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Scope to improve Indo-Pak bilateral trade to US$ 6bn
Dec '11
There is a scope to improve bilateral trade between India and Pakistan to US$ 6 billion by taking necessary steps to promote trade between the two neighbouring countries.

Talking to fibre2fashion, Mr. Ijaz Khokhar, Chief Coordinator, Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA), said, “The promotion of regional trade between Pakistan and India will be supportive in enhancing the volume of bilateral trade from US$ 2 billion to US$ 6 billion within the next few years.”

“If both Governments are serious to promote trade, they should firstly eliminate all barriers, including non-tariff barriers, as early as possible. Secondly, they should issue a business visa of at least one year duration enabling multiple entries for both the countries. The condition allowing multiple entries in only three cities of India should also be done away with. Next, the Governments should organize more textile and garment exhibitions in both the countries to promote business and increase interactions,” he stated.

“At the moment, roughly US$ 1.5 billion worth of business between India and Pakistan is conducted through Dubai. So, establishment of a legal channel will divert this into direct trade and ultimately the trade value will go up to US$ 6 billion,” he added.

“Currently, there are a lot of custom barriers on the Indian side. So, it takes long time for Pakistani goods to reach India. The goods need to go for sample testing at the labs which takes very long and is very expensive. Thus, the goods reach the importers after a lot of delay, which costs them heavily. There are other barriers on both sides and that need to be eliminated with the true spirit of cooperation,” he stressed.

“Furthermore, trade relations can be enhanced only when the business community has a close interaction, which is possible through B2B meetings. The Pakistani entrepreneurs should visit India and vice-versa. The Indian High Commission in Pakistan has assured us that Indian Government will issue a visa of one year duration with permission for multiple entries. This visa would be exempted from police reporting (EPR). If this happens, within a short span of time, the trade between the two countries will gain momentum,” the PRGMEA Chief Coordinator said.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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