LAHORE: Topmost 177 Pakistani businessmen, who are currently on seven-day long visit to Amritsar, Delhi and Agra, had fruitful discussion with their counterparts on removing non-tariff barriers in order to make easy ways to boost up mutual and bilateral trade.
Sources said that a number of important issues including the need for improved communication means for business and trade, establishment of banks in each other’s countries, availability of information about standards, certification requirements and formalities for opening offices and trading houses in India were discussed.
Indian and Pakistani businessmen are keen to begin new trade regime and minimise non-tariff barriers, sources reported LCCI President Sohail Lashari.
He was addressing an interactive B2B meeting between the Chambers of India and Chambers of Pakistan, organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Amritsar on Saturday as part of the ongoing 7th edition of Punjab International Trade Expo (PITEX-2013).
“We appreciate and acknowledge the warm response from the industrial and trading community in Pakistan,” said Rajiv Bali, Chairman, Punjab Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Naeem Anwar, Minister (Trade), High Commission of Pakistan, appreciated the efforts made by PHD Chamber to foster bilateral ties and mentioned that visits by delegations help multiply these efforts.
“The kind of growth seen in bilateral trade in the last 4 to 5 years could not happen in the last 60 years,” said Anwar. He said that the growth is on the back of the new visa policy for businessmen by virtue of which they are able to get multiple visas for up to 10 cities.
The Pakistani Minister Trade suggested making concerted efforts to allow investment from Pakistan in India and vice-versa. “Three reasons,” said Anwar “restrict trade between India and Pakistan, restrictions on the movement of businessmen, which could be eased through liberalized visa regime; delays in customs clearance, which could be resolved by keeping a positive mindset towards each other; and lack of product and sector specific approach, which was necessary to boost the trade volume,” he pointed out.
“People to people contacts between India and Pakistan should be encouraged at all levels and visa restrictions should be relaxed to ease the movement of the trading community,” leader of the Gujranwala delegation Sheikh Rauf said.