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Business Recorder

Published Date: Mar 17, 2013

Track-II dialogue on enhancing Pak-India trade concludes

A
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
countries.

The
dialogue, held in New-Delhi, was the result of efforts by 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 here 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.

It
was also decided to keep this process alive on a sustained footing and hold
next meeting at Wagah-Attari border to signify the ownership of this effort.
There was also a consensus demand to award MFN status to India.

Referring
to measures taken in terms of trade liberalization, the delegates showed
satisfaction and mentioned the encouraging fact that Pakistani exports to India
have rose up by 27 percent from an increase of US$ 333 million to US$ 422
million in year 2012.

The
Pakistani delegation consisted of two former finance ministers, Dr. Hafeez A.
Pasha and Dr. Salman Shah; Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, Deputy Executive Director, SDPI;
Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Former Pakistan’s Ambassador to WTO; Syed Yawar Ali,
Chairman Nestle Pakistan; 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 as well along with the greater cooperation on FDI.

They
also explained the ongoing constraints in awarding MFN status to India and
highlighted various measures taken by government of Pakistan towards the
rationalization of `trade list’ and trade facilitation with India.

Speaking
on the occasion Dr Vaqar Ahmed of SDPI highlighted the potential of Pakistani
investments in India and estimated it to be around US 2.6 billion dollars
annually.

The
dignitaries at the meeting from Indian side included Pawan Kumar Bansal, Indian
Minster for Railways along with the Secretary and Additional Secretary from
Ministry of Commerce.

Other
distinguished delegates included Isher Judge Ahluwalia, Chairperson, ICRIER;
Nagesh Kumar, Director UN ESCAP and Nisha Taneja, Professor at ICRIER. Vast
numbers of academics from Jawarlal Nehru University; Jamia Millia University
and representatives from business community also attended the meeting.