Pakistan & Gulf Economist

Press Releases

Dawlance commemorates world ozone day with pledge to protect planet

Dawlance is the leading producer of refrigerators and a wide range of home appliances in Pakistan. Dawlance has changed its Refrigerant usage in air conditioners; from R410A to a much safer gas, which will also be recycled in the future, for a sustainable future.

Being a wholly owned subsidiary of Arcelik – the second largest manufacturer in Europe, Dawlance believes in a sustainable growth policy: ‘Progress Today – Preserve Tomorrow’, reflecting a strong commitment to social wellbeing. As a socially responsible enterprise, Dawlance continues to invest in innovative technologies that promise a higher quality of life with environmental and economic sustainability, for the healthy progress of future generations.

This year’s theme for the ‘International Ozone Day’ is: “Montreal Protocol – Keeping us, our food, and vaccines cool”. Being a specialised innovator of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Dawlance is highlighting the importance of these technologies in safeguarding the well-being of humanity. The switch from R410A to a safer refrigerant gas in Dawlance appliances will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2024, promising a greener future to curtail climate change.

On this World Ozone Day, Dawlance encourages individuals, businesses, and governments to join hands in preserving the ozone layer, a vital shield that protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation. By adopting eco-friendly technologies and sustainable practices, we can collectively create a better, healthier, and safer world for current and future generations.

The Chief Marketing Officer of Dawlance – Syed Hasan Jameel stated that: “We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of the community and our consumers. That is why we are using a much safer gas in our appliances, which is recognized for its minimal impact on the environment and protection of the ozone layer. This two-pronged approach – using this gas and implementing refrigerant recycling, is a testament to Dawlance’s leadership in environmental stewardship and its dedication to a cleaner, sustainable world.”

Alhuda CIBE continues commitment to excellence in Islamic Finance Fintech Services

The global FinTech landscape has witnessed significant growth and transformation. Investments in FinTech have been on the rise, with substantial venture capital funding contributing to the sector’s expansion. Startups in the FinTech space have proliferated, many of them achieving unicorn status, reflecting the sector’s attractiveness to investors. Digital payments have surged in popularity, with mobile payment apps and contactless transactions gaining traction.

Additionally, blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have garnered widespread interest and institutional adoption. Regulatory frameworks for FinTech have evolved to address issues related to consumer protection and financial stability. Financial inclusion has improved thanks to FinTech, particularly in providing access to underserved populations. The sector has also seen a growing emphasis on cybersecurity, given the increased adoption of digital financial services. Robo-advisors, open banking initiatives, AI, machine learning, and sustainable finance have all played integral roles in shaping the evolving landscape of FinTech. The FinTech industry continues to undergo dynamic changes and developments worldwide.

Keeping in with the importance of the industry ‘AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE)’ proudly announces its steadfast dedication to the field of Islamic finance for the past 17 years. Recognized as a leading service provider, AlHuda CIBE has gained acclaim for its advisory, consultancy, capacity building, research and development initiatives, bolstered by a team of dedicated professionals. With its comprehensive solutions in Islamic banking and finance, AlHuda CIBE has extended its services globally, reaching regions such as the Americas, Africa, Central Asia, Asia, and the Middle East. Beyond geographical expansion, AlHuda is also advancing intellectually in the realm of technology.

In an era where advanced technologies, from Blockchain to Artificial Intelligence, are reshaping financial services, Islamic finance is no exception. AlHuda CIBE has now introduced its cutting-edge FinTech services, encompassing InsurTech, Blockchain, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, CBDCs, RegTech, Metaverse, AR, VR, Robo advisory, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Neo, and digital banking. The objective is to offer state-of-the-art solutions in Islamic banking and finance. AlHuda takes immense pride in its global recognition for delivering quality services.

The Islamic finance industry is experiencing remarkable growth globally, thanks to its sustainable and viable characteristics. The universally accepted principles of interest-free finance have gained widespread recognition among intellectuals. Concurrently, technological advancements have ushered in automation and efficiency across various industries, fostering a borderless global village. FinTech, as a technology sector, has played a pivotal role in making financial transactions convenient and reducing transaction costs, thus supporting the sustainability of financial institutions.

