Indian businessmen to travel to Pakistan for trade exhibition
New Delhi: To boost trade between India and Pakistan which has seen a modest recovery in recent years, a group of Indian businessmen will travel to Lahore for a trade exhibition.
The India Show 2014 is organized by the industry group of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Industry (FICCI) in partnership with the Indian Ministry of Commerce. Pakistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Trade Development Authority of India (TDAP) are supporting the event.
The three-day fair, which begins on Friday, is also an opportunity to intensify people-to-people contacts, seen as a key confidence-building measure between the two countries.
Representatives from 100 companies from various sectors will participate in the event, “which has the potential to expand trade networks between India and Pakistan, reduce costs, create jobs and expand regional trade.” , indicates the FICCI press release.
“This offers a gateway to a huge potential market in the region, an opportunity for companies on both sides to explore investments and joint ventures and a valuable platform to forge business links in the region,” the statement said.
The Indian show follows visits to India by several Pakistani trade delegations over the past two years. Trade between the two countries increased from $ 250 million in 2003 to $ 2.6 billion in 2013.
“The event responds to the objective of ensuring continued and growing engagement between our business communities and exploring the possibilities of expanding trade relations with Pakistan,” said Jyotsna Suri, senior vice president of the FICCI.
India and Pakistan on Wednesday resolved a three-week standoff that was triggered in January by the seizure of a Pakistani Kashmir (PoK) truck by Indian authorities for transporting valuable narcotics. ?? 100 crore, reported PTI. India had arrested the truck driver and Pakistan retaliated by arresting Indian truck drivers on its part of the Border Control Line (LoC).
Trade has been a major driver of the resumption of the Indo-Pakistan peace process which began in February 2011 after being disrupted by the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai. In 2012, India announced that it was allowing foreign direct investment (FDI) from Pakistan.
This was preceded by the Pakistani cabinet’s approval of a change to allow more products to be imported from India, responding to a long-standing demand by India to switch to so-called negative list-based trade rather than on a positive list. The move was seen as one more step towards granting Pakistan most-favored-nation status to India, which has yet to happen.
Ahead of the India Show, the FICCI presented some key suggestions for boosting bilateral trade and propelling trade engagement into a higher orbit.
The recommendations include approving and implementing non-discriminatory market access from Pakistan to India, further liberalizing the visa regime; signing of a multimodal transport and transit agreement; containerization of goods; authorize items that can be traded by land at Wagah; increasing customs opening hours from 12 to 24 hours throughout the week; increase the number of land customs posts; dismantling of non-tariff barriers; harmonization of customs and mutual recognition of standards.
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