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Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category

Pakistan Urban Forum-South Asian Cities Conference to be held in Karachi in January, 2014

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Karachi, November 28, 2013: The Planning and Development Department of the Government of Sindh, the South Asia Institute of Harvard University, Urban Unit, Government of Punjab and the Institute of Architects, Pakistan are partnering to hold the Pakistan Urban Forum -South Asian Cities Conference in January, 2014. Major Universities in Pakistan are collaborating at this Forum of discourse, deliberation and seeking innovative solutions to common challenges of urbanity in Pakistan and the region. This unique event is expected to get participation from Pakistan, South Asian countries and other parts of the world.

The Forum – Conference is scheduled to take place from 9th to 12th January 2014 and will bring together all stakeholders, including government departments, professionals, community-based organisations, urban activists, corporate leadership, academia and the citizenry, in an effort to share experiences and learning in the framework of strategic national urban development. The organizers believe such a Forum to be pertinent in the backdrop of the rapidly increasing urbanization.

The rapid growth of cities is a common and persisting phenomenon in most of the developing countries including Pakistan. These cities boast enormous history and culture, having gone through several transformations. The journey of the cities carry numerous stories of development. The Forum will provide a platform for an assessment and critique to develop a better consensus, going forward. It will provide an opportunity for the citizens to interact and dialogue with all stakeholders. . The first Pakistan Urban Forum in Lahore in 2011 had attracted more than 6000 participants and similar overwhelming participation is expected for the Forum-conference in Karachi

Thus the aim of the Forum is to formulate results in synthetic production of publications that provides a deeper understanding about explicit relationships, tangible and intangible networks that facilitate the flow of energy, information, goods and people for a sustainable urban scenario. It will also create future opportunities of cooperation and research between the government, academia, international organizations and various communities, so needed in finding solutions to the problems of our ever growing cities.

With 4 concurrent sessions being held each day, the Forum will examine a number of key areas. These will include city governance, urban economy and policy, urban infrastructure, histories of South Asian cities, conservation of the built environment, public health, water and sanitation, housing and many more.

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‘Aesa Bhi Hai Pakistan’ – through the lenses of our youth

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Karachi, November 26, 2013: Unique Pakistan & Tangerine Media, in collaboration with Jubilee Life, has organized their 3rd Annual Photo Contest called ‘Aesa Bhi Hai Pakistan’ that aims to depict the brighter side of the country and promote young talent. The contest is an online based competition that is judged by renowned photographers of Pakistan.

This year’s ‘Aesa Bhi Hai Pakistan’ photo contest is a sequel to the ones that were successfully held in 2011 and 2012. Both the previous events, which were graced by renowned literary maestro Javed Jabbar, were hailed by participants, spectators and media for its efforts of trying to highlight positive image of Pakistan.
The theme of this year’s photo contest revolves around showcasing unique sights of Pakistan in two broad categories namely Tourism and People & Culture through photographs taken by young, aspiring photographers. Participants will be required to take a relevant photograph and e-mail it to Unique Pakistan. The entries will be judged by a panel of experts and the top three winners in each category will be given cash rewards. The six winners from both categories will also be given the chance to work on projects with the jury members. All the details of the participation of this competition are given on the Facebook page of Unique Pakistan.

This initiative is similar to the many other activities Jubilee Life has supported over the years. With ‘Aesa Bhi Hai Pakistan’, the company aims to help Pakistan realise its potential and depict it as a positive state to the world. Mr. Javed Ahmed, CEO and MD of Jubilee Life, commented on this activity saying “Jubilee Life has always been a keen supporter of youth programs that unleash our talented youth in front of the world. This photo contest is not only a platform for photographers but a way to show the world the unique colors of Pakistan. We have and will continue to support such initiatives for they give us a chance to create positivity about our beloved nation.”

Unique Pakistan is a group of passionate individuals who have joined hands and indulged in the pursuit of changing Pakistan’s perception in the eyes of the world. Tangerine Media also believes in the cause and feels that our talent and youthful energies need to be harnessed in the right direction. “It’s a responsibility of all the stakeholders of the brand ‘Pakistan’ to work on this mission and Unique Pakistan is a platform where we invite all of them to join hands and promote the other side of the country.” said Noman Minai, Founder of Unique Pakistan.

