenor #Zong

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-12/big-brands-stage-raves-in-pakistan-to-attract-young-money

Electronic dance music pulsates as revelers wave their arms in unison and colored spotlights crisscross the ceiling of a lakeside wedding hall. It’s Saturday night in Islamabad.

Armed guards stand at the entrance to the Elements Music Festival, an invitation-only affair sponsored by wireless carrier Zong. They frisk guests and sniff bottles for traces of alcohol, which is banned among the nation’s Muslim majority. Inside, local DJs Faisal Baig and Fuzzy Nocturnal play sets of bass-heavy, looping music that end Sunday morning to chants of “One more song!”
China Mobile Communications Corp., which owns Zong, is one of several foreign brands trying to grab Pakistan’s young consumers by their ears. Coca-Cola, Telenor, and PepsiCo have also sponsored raves. About two-thirds of the population is under 30, and the economy is projected by the International Monetary Fund to grow at more than 5 percent annually over the next five years. Household consumption’s contribution to gross domestic product hit 80 percent in 2015, higher than the global average of 58 percent, according to the World Bank. A July 11 report by Moody’s Investor Services said that while Pakistan’s medium-term growth outlook is strong, the economy is also showing signs of vulnerability, noting “the government’s debt burden is high, and fiscal deficits remain relatively wide.” Fallout from a probe into corruption allegations against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could also dampen growth. Sharif has denied any wrongdoing.
Although annual GDP per capita is just $1,561, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the country of more than 200 million is home to a sufficiently large cohort of young, liberal, and affluent consumers willing to pay the 2,500-Pakistani-rupee admission (about $24) to the Elements festival. “There’s no nightlife here, there’s no clubs,” says Bilal Brohi, 30, a Karachi-based DJ and producer. Pakistanis “want to just have a crazy night out. They just want to disassociate.”
Many young Pakistanis developed a taste for house music, techno, and other Western genres while studying abroad. They’ve been able to support their habit after returning home thanks to the growing availability of cell phones, coupled with better internet service. Smartphone shipments increased 28 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, says International Data Corp.
China Mobile’s Zong says it has a 20 percent share of the smartphone market. The company declined to comment on its involvement in the April 1 Elements festival. Djuice, the local mobile phone brand of Norway’s Telenor ASA, sponsored the Liberate Music & Arts Festival on May 6; more than 4,000 people were drawn to a Lahore water park by European DJs such as Nick Muir and Teenage Mutants. Coca-Cola Co. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google were co-­sponsors. Telenor’s goal was to reach 18- to 29-year-olds with limited entertainment choices, said Saad Warraich, an Islamabad-based spokesman, in an email.
----

And sometimes popularity gets in the way of the music. Police shut down the Liberate festival at midnight—before some of the acts could perform—because of concerns about the size of crowds gathering outside the venue. —
Riaz Haq said…
We’ll make #CPEC a success, come what may: #Pakistan Army Chief Gen Bajwa. #China

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1456715/well-make-cpec-success-come-may-coas/

General Qamar Javed Bajwa reiterated on Wednesday the determination of the army and other law enforcement agencies to provide fool-proof security to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) calling the multibillion-dollar project ‘harbinger of peace and prosperity’ in the region.

“While the army will provide security to the project [CPEC], the other national institutions will have to come forward and play their respective roles,” he said while speaking at a function in Islamabad on CPEC Logistics on Wednesday.

“We as a nation can only benefit from this historic opportunity, if we prepare ourselves to embrace it. All national institutions will have to make a deliberate effort to ensure success of CPEC,” he added.
CPEC is truly a harbinger of economic development, peace and prosperity in the region, he said, adding that unlike some other countries of South Asia, Pakistan believes in focusing its energies on peace and inclusiveness, rather than divisive competition. He was apparently referring to India which publicly opposes the multibillion-dollar project.

Country’s progress: Army chief hails role of overseas Pakistanis

“CPEC would bring increasing economic integration among regional economies and reduce the development gap within various regions of Pakistan,” he said.

Gen Qamar said the Chinese investment in various fields, including energy, infrastructure, Gwadar port and special economic zones, can lay the foundation of a fast-developing Pakistan if the opportunity was optimally utilised.

“We take immense pride in our relationship with China that has always remained on an ascending trajectory and now encompasses almost every sphere of our life. The lasting imprint of this brotherly partnership is visible in state-to-state, military-to-military, business-to-business and people-to-people contacts,” he said.

The army chief went on to say that the Sino-Pak relationship is based on the principles of peaceful co-existence, commonality of interest and shared perception on regional and global issues. “We have always stood by each other through thick and thin and at every critical juncture of our history. That is why we are called Iron brothers.

“Xi Jinping’s grand vision of One Belt, One Road (OBOR) has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for the countries of the region and beyond. CPEC, being an important project of OBOR, holds great promise for turning around the economies of Pakistan, Western China and the region,” he added.

Army chief appreciates security forces for ‘winning back dissidents’

The army chief said to reap benefits from CPEC Pakistan needs education, training and skill development of the youth. “We also need to improve our existing laws and regulations to provide a facilitating framework for trade and investment activities. We need infrastructure and urban planning to ensure that we are able to handle large volume of business and transport, without any hassle,” he added.

Commenting on the prevailing security situation in Pakistan, Gen Qamar said the “country is much safer today than before as peace has been restored in Fata and the adjoining areas”. He said normalcy was also returning to Karachi. “Similarly, the law and order situation has improved significantly in Balochistan and there is great focus on socio-economic development in the province,” he added.

“Pakistan is a resilient nation of over 200 million people, with a large ratio of vibrant, capable and enthusiastic youth. We need to capitalize on this opportunity to make Pakistan an economic power in coming years,” he added.

He encouraged entrepreneurs to join hands with Chinese investors and make this dream a reality. “My dream is that by the year 2030, when we complete the current phase of economic partnership between the two countries, Pakistan should at least be in league with middle income countries,” he stated.

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