April 16, 2018
By Web Desk

Mark Zuckerberg has always displayed a messianic sense of his own destiny. He once predicted that enlightened governments, prodded by a populace empowered by his company’s social networking tools, would champion a connected future in which Facebook would play a central part.“We believe that leaders will emerge across all countries who are pro-internet and fight for the rights of their people,” he declared in 2012, at the time of Facebook’s initial public offering. These would include “the right to share what they want and the right to access all information that people want to share with them”.It was just the kind of...


By Zeeshan Haider

FOCUS Politics and economy are closely interlinked. While political stability is a must for the economic progress of a country, exploitation of economy or economic issues for the sake of petty political gains runs the risk of impeding economic development too. As general elections are coming closer, the political temperature is rising in the country with government and opposition intensifying their battle over a variety of issues ranging from dissolution of national and provincial assemblies to the appointment of caretaker setup. But they seem to be raising stakes on key economic issues too in the heat of rising political...


By Richard Branson

ColumnQ: If you were to list your top five rules for achieving success in business, what would they be and where would the “people factor” come in?— Nicki McKenzie, Malaga, Western Australia A: On behalf of her students studying business at the high school level, Annette Moran of Wavell Heights, Queensland, asked a similar question.The people factor appears over and over on my list of top five tips. It is the basis of many entrepreneurial successes and, because many business leaders discount it, innumerable failures. While the current thinking in business schools holds that all someone with an idea needs to succeed are focus,...


By Sirajuddin Aziz

Management The title of this piece is interrogative. It is a question, with the mark that we as managers must endeavour to ask ourselves, day in and day out. This is done to ensure that any drifting from reality is quickly checked and in good time. Illusions are always glorious to believe in. All of us love to live in illusion. It is human. Pleasing as it may sound, about being important to a nation, society or a corporate, a cursory self-examination based on honesty, may cast away the deceptive belief. What answer has your mind conjured to this question, “are you important”? If it is no, then you have assessed well against...


By Shahzada Irfan Ahmed

Industry The fight against the use of tobacco products is picking up pace around the world and there is hardly any disagreement over the fact that it is extremely hazardous to human health and a major cause of death. Pakistan is among the countries that have made strong commitments to bring tobacco consumption down through different measures. For example, advertising of tobacco products is strongly regulated and there are laws which prohibit their promotion through placement of advertisements in newspapers, magazines, TV channels, radio transmissions etc. The retail outlets have also come under the scanner as cigarette companies...


By Web Desk

“When you’re already $500bn DOWN, you can’t lose.” Donald Trump’s tweet earlier this week was a neat summary of the US president’s approach to trade: it combined economic illiteracy with the fallacy of an addicted gambler. Having set out plans to apply tit-for-tat tariffs to a collective $100bn worth of imports, the US and China now seem to be playing double or quits, with Mr Trump ordering officials to identify products on which to impose a further $100bn of tariffs, and Beijing declaring its intention to fight back.If the two countries act on their threats, however, history suggests that both sides will lose — with...


By David Sheppard

In the past 14 days Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, has faced a barrage of missiles aimed at its capital city, an attack on a supertanker hauling 2m barrels of crude, and a second missile launch aimed at oil storage tanks on its Red Sea coast.Oil prices, normally a reasonable barometer of geopolitical risk in the Middle East, have responded to these attacks from Houthi rebels in Yemen by falling 3 per cent over the same time period.Oil traders, distracted for now by a brewing trade war between the US and China, are at risk of growing complacent. But it is unlikely they will be able to discount Saudi Arabia’s conflict in...


By Philip Stephens

Sad to say, Donald Trump cannot be blamed for everything. Watching the US president lavish praise on autocrats, throw up trade barriers and disdain global rules and institutions, it seems a fair conclusion that he wants to upturn the liberal international order. Much of this work, though, had been done before he reached the White House. Mr Trump is as much emblem as cause of the descent into disorder.The west misread the collapse of Soviet communism. It was not, after all, the end of history. Happy assumptions about the permanent hegemony of laissez-faire capitalism and the historical inevitability of liberal democracy were rooted in a...


By Mehtab Haider.

Insight The outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government has taken drastic tax measures at the twilight of its tenure which pose the risk of shattering the entire system of taxation in the country. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi along with his Advisor on Finance Miftah Ismail unveiled an amnesty scheme for whitening of domestic and offshore foreign assets and reduced tax rates in a single go, something that had never happened up to such an extent in the history of Pakistan.Multilateral institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank too have always sternly opposed any kind of tax amnesty scheme...