The evolution of FinTech is a journey through distinct eras, each of which has played a pivotal role in shaping the financial technology landscape. The first era FinTech 1.0 (1886-1967) represents the foundational phase of FinTech, where the groundwork was meticulously laid for the infrastructure that would eventually support globalized financial services. It was a time of early innovation, characterized by the development of essential systems and processes.

The second era FinTech 2.0 (1967-2010) marked a significant shift towards digitalization in the financial world. Over more than four decades, the financial industry transitioned from analog to digital, fueled by the online revolution. Digital banking and online payment systems became emblematic of this era, fundamentally altering how people interacted with their finances.

The brief but impactful period introduced the concept of Open Banking in its third era of FinTech (2010-2014). It allowed third-party entities secure access to financial data, sparking innovation and the creation of new digital banking products. It was a time of increased transparency and collaboration in the financial sector. The current era, FinTech 3.5 from 2014, is characterized by groundbreaking developments. Blockchain technology has taken center stage, offering new possibilities for secure and decentralized financial transactions. Open banking continues to evolve, enabling integrated payment providers to redefine how money is collected and managed. This era is synonymous with rapid innovation, pushing the boundaries of what’s achievable in the world of financial technology. Asia-Pacific Will Be the Largest Fintech Market by 2030, and Latin America and Africa Will Be the Fastest-Growing Regions. The following figure depicts the clear picture of the industry:

These eras together form a compelling narrative of FinTech’s journey, showcasing not only the remarkable technological advances but also the profound impact on how individuals and businesses engage with financial services. As we stand on the cusp of further innovations, the story of FinTech’s evolution is far from over, promising continued transformation in the world of finance.

The global FinTech landscape has seen explosive growth since the mid-2010s, with startups securing substantial venture funding and traditional financial institutions embracing FinTech offerings. The world’s most active regions for FinTech innovation include North America and Asia, closely followed by Europe and Africa.

Key areas of FinTech innovation in 2022 and beyond include, Cryptocurrencies: Leveraging Blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies offer decentralized, secure transactions and smart contracts for automated agreements. Open Banking: Advocating universal access to bank data to create interconnected networks of financial institutions and third-party providers. Insurtech: Simplifying and streamlining the insurance industry through technology. Regtech: Assisting financial service firms in meeting compliance rules, particularly Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer protocols. Robo Advisory: Utilizing algorithms to automate investment advice, reducing costs and improving accessibility. Unbanked Services: Promoting financial inclusion by catering to disadvantaged or low-income individuals underserved by traditional banks. Cybersecurity: Given the rise in cybercrime, cybersecurity is intertwined with FinTech to ensure data protection.

Mr. Muhammad Zubair, a spokesperson for AlHuda CIBE, emphasized the importance of learning FinTech programming, cybersecurity, AI/ML, data sciences, and Blockchain for the survival and growth of financial markets. The expanding number of unicorns (privately held startups valued at over $1 billion) underscores the promising future of the FinTech industry.

To explore further insights into the burgeoning world of FinTech and its global impact, please refer to the accompanying graph, illustrating the exponential growth of FinTech worldwide.

“Zong 4G announces Mr. Huo Junli as Its New CEO and Chairman”

“Leadership Transition at Zong 4G: Mr. Huo Junli Takes the Helm”

Zong 4G, Pakistan’s leading telecommunications company, welcomed Mr. Huo Junli as the new Chairman & CEO, marking a significant leadership transition.

Mr. Huo Junli has officially taken the helm, succeeding Mr. Wang Hua, who has admirably served as CMPak’s CEO and Chairman for over five years. Mr. Wang Hua has returned to CMCC, where he will undertake a new role within the organization.

Mr. Huo Junli holds a Master’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Beijing University of Posts & Telecommunication, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Xi’an Jiaotong University.”

