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Showing posts from February, 2012

Harvard Architect Plans Green City in Pakistan

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Work started today to build a 21st Century eco-friendly model city about 50 km north east of downtown Karachi, Pakistan.

Named DHA City Karachi or DCK, the project has been planned by Doxiadis and Osmani Associates along with Professor Spiro Pollalis as its chief planner on an 11,640 acre rural site. Constantine Doxiadis (1914-1975) was a Greek architect and urban planner who planned Pakistan's capital Islamabad and several Karachi communities, including Korangi, Landhi and New Karachi, in 1960s. Pollalis, also of Greek ancestry, is a professor of design, technology and management at the Harvard Design School in Cambridge, Mass.



The DCK masterplan envisions a self-contained sustainable city with 50,000 residential and commercial lots, healthcare and education facilities, theme parks, a convention center, informal and formal sports and recreational facilities and resorts, retail and restaurants, along with all necessary community facilities such as theaters and civic centers.

At the …

Pakistan's Troubled Public Education Sector & State-owned Enterprises

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"...under 1.5% of GDP [is] going to public schools that are on the front line of Pakistan's education emergency, or less than the subsidy for PIA, Pakistan Steel, and Pepco." Pakistan Education Task Force Report 2011
Pakistan has ordered 5 Boeing 777s and 75 train engines for its state-owned companies in a bid to catch up with rising passenger and cargo service demands, according to media reports.

Boeing, the American aerospace giant, has announced the $1.5 billion deal with Pakistan International Airline (PIA) which includes a firm order of five 777-300ER (extended range) jets as well as the purchase rights for an additional five, according to Fox News.

Separately, The News is reporting that Pakistan Railway is purchasing 75 Chinese-made train engines for $105 million.



Highways have now become the most important segment of transport sector in the country, according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan. At the time of Pakistan's independence in 1947, transportation by roa…

Microfinance Raising Financial Inclusion in Pakistan

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Pakistan ranks first in Asia and third in the world in Economist Intelligence Unit's overall microfinance business environment rankings for 2011. Among other Asian nations, only the Philippines at #6 made the top ten list.



On a scale of 0-100, Pakistan scores 62.8, just behind top-ranked Peru's 67.8 and second-ranked Bolivia's 64.7 in overall global rankings of 55 countries. Among nations in South Asia region, India ranks 27 with a score of 43.1 and Bangladesh ranks 43 with a score of 30.9. Sri Lanka is at #48 with a score of 27.4 followed by Nepal at 51 scoring 26.1.

Among various categories, Pakistan ranks #1 in regulatory framework and practices and #5 in supporting institutional framework.

Here's an excerpt on Asia from the EIU report titled "Global microscope on the microfinance business environment":

"Pakistan and the Philippines again top the regional rankings for East and South Asia. These countries both finished in the top ten globally, signifying …

High Living at Very Low Cost in Karachi & Mumbai

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A worldwide cost of living survey of 131 major cities has found that big South Asian cities of Dhaka, Delhi, Karachi and Mumbai are among the ten least expensive in the world. In other words, foreign visitors, expatriate businessmen and overseas investors can live better for less in South Asia, particularly in Karachi which is the cheapest on the list, just one rank below Mumbai, India.



The survey conducted by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) compared more than 400 individual prices across 160 products, including food, clothing, transport, rents and private schools.

India and Pakistan’s cheap labor and land costs are making the area “attractive to those bargain-hungry visitors or investors willing to brave some of the security risks that accompany such low prices,” the survey said, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The Swiss city of Zurich remained the world’s most expensive, Tokyo was the runner up, with Singapore now listed as the world’s 9th most expensive city. Singapore was l…

Mobile Computer Manufacturing Comes to Pakistan

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Military-run Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) at Kamra has launched manufacturing of Android tablets, Android eBook readers and Windows/Linux notebook computers.



All three products are being offered by Commercial Products Manufacturing Cell (CPMC), a join venture of Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra (PAC) and Hong Kong-based INNAVTEK. Initial prices range from Rs. 8,000 for PAC eBook reader tablet, to Rs. 15,000 for PAC PAD 1 tablet computer and Rs. 23,500 for PAC nBook notebook.

PAC PAD is the first to be manufactured in Pakistan, but not the first tablet offered for sale in Pakistan. Last year, PTCL also launched an Android based thin 7 inch tablet computer with EVO 3G and WiFi connectivity built-in. 3G EVO Tab is a 7 inch touch screen tablet with built-in EVO service to offer wireless broadband internet on the go in more than 100 cities and towns across Pakistan. Powered by Google Android Froyo 2.2 Operating system, 3G EVO Tab offers support for both 3G and Wi-Fi for an un-inter…