Lahore, February 11, 2014 (PPI-OT): A 15-member delegation of Indian businessmen belonging to Federation of Indian Micro and Small and Medium Enterprises (FIMSE) Tuesday had a great interactive session with their counterparts here and pledged to work hand-in-hand to pave way for enhanced trade activities.
The meeting took place at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry. LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Tariq Misbah, Vice President Kashif Anwar and the leader of FIMSE delegation Mukesh Kalra exchanged views in an open and candid atmosphere. Former LCCI President Mohammad Ali Mian, former Vice President Shafqat Saeed Piracha, Executive Committee members Mian Zahid Javaid, Muhammad Afzal, Iftikhar Bashir Chaudhry, Talha Tayyab Butt, Zafar Mehmmod and Akber Sheikh also spoke on the occasion.
Mukesh Kalra, while stressing the need for joint ventures between the two sides, said that the FIMSE was preparing a well researched and well consulted study to identify sector-specific impediments to bilateral trade aimed at facilitating the business community in the two countries. He said that the study would be ready by March 31, 2014 and it would be furnished to the concerned quarters in the Indian government for appropriate measures in that direction.
He said that the two governments should make concerted efforts to implement Ease of Doing Business Phenomenon which is a key to attract foreign businesses. He said that the delayed issuance of visas to both Indian and Pakistani businessmen was the biggest hurdle to bilateral trade therefore the businessmen both in India and Pakistan should convince their respective governments to expedite the process in the larger interests of the people of this part of the world.
Mukesh Kalra expressed the optimism that Pak-India trade would get a quantum jump as soon as the trade ties turn normal. He said that there are no two opinions about it that Pakistan is a safe place to do business and a lucrative market as well.
The LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Tariq Misbah was of the view that the frequency of visits made by Indian delegations to Pakistan in the last couple of years shows that Indian business community is really very keen to study the Pakistani markets. He said that it is believed that such kind of relation building could play a big role in normalizing the trade ties between two countries.
Referring trade related data of last three years, the LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar said that it was very unfortunate that success in bringing any major increase in total trade between Pakistan and India remained a dream during all this time. From 2010 to 2012, the bilateral trade figures were $1.83 billion, $1.88 and $1.92 respectively.
“It indicates that either our efforts to enhance bilateral trade are not enough to produce results or we need to innovate the existing ways of business deals.”
“Likewise, the share of each country in bilateral trade is also almost constant i.e. India’s exports to Pakistan are five times than Pakistan’s exports to India. We are somewhat concerned about having lesser share in two way trade. We know that Indian economy is far larger than Pakistan but we want to minimize this trade gap. For that matter, India has to allow us to export much more than the existing level of exports.”
“The best way is to trade in raw material and semi-finished goods because in that case we can support each other’s industry and create employment opportunities across the borders.”
Kashif Anwar said that non tariff barriers imposed by Indian Authorities to discourage Pakistani exporters should be given a serious thought. He said that India must simplify these procedures to facilitate trade.
The LCCI Vice President said that that there was a strong need for educating masses on matters of peaceful co-existence and the advantages of conflict resolution rather than conflict pursuance. This is extremely crucial for promoting economic cooperation at all levels. We are peace loving country and want to have greater peace in the region.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854
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