Mr. Huo Junli brings an extensive and diverse background with nearly three decades of experience in the telecommunications industry. His career, which began in 1997, has been marked by a series of notable roles within CMCC, including leadership positions such as heading the NOMC and Information Security department for China Mobile Shanxi Province Company. In 2017, he further advanced his career as a board member and Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Mr. Huo Junli enthusiastically shared his sentiments upon taking on the leadership role at Zong 4G, stating, “I am thrilled to embark on this new chapter at Zong 4G. The company has a well-earned reputation for its steadfast commitment to pushing boundaries, fearlessly addressing challenges, and consistently delivering exceptional results throughout its 15-year history. I am wholeheartedly committed to guiding our journey towards excellence and playing a pivotal role in advancing and expanding the telecommunications industry in the country, aligning with the vision of a Digital Pakistan.”

With this transition, Zong 4G looks forward to Mr. Huo Junli’s visionary leadership, aiming to continue its commitment to delivering exceptional telecommunications services and spearheading innovation in the industry. Mr. Huo’s rich experience and expertise are well-positioned to lead the company into a promising era of expansion and digital transformation.

Serious economic, political and environmental crises: Mian Zahid

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on September 15 that the country is facing serious economic, political, and environmental crises.

Authorities are trying to manage problems temporarily with some success, but serious matters should not be taken lightly, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that lessons should be learned from the countries that have gone bankrupt recently, and negotiations should be started without delay for new loans from the IMF.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that in addition to the IMF loan, efforts should also be made to restructure the domestic and foreign debt; otherwise, the IMF loan will not be able to help much.

He said that sloganeering against the IMF should be stopped and decisions should be taken according to ground realities because the current crisis is more serious than all the past crises.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that foreign investment of 100 billion dollars can change the destiny of Pakistan, but it will take some time.

The business leader noted that there is a need to facilitate investment and business in Pakistan, reduce electricity and gas prices, make the tax burden fair, and equip the youth with technical education.

He observed that with the current actions of COAS General Asim Munir, the situation has improved somewhat; the rupee has strengthened, smuggling has decreased, and the price of sugar has also come down. But exports and remittances are decreasing, which will widen the current account deficit, which needs urgent attention.

Many politicians are constantly playing games, which is affecting the confidence of the business community. The reasons behind the serious economic crisis and continuous decline in exports, remittances, and production include high business costs, losses in the power sector, failed government institutions, etc.

Loss-making enterprises need to be privatised immediately. By eliminating the undocumented economy, the tax base can be increased, which can significantly increase tax revenue.

Moreover, documenting the economy can also eliminate the hoarding of goods through black money. The documented sector and people will continue to suffer due to the price of oil, gas, grain, ghee etc. and increased terrorism unless something is done, he said.

Alhuda cibe organising workshop on islamic banking, finance and microfinance in Zimbabwe

AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking & Economics (CIBE) and the Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI) are pleased to announce their collaboration in hosting a specialized two-day training workshop on “Islamic Banking, Finance & Islamic Microfinance.” The training is scheduled to take place on October 10th and 11th 2023, in Harare, Zimbabwe. This unique training opportunity aims to equip professionals, practitioners, and regulators with the knowledge and skills needed to harness the benefits of Islamic finance in the microfinance sector.

This programme is designed to provide a profound understanding of various facets of Islamic finance, catering to a wide spectrum of topics. Participants will delve into critical subjects, including the prohibition of Riba (interest), gaining insights into the Islamic banking and finance industry, exploring trade-based modes such as Murabahah, examining partnership-based modes like Mudarabah and Musharakah, and understanding rental-based modes. Furthermore, the program will offer a dedicated exploration of Islamic microfinance.

One of the primary objectives of this initiative is to equip participants with practical implementation skills, enabling them to effectively apply Islamic finance principles within microfinance institutions. As the demand for Islamic finance solutions continues to grow, this program will serve as a cornerstone for enhancing expertise and fostering the adoption of ethical financial practices.

Mr. Muhammad Zubair, the CEO of AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics (AlHuda CIBE), has expressed his belief in the growing demand for Islamic banking and finance within Zimbabwe. He views the training program as a valuable opportunity to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the rapidly evolving microfinance sector of the country.

In his statement, Mr. Zubair highlights the importance of Islamic microfinance in promoting financial inclusion and alleviating poverty. He recognizes that Islamic microfinance serves as a powerful tool for extending financial services to low-income and marginalized communities. This means that individuals who may have previously been excluded from traditional financial systems can now access essential financial resources, fostering economic empowerment and stability.