The panel of judges for this year’s ‘Aesa Bhi Hai Pakistan’ boasts renowned names in the field of photography and film making including Mehreen Jabbar, Hanif Bhatti, Ghulam Rusool, Yasir Nisar and Tariq AK.

Mehreen is a 16-year veteran of the industry, with a prolific career as Director/Producer of gritty, hard-hitting films for Pakistani Television. She is known as an industry expert. Hanif Bhatti, a man with many talents, is very passionate about photography and is known in the industry for his professionalism. Ghulam Rusool is a wildlife photographer who wishes to educate the people about the diversity of different life forms on earth. Yasir Nisar, a freelance photographer who loves to capture the soul of Pakistan in all its eclectic forms. He is also the founder of the Pakistan Photographers Club. Tariq AK, known for bringing innovative techniques in his photography to capture beauty and emotions, is a success story for all photography enthusiasts. All these jury members are keen supporters of promoting talent in Pakistan and showcasing a positive side of the country.

The competition ends on December 25, 2013 and will be followed by an exhibition of the top 100 photographs.

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FINCA announce launch of FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. In Pakistan

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Rebranded Pakistan Bank Will Build on Local Strength, Benefit from Global Brand Equity of FINCA International

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Lahore, Pakistan, 25 November 2013: FINCA, a global microfinance organization with operations in 22 countries on five continents, today announced the launch of FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. Founded almost 30 years ago, FINCA is a pioneer of the modern microfinance industry and has been recognized throughout its history for innovation, efficiency, ethical practices, and an uncompromising focus on social performance.

FINCA Microfinance Cooperatif (U.A.), the Netherlands-based investment arm of FINCA, acquired in May 2013 a majority holding in the Pakistani bank formerly known as Kashf Microfinance Bank Ltd. Following completion of all regulatory requirements, the Bank has now been re-launched as FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. and has already begun a process of expansion within the country. Currently operating in 51 locations across Pakistan, FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. plans to have branches and sales centers in 65 locations by the end of the year. The Bank will continue to operate under the regulation of the State Bank of Pakistan.

“It is a pleasure to welcome FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. to Pakistan,” said Mr. Yaseen Anwar, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan in his message. “The State Bank is committed to ensuring access to quality financial services for all the citizens of Pakistan. Microfinance is one important strategy towards that goal, and FINCA is one of the largest microfinance operators globally. We wish FINCA every success, and look forward to their contributions to Pakistan’s microfinance sector.”

Speaking at the launch press conference, FINCA global President and CEO Rupert Scofield said, “FINCA saw Pakistan’s large population of hardworking entrepreneurial people as individuals and families who could prosper from our services. We are honored to introduce our global brand into a new market as welcoming and embracing of FINCA as Pakistan. We look forward to working with the local team to build a thriving, poverty-free Pakistan that will lead to improved quality of life for many hundreds of thousands people in the country.”

M. Mudassar Aqil, chief executive officer of FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd., stated, ”Our team feels a great sense of urgency to scale up outreach to many more of the over 80 percent of Pakistanis who currently lack access to effective financial services. Now as part of the FINCA global family of companies, our Bank combines our all-Pakistani team’s deep local expertise with FINCA’s global best practices and other resources. The transition to the FINCA brand name and visual identity will strengthen that powerful combination even further.”

FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. will build on the legacy of successes achieved under its previous name of Kashf Microfinance Bank Ltd., combined with the vast international experience and matchless expertise that its new majority shareholder FINCA has been building in markets all over the world since 1985. From its newly strengthened position, FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd.

Has the potential to become a major financial presence in Pakistan and lead the microfinance sector in innovation, developing a range of new products and services tailored to customers’ needs, particularly those of entrepreneurs, farmers, and savers.

All locations of the institution now known as FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. will carry the Bank’s new logo with the distinctive FINCA tree, fondly known to its clients as “the tree of abundance” and a global symbol of growth, strength, and security.

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