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Pakistan Observer

Published Date: May 16, 2013

Pak-India trade normalization process needs to be on steady track

India Business Council and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in a
meeting held here on Wednesday expressed the desire for keeping trade normalization
process between India and Pakistan on a steady track.

on at the occasion, Chairman of Pak India Business Council Noor Muhammad Kasuri
informed that Pakistan chapter of newly established ‘Pakistan India Joint
Business Council’ will have its first meeting in Lahore on 17th May 2013 in
which it would discuss the way forward regarding trade integration between
India and Pakistan and prepare agenda for joint meeting to be held in July 2013
with Indian counterparts.

of the council felicitated the new elected government and welcomed Mian Nawaz
Sharif’s intensions for normalization of bilateral relations and appreciated
his stance on giving MFN status to India.

Vaqar Ahmed, Deputy Executive Director SDPI was of the opinion that despite
political tensions, trade should continue on both sides and added that business
community and civil society should play their role in this important endeavor.

“Consumer associations in Pakistan must realize that inflation can
significantly reduce if trade with India is further liberalized,” he added. He
lamented the fact that land route of only Wagha/Attari is opened for trade with
India while other routes are still closed. He also mentioned that Sindh is the
only province in Pakistan which is deprived of trade with its regional neighbor
while all other provinces are doing trade with neighboring countries.

research at SDPI has indicated that despite of so many trade barriers, there is
substantial consumer demand for Indian products owning to their better quality
and lower prices. It is estimated that Indian goods worth US $4.2 billion
dollars enters Pakistan through informal channels annually. “If the government
removes trade restrictions and improves border related infrastructure this huge
informal flow can be formalized, resulting in revenue gains for government of
Pakistan,” he added.