Mr. Godfrey C. Chitambo, the executive director of the Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI), shares Mr. Zubair’s enthusiasm for this training program. He sees it as a valuable opportunity for Zimbabweans to gain knowledge about Islamic banking, finance, and Islamic microfinance.

Mr. Godfrey C. Chitambo is confident that this training will contribute significantly to the development of Islamic finance within Zimbabwe. By providing participants with insights into Islamic financial principles and practices, he believes that the program will help raise awareness and build expertise in this growing sector.

In summary, both Mr. Zubair and Mr. Godfrey C. Chitambo recognise the potential for Islamic banking and finance to positively impact Zimbabwe’s financial landscape. They opine this training initiative as a means to empower individuals and institutions with the necessary skills and knowledge to participate effectively in the expanding world of Islamic microfinance, thereby contributing to the economic growth and financial well-being of the nation.

Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan with Codebase Technologies opens ‘Digibanc Platform’

Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan, one of the country’s leading financial institutions, revealed its enhanced, cutting-edge digital onboarding services for resident and non-resident Pakistanis. Codebase Technologies, Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan’s longstanding technology partner, accelerated the proposition’s time to market by leveraging the flexibility of the Digibanc platform. This platform was used by both teams in 2021 to launch the country’s first digital onboarding service for Roshan Digital Accounts.

Junaid Ahmed, CEO at Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan, commented on the partnership, “Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan is moving to the forefront of digital banking, and Codebase Technologies has been a trusted technology partner on our journey. With this new stage of our transformation complete, DIB Digital addresses the needs of both domestic and overseas Pakistanis, giving them an easy way to open new accounts.”

The upgraded solution enhances Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan’s customer acquisition and operational efficiency by digitizing the account opening process. It provides hyper-personalized digital onboarding journeys for new Domestic and Roshan Digital customers through the DIB Digital mobile app. The newly launched solution addresses customers’ evolving needs for digital services built around their lifestyles, strengthening Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan’s position as a leader in the industry.

Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan’s digital banking services are designed to provide customers with a seamless and secure banking experience while adhering to the principles of Islamic finance.

Raheel Iqbal, Managing Partner at Codebase Technologies, stated, “This is our second project with the team at Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan, and we’re pleased that the team has once again placed their trust in us. The evolution of Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan’s digital onboarding solution demonstrates the extensive flexibility of our Digibanc platform and the significant impact it can have on the innovating power of any financial institution. This project presents a great opportunity for us to disrupt Pakistan’s financial industry, support the government’s digitization agenda, and contribute to driving financial inclusion and access.”

Endeavor Pakistan & TPL Maps’ “Chasing Impact” Event Draws Entrepreneurial Excellence

Endeavor Pakistan, a leading global organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and supporting high-impact startups to scale, successfully hosted the “Chasing Impact” event at Colabs (Lahore Campus) co-sponsored by TPL Maps on Tuesday, 5th September, 2023 in Lahore. The event witnessed a remarkable turnout and brought together prominent venture capitalists, emerging startups, and renowned entrepreneurs nationwide for a day of insightful discussions, networking, and celebration.

Sharing his excitement for the transformative potential of Pakistan’s tech ecosystem and how Endeavor aims to select then support the highest potential entrepreneurs to scale; Ali Oosman, Founding MD – Endeavor Pakistan, stated that “Chasing Impact is about sharing Endeavor’s vision to support the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem from the ground up. We are excited to bring our global platform to the market and are proud to have already selected amazing Endeavor Entrepreneurs who represent the true potential of Pakistan. We are seeing some amazing companies in the pipeline and are confident that we will be able to help scale many more companies in the near future.”

Sarwar Khan, CEO TPL Maps expressed his enthusiasm for the event adding that “Let us remember that in the world of entrepreneurship, impact is our compass, innovation is our map, and collaboration is our vehicle. Together, we embark on a journey to inspire, innovate, and connect, for it’s in these moments that we empower the change-makers of tomorrow.”

