Published Date: Mar 18, 2013
Pak-India Track-II dialogue
high-level business and trade delegation from Pakistan recently visited India
to take part in track-II dialogue on enhancing trade relations between the two
The dialogue, held in New-Delhi, was the result of efforts by the Sustainable
Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Indian Council for Research on
International Economic Relations (ICRIER) to forge greater business ties
between the two nations, said a press release issued on Sunday. The track-II
meeting successfully concluded with the formation of joint India-Pakistan
Business Council, which is an important milestone for businessmen of both the
countries to deliberate on issues concerning mutual trade.
was also decided to keep this process alive on a sustained footing and hold the
next meeting at Wagah-Attari border to signify the ownership of this effort.
There was also a consensus on the demand to award MFN status to India.
Referring to measures taken in terms of trade liberalisation, the delegates
showed satisfaction and mentioned the encouraging fact that Pakistani exports
to India have risen by 27 percent from $333 million to $422 million in 2012.
Pakistani delegation consisted of two former finance ministers, Dr Hafeez A
Pasha and Dr Salman Shah, SDPI Deputy Executive Director Dr Vaqar Ahmed,
Pakistan’s former ambassador to WTO Dr Manzoor Ahmed, Nestle Pakistan Chairman
Syed Yawar Ali, faculty members from LUMS and representatives of the media.
During the meeting, Pakistani delegates conveyed that for the first time there
is a consensus in Pakistan on promoting trade with India, not just in goods but
also in services along with greater cooperation on foreign direct investment.
They also explained the constraints in awarding MFN status to India and
highlighted various measures taken by the government of Pakistan for the
rationalisation of “trade list” and trade facilitation with India. Speaking on
the occasion, Dr Vaqar Ahmed of the SDPI highlighted the potential of Pakistani
investments in India and estimated it to be around $2.6 billion annually. The
dignitaries at the meeting from the Indian side included Indian Minster for
Railways Pawan Kumar Bansal and Ministry of Commerce secretary and additional
distinguished delegates included ICRIER Chairperson Isher Judge Ahluwalia, UN
ESCAP Director Nagesh Kumar and Nisha Taneja, Professor at ICRIER. A vast
number of academics from Jawarlal Nehru University; Jamia Millia University and
representatives from business community also attended the meeting.