Middle East companies show off technology solutions, products at Pakistani energy exhibit

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Dr. Nordirjon Rasulov, an employee of Camfil Middle East, can be seen here introducing clean air solutions at the 17th edition of the Pakistan Oil, Gas and Energy Exhibition on June 20, 2019. (AN Photo)
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This picture captures a general view of the exhibition hall of Karachi Expo Center where the 17th edition of the Pakistan Oil, Gas and Energy Exhibition was held on June 20, 2019. (AN Photo)
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Chinese exhibitors introduce a wide range of products that were displayed at the 17th edition of the Pakistan Oil, Gas and Energy Exhibition on June 20, 2019. (AN Photo)
Updated 22 June 2019

Middle East companies show off technology solutions, products at Pakistani energy exhibit

  • Around 223 companies from 26 countries participating in three-day-long event this year
  • Greater interest from Gulf countries drawn in by promises of opportunity as Pakistan struggles to shore up energy infrastructure

KARACHI: The 17th edition of the Pakistan Oil, Gas and Energy Exhibition kicked off in Karachi on Thursday with visible participation from Middle Eastern companies drawn in by promises of greater concessions from a country that hopes improved security in recent years will reassure foreign investors who have been deterred in the past by the threat of militant violence.
Pakistan has been under mounting pressure in recent years to shore up its creaking energy infrastructure, both to provide more reliable supplies of oil and gas to its growing population of more than 200 million and to cut reliance on expensive foreign imports.
The country is believed to have rich mineral resources, with conventional gas reserves estimated at 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf), or 560 billion cubic meters, and shale gas reserves, which are so far untouched, at more than 100 tcf.
This year, the international energy conference, which will see the participation of around 223 companies from 26 countries over the three-day-long event, saw a greater interest from Gulf countries hoping to expand their outreach in Pakistan through digital industrial solutions, services and products.
“The newer part is the technological openness of Pakistan and that is the major attraction for foreign companies,” said Aamer Khanzada, the Managing Director of Pegasus Consultancy, the organizers of the exhibition. “Exploration opportunities in Pakistan’s onshore and offshore fields are also gaining momentum. Companies from Middle East are showing increasing interest in green and clean energy. They are showing interest in investment in various sectors and are here to explore opportunities.”
A range of Saudi and UAE companies that offer digital solutions to petroleum and household sector had exhibited their products and services at Thursday’s event.
“We are offering digital partnership for the digital transformation of the energy industry, mainly related to petroleum, oil and gas,” said Ammad Ghafoor, a representative for Saudi AVEVA, which provides digital transformation services to Saudi oil giant Aramco and SABIC, a Saudi company active in petrochemicals, chemicals, industrial polymers, fertilizers, and metals.
Polyfab Plastic Industry LLC, a UAE-based manufacturer of HDPE pipes and fittings, UPV pipes and fitting and PVC duct pipes and accessories, also participated in the exhibition for the first time.
“We have been selling our products in other gulf countries and South Africa but this is our first visit to Pakistan to introduce our products here,” Mohsin Ejaz, a representative of Polyfab told Arab News.
Junaid Makda, President of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said he had asked Polyfab to come up with a proposal on how the company and its products could help Pakistan save financial resources.
“I have asked them that I will link them with Karachi Water and Sewerage Board for business purposes (for PVC pipes),” Makda said. “They are exporting to other countries but due to RD (Regulatory duty imposed on imports) it was not feasible for them to export to Pakistan but this can now be removed.”


Pakistan interior minister orders ‘strict’ action against spread of COVID-19 'fake news'

Updated 40 min 42 sec ago

Pakistan interior minister orders ‘strict’ action against spread of COVID-19 'fake news'

  • Says all available resources would be used to identify people who spread misinformation
  • Rights activists fear new laws to curb coronavirus fake news could be used to clamp down on freedom of speech

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s minister for interior, Ijaz Ahmad Shah, on Thursday directed authorities to take “strict and immediate” action against those involved in spreading coronavirus misinformation, a week after the government announced plans to introduce new laws to curb COVID-19 “fake news” on social media.
Last week, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), a top federal body set up to oversee the government’s coronavirus mitigation efforts, set up a committee under the chairmanship of the interior minister to prepare a legal framework to help the government deal with coronavirus-related “fake news” on social media platforms.
“The Federal Minister for Interior, Ijaz Ahmad Shah directed the Director Cyber Wing, FIA to closely monitor and hold the responsible ones accountable for their actions,” the Ministry of Interior said in a statement released after Shah presided over a meeting on formulating a “COVID-19 Disinformation Prevention Mechanism.”
“He reinforced the point that strict and immediate action should be taken against these people. The Minister further said that people who are involved in such actions are not pro-country or its people.”
Shah said the primary purpose of the new committee was to ensure that “correct and credible information” was disseminated, adding that all available resources would be used to identify people who spread disinformation.
He also directed the head of Pakistan’s electronic media regulator not to allow “fake news” to run on TV channels.
Islamabad has previously struggled to regulate online content mostly by blocking or asking social media companies to remove blasphemous material and other posts that violate the country’s religious and cultural norms and laws, or hurt national security interests.
In February, the government approved, and then rolled back, new rules to regulate cyberspace after opponents said they could be used to stifle dissent. Social media companies have also largely shunned obliging to help law enforcement agencies access data and remove online content deemed unlawful.
Rights activists and free media campaigners fear the government’s new coronavirus “fake news” mechanism could be used to clamp down on freedom of speech.
“This shady mechanism is going to have serious implications for the already squeezed freedom of press and expression in Pakistan,” Haroon Baloch, researcher and program manager at Digital Rights at Bytes for All, told Arab News.
Baloch said disinformation on social media was a challenge but not a crime, unless it turned into “deep-fake” news that harmed individuals and groups.
“The government must ensure transparency in the so-called mechanism,” he said, “along with ensuring an oversight of civil society and free speech campaigners to prevent abuse.”