All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) to lead trade facilitation process with India, said Group Leader Gohar Ejaz during the visit of Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal to All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA). On his suggestion for multiple APTMA-specific visa facility, the Indian HC announced a special visa service for APTMA members in line with the SAARC model.
Further, he announced one year triple entry visas for APTMA covering 10 cities with one side entry through land border and return through airport, exempted from police investigation. He said the visas would be for the CEOs and Directors of APTMA members and their spouses, followed by the executives of the companies.
Mr Gohar Ejaz said the APTMA would be prepared to act as one stop shop for match-making of trade and investment projects between the entrepreneurs of two countries in order to alleviate the menace of growing unemployment in the region.
Chairman APTMA Ahsan Bashir welcomed at the APTMA Punjab office. Chairman APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan and other office-bearers besides the Executive Committee members were also present on the occasion.
According to him, the current level of trade between two countries was hardly at $1.15 billion, which can be reached $10 billion by facilitating the entrepreneurs of two countries.
Chairman APTMA Punjab Shahzad Ali Khan suggested in his address establishment of joint container company for increase in trade between India and Pakistan for overcoming transport infrastructure constraints in the larger interest of trade and investment between two countries. He also proposed for the establishment of joint meeting facility at the borders until visa relaxations.
The Indian Ambassador said the role of private sector is very crucial for trade normalization between Pakistan and India. He said the dialogue process resumed in 2011 when India withdrew objections on trade-relating EU concessions to Pakistan.
It increased the degree of trust between two countries with reciprocity from both sides that led to serious trade talks. India allowed investment from Pakistan by lifting restrictions. He said there are 138 items importable from India through Wagha. But there are capacity issues which needed to be resolved earliest. Further, he also said that longer hour working for Customs have been introduced on both sides of the Wagha border. The sensitive list would be reduced to 400 from current 600 items. Once Pakistan phased out the negative list, India would be entitled to the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status, he said.