KARACHI: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Yasin Siddique has urged the Indian authorities to remove non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to boost bilateral trade between the two neighbouring countries.
Speaking while welcoming the 15-member delegation of Indian journalists led by Mumbai Press Club President Gurbir Singh at APTMA house, Siddik said that Pakistan’s business community has welcomed the most-favoured nation (MFN) status to be granted to India and highlighted that the non-tariff barriers created by Delhi will hinder the smooth flow of trade between the two countries.
“We are in favour of promotion of trade with regional countries, especially with our neighbours to ensure peace, prosperity and economic revival,” Yasin said.
He said that India should open its market to Pakistani goods to normalise bilateral trade and capitalise on the potential for joint business strategies, particularly in the textile sector. He pointed out that as per statistics trade between the two sides was $1.4 billion in 2009-10. Of this, Indian exports to Pakistan stood at $1.2 billion, while Pakistan’s exports to India were a meagre $268 million. “It is a clear proof that India has not opened up its market to Pakistani goods,” he said.
He reminded the Indian delegation that though Delhi had given MFN status to Pakistan in 1996, Pakistan still faced countless trade barriers. Due to these barriers, Pakistani manufacturers could not get any benefit of the MFN status despite the passage of about 17 years, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Gurbir Sindh, Mumbai Press Club President also supported the APTMA views. “We also support the idea of liberalising visa procedure between the two countries to enhance trade relations and ensure peace in the region,” he added.
He expressed his dismay over the fact that only two journalists were allowed to work in each other’s country.