The founders of Bazaar, Abhi, Laam, and Sadapay – took to the stage to share details about their experience with Endeavor and the value they have captured from engaging with global mentors. Key highlights included insightful presentations and panel discussions featuring leading local solutions like TPL Maps with strong representation from firms like FGV, Zayn VC, and Shorooq Partners, sharing valuable insights into the current landscape, trends, and opportunities. These discussions offered a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and prospects that entrepreneurs face in securing funding.

“Chasing Impact” marks a significant milestone in Endeavor Pakistan’s mission to promote entrepreneurship and facilitate access to capital for high-potential startups. As the country’s startup ecosystem grows, Endeavor Pakistan remains at the forefront of fostering innovation and driving economic development.

Revolutionizing the SUV Landscape: The launch of Hyundai’s Santa Fe is around the corner

Hyundai Nishat Motor (Private) Limited (HNMPL), the fastest-growing automotive manufacturer in Pakistan, is set to make waves in the country’s automotive landscape with the imminent launch of the highly anticipated Hyundai SANTA FE. Marking their 5th locally assembled Completely Knocked Down (CKD) model, HNMPL continues to redefine the automotive industry in Pakistan.

Building on the remarkable success of their previous models, such as the Sonata, Elantra, and Tucson, the Hyundai SANTA FE promises to usher in a new era of excellence in the SUV segment. With a focus on advanced features and cutting-edge technology, this remarkable vehicle is poised to change the SUV landscape and emerge as a true competitor in the SUV market.

Embracing the global vision of sustainability and innovation, HNMPL has taken significant steps by establishing a state-of-the-art Hybrid facility. This strategic move enables them to introduce a locally assembled D-SUV hybrid vehicle to the Pakistani market, underlining their commitment to environmentally friendly solutions and a brighter, greener future for Pakistan.

The Hyundai SANTA FE embodies a harmonious blend of luxury, safety, sleek design, and an array of amazing features. It is meticulously crafted to cater to the diverse needs of Pakistani consumers, delivering outstanding performance whether navigating the urban streets or driving on rugged terrains.

As the official launch of the Hyundai SANTA FE draws near, the CEO of HNMPL, Hasan Mansha expressed the significance of this milestone for the company and the Pakistani market. “We are committed to bringing new and innovative products to the Pakistani market,” said Hasan Mansha. “The launch of the Hyundai SANTA FE underscores our dedication to enriching the automotive experience of Pakistani consumers and expanding our footprint in this dynamic market.”

The anticipation surrounding the Hyundai SANTA FE launch is palpable, and excitement is building across the nation. As the official launch draws near, car enthusiasts and consumers are excited about the unveiling of the Hyundai SANTA FE.

SLIC’s proactive strategy paying off as indicated by its strong performance in the first half of 2023

State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan’s (SLIC) growth momentum continues with progress already evident in its strong half-yearly January to June 2023 results. Shoaib Javed Hussain, CEO of SLIC said, “State Life continues to deliver exceptional business results and we have achieved it once again for the first half of 2023, increasing our premium income by +27% compared to the same period in 2022. Insurance becomes even more important during challenging times and difficult circumstances, and behind these incredible results lie the true essence of our work, which is to provide security and protection to Pakistanis across all strata of society.”

Business Highlights (January – June 2023)


• Premium Income: Over Rs. 124.59 Billion collected – increased by +27% compared to the same period in 2022

• Investment Income: Over Rs. 94.05 Billion – increased by +50% compared to the same period in 2022


• Claims: Over Rs. 115.44 Billion in claims paid to policyholders – increased by +69% compared to the same period in 2022


• Assets: Over Rs. 1.71 trillion – increased by +17% compared to the same period in 2022

• Life Fund: Over Rs. 1.44 trillion – increased by +11% compared to the same period in 2022

Operational Highlights

On implementation of the State Owned Enterprises Act, Sulaiman Mehdi accepted the position of Chairman Board of Directors earlier this month. Shoaib Javed Hussain has assumed charge as the first Chief Executive Officer of State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan. Since March 2021, Mr. Hussain has stood at the helm of the corporation and by outperforming each subsequent year he has enabled SLIC to achieve close to 70 percent of market share. Through his proactive, dynamic, and results driven leadership approach SLIC total premium sales witnessed a growth of 67 percent year-on-year in 2022, while the new business sales incurred a staggering growth of 143 percent.

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