LAHORE: Vice President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and head of 10-member visiting Indian delegation, Arun Kumar Sexena, advocated barrier-free Pak-India trade and called for exploiting proximity advantage between the two countries.
Arun Kumar Sexena was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar, President-elect Engineer Sohail Lashari presented Welcome Address while Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad, Vice President-elect Kashif Anwar, SAARC Chamber of Commerce Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik, LCCI Pak-India Trade Promotion Committee Chairman Aftab Ahmad Vohra also spoke on the occasion.
There should be no trade via third country as it would not only jack up the volume of two-way trade but would also cut transportation cost, Sexena said, added that Pakistani sports goods, surgical goods, spices, cotton lawn, leather, chemicals and light engineering goods are in great demand in India, therefore Pakistani businessmen should avail the opportunities available in these sectors.
He also urged the LCCI members to initiate joint ventures with their Indian counterparts and enumerated a number of sectors where the businessmen of the two countries could join hands. He said that the private sector in the two countries should share their strengths for the sake of progress and prosperity in the region. He said that the visa regime should be more liberalised and there must not be city-specific visas. Citing the example of 10-year multiple visas being granted to businessmen by the USA, Canada and UK, he said that the neighbouring countries should adopt the same approach to facilitate the business doing people.
While appreciating the efforts of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry for the promotion of trade & industry, he said that the LCCI is one of the most active chambers in the world.
LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said that the best option to enhance bilateral trade would be to identify areas of common interest for economic cooperation. He said that non-tariff barriers had been a key issue for Pakistani businessmen while accessing the Indian market. There are genuine non-tariff barriers related to the complexity of regulatory procedures, non-transparent regulations, port restrictions, and problems related to recognition of standards and valuation of goods, he added.
President-elect Engineer Sohail Lashari said that despite continuous exchange of delegations, nothing concrete has so far been achieved. He said that both the sides need to take practical measures to bring much-needed change and in the larger interests of the people in the two countries. He called for change in mindset to expedite trade between Pakistan and India.
SAARC Vice President Iftikhar Ali Malik said that the SAARC is an excellent platform to address the issues of regional countries. Business communities on both sides should gather and solve their problems rather than just depending on bureaucracy and the governments, he added.
The members of delegation included: BM Khanna, Dheeraj Pandey, Arun K Saxena, Anum Srivastava, Anil Kumar, Vinod Kumar, Durgesh Buxy, Chinmoy Sur and Manish Mohan.