Islamabad, April 27:

Pakistan has offered Chinese companies open investment opportunities in oil and gas fields. The 34 blocks on offer include 26 onshore and eight offshore ones. The offer was made to the Chinese investors yesterday during the ongoing Pakistan-China energy forum talks. The three-day energy forum that open-ed on Tuesday is being held in pursuance of a framework agreement on energy cooperation that was signed by the two countries during president Pervez Musharraf’s visit to China in February.

Speaking at the inauguration of the forum, prime minister Shaukat Aziz had said Pakistan and China sho-uld “reinforce our traditional friendship with a strong and vibrant economic partnership”. He said Pakistan wanted to expand its economic cooperation with China.

‘Withdraw duty’

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has asked Pakistan’s Central Board of Revenue to withdraw the duty and tax rebate schemes that were introduced to give incentives to exporters but had not proved effective. Official sources said the World Bank had expressed concern over the existing schemes permitting duty- and tax-free import of raw materials used in the manufacture of export products. — HNS

Telecom profit

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Co Ltd (PTCL) has reported a 28 per cent fall in net profit for the nine-month period ended on March 31 as increased competition resulted in lower call traffic and reduced tariffs. PTCL, wh-ich enjoys a virtual monopoly on Pakistan’s la-ndlines and also opera-tes cell phone and inte-rnet services, posted net profit of $254.45 million for nine-month. — HNS