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The News

Published Date: Dec 12, 2013

Pak-India trade good for both countries, says Dastagir

Minister of
State for Commerce, Textile & Privatisation Khurram Dastgir Khan has
stressed that trade between India and Pakistan is a win-win situation
for both countries, a fact supported by studies including those done by
Consumer Unity and Trust Society and SDPI.

He was the
chief guest on Wednesday at the second day of three-day 16th Sustainable
Development Conference titled ‘Creating momentum: today is tomorrow’
organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

Dastgir
observed that what we need is a non-discriminatory access to both
countries’ economies adding that we need to cooperate on the energy
production as well because both countries have exhaustible sources of
energy.

He said that the governments realise the
importance of regional connectivity so Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had
spoken and taken the courageous step towards a healthy bilateral
relationship with India and now we expect India to do the same.

Earlier,
in his opening address on Tuesday, Minister for Planning, Development
and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said that the global paradigm changed to digital
literacy which has no access to poor, hence creating a new division of
knowledge haves and have-nots.

He observed that the
challenge of our times is that economic thought generated by the
industrial revolution was now becoming redundant and new forces of
economic landscape including knowledge revolution are changing. He said
that wealth in the last two decades was not coming from manufacturing
empires and land estate but from knowledge houses and knowledge became
number one generator of wealth. He said that rise in global economy,
greater global architecture and regionalisation are becoming stronger
realities hence countries finding it difficult to compete with companies
from large home markets.

He said that we need learning
and a strong political will to move forward. He said that it is an
achievement that India is not an issue anymore in Pakistani elections
which also indicated our political maturity. People now more focus on
economic agenda, he said. He said that India and Pak are only countries
where mobile service gets cut off instead of putting on roaming. He said
that regional cooperation requires political confidence and trust.

Dr
Abid Suleri, executive director of the SDPI, in his opening remarks,
said that inaction on part of member states of Saarc has accelerated
development challenges for each of them individually as well as
collectively and there was need for urgent action to jointly consider
and implement interventions in favour of the suffering masses of South
Asia.

Hafiz Pasha, former minister of finance, said that
corruptive tax exemptions and concessions should be withdrawn for a much
needed increase in the Tax-GDP ratio. He said that a number of economic
challenges are due to non-economic factors like terrorism, rising
load-shedding, insurgency in Balochistan and rise in sectarian violence.
He called for cutting back non-essential imports because of Pakistan’s
poor balance of payments position.