November 20, 2017
By Web Desk

Donald Trump’s tour of Asia — his most significant exercise in foreign policy since taking office — provided, in many ways, a snapshot of his presidency. Like the curate’s egg, his diplomatic foray was good in parts. But its overall effect has been to strengthen doubts over US commitment to longstanding alliances, undermine confidence in American values and place the US on the sidelines of regional initiatives.The underlying aims of the trip were threefold. First, to urge unity in confronting and containing the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. Second, to reassert America’s role in the region as counterweight to a newly...


By Jonathan Ford

When Goldman Sachs gave £500,000 to the pro-EU campaign before Britain’s European referendum last year, opinions among those favouring remain were divided. I well remember a friend putting his head in his hands at the news of the bank’s donation. “That’s got to be worth several hundred thousand votes to the other side,” he wailed.Well, you can’t win them all, not even if you are Goldman. But it takes more than a setback at the ballot box to keep a virtuoso lobbyist like “Government” Sachs down.In the past few weeks, the bank’s boss, Lloyd Blankfein, has been conducting a not-so-stealthy Twitter campaign about Brexit. The...


By Mehtab Haider.

Insight Amid much higher expectations, Pakistan and China are all set to hold 7th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting this week in Islamabad under the umbrella of the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). During this JCC meeting, Islamabad will be focusing upon materialising industrial cooperation to turn the dream of being part of the biggest global supply chain into a reality.However, at the moment it is just a dream, because China has placed different kinds of tariff and non-tariff barriers in a deliberate effort to curb supply of goods in shape of exports from the Pakistani side.Under these circumstances,...


By Richard Branson

ColumnQ: I have a business idea that I developed while at university. I’ve conducted the necessary market research to know that my business would fulfil a real need. In fact, I’m a million percent sure that it would be a huge success.So what do I do now? I have my idea, my research and my business plan. What I don’t have is any idea about what to do next or any money to invest. I’ve looked into business loans, but I’m overwhelmed by all the options. What would you do if you were in my situation?— Natalie English, United KingdomA: It sounds like you’re in a great position, Natalie. I wish I could be a million percent certain a...


By Jan Khaskheli

AGRICULTURE Moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia), a drought-resistant legume, despite being a nutrient food crop, has been put on low priority for research and farming by the government as well as farmers.It is a hardy crop with potential medicinal values as well. It hardly faces any kind of threat from pests and diseases, however, it is still not given priority in cultivation by the farmers or the government departments concerned with agriculture. Farmers in Sindh reportedly lost this crop seed many years ago due to multiple reasons, mainly low cultivation priority. Only in Tharparkar District farmers grew this legume on...


By Sirajuddin Aziz

MANAGEMENT Recently I was invited to speak to final year class of MBA at a prestigious university. During the conversation with the professor who was coordinating the session, I learnt that the topic I was being expected to speak upon is ‘Authentic Leadership’. Silently, I said to myself authentic…what is authentic? The many meanings of the word are true, actual, real, legitimate, bona fide and the antonym of authentic is, counterfeit, fake, sham, bogus unreal, untrue, deceptive, misleading and so on. So to begin, I said to him, that leaders can only be authentic so why use it as a prefix? Can there be leadership that is...


By Zeeshan Haider

FOCUS When Shahid Khaqan Abbasi assumed the office of Prime Minister in August, he had promised that he would not just keep the seat warm for his successor and would try his best to deliver on promises his leadership has committed.He may feel satisfied about the overall performance of his government but there are few vulnerable areas where he needs to give attention on priority basis.His top-most priority should be to address the economic challenges faced by the country.Whenever these challenges are mentioned, the only defence put up by his cabinet ministers is to draw comparison between the present economic situation and that of the...


By Martin Wolf

Asset prices are, some argue, in an “omnibubble”: prices of every important asset in the high-income countries — stocks, housing and bonds — are at such exalted levels that a devastating crash is inevitable. Moreover, at these prices, prospective returns are too low, which is plainly unfair to wealth owners. It is also clear who is to blame: the central banks. Off with their wretched heads, is the cry. Is there much merit in these points? Assets are indeed expensive by historical standards. Consider stocks. The Nobel-Laureate, Robert Shiller, developed the cyclically-adjusted price/earnings ratio, the so-called...


By Web Desk

The free flow of capital is a hallmark of modern capitalism. Major economies can function as they do because capital moves freely across most national borders. This makes the world a more prosperous place, but at a cost: it creates opportunities for aggressive tax accounting, outright tax evasion, money laundering, and sanctions-busting. The Paradise Papers — 13.4m financial documents belonging to offshore law firm Appleby — have revealed many cases of avoidance, some of them aggressive. As eye-opening as some of these cases may be, the papers contain no obvious instances of criminality. The line between tax evasion and tax...