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Posted at: Dec 6, 2014, 2:02 AM; last updated: Dec 6, 2014, 2:02 AM (IST)

India, Pak for more interaction to enhance trade in region

India, Pak for more interaction to enhance trade in region

Members of various chambers of commerce and industry from Pakistan during the B2B interaction at the PITEX-2014 in Amritsar on Friday. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 5

The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry agreed to join hands and submit representations to their respective governments to strengthen trade in the region here today.

Members of these trade bodies held the B2B interactions between the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The interaction was organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry as part of the five-day trade expo, PHD-Punjab International Trade Expo, here today.

Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi, the vice-president — and the leader of the delegation — of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry stressed that both governments should sit together and resolve issues and arrangements should be made to the effect that political pressures did not affect trade in the region.

He asserted that traders from both India and Pakistan were keen to start a new trade regime and minimise non-tariff barriers.

“The first and foremost purpose of organising such events is to facilitate more and more interaction between the industry and trading counterparts of the participating countries,” said RS Sachdeva, co- chairman, Punjab Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Delegates from the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Sargodha Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Jehlum Chamber of Commerce and Industry were present on the occasion.

Traders on both the sides echoed similar concerns and advocated the need for open trade. More efforts are required to enhance bilateral trade, said the members of these bodies.

“Only peace could bring about a positive change in the lives of South Asians. The obvious impediments in the way of prosperity and progress of the region need to be done away with,” said Ammar Atta Bajwa, president, Sargodha Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mirza Fazal-ur-Rehman, president, Jhelum Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was also present on the occasion.

The delegates urged the industry leaders to make concerted efforts and push both the governments to allow investment from Pakistan in India and vice-versa. “Thus, if Indian products are manufactured in Pakistan and Pakistani products in India, it can open trade routes up to Central Asia and South Asia,” said one of the delegates.

Three reasons, said the industrialists, restrict trade between India and Pakistan — restrictions on the movement of businessmen, which could be eased through a liberalised visa regime; delays in customs clearance, which could be resolved by having a positive mindset towards each other; and lack of a product and sector-specific approach, which was necessary to boost the volume of the trade.

Dalip Sharma, director, PHD Chamber, said both the nations enjoy cultural, social and economic similarities besides geographical proximity, which could go a long way in strengthening our bilateral economic ties. He said the need was to reduce the trust deficit between the people of India and Pakistan.

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