KARACHI: President of the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) of India, Kamlesh Yagnik has said that it was possible to enhance the existing bilateral trade of $2 billion to $25 billion in the next 10 years through collective efforts by business communities of Pakistan and India.
This he said while speaking at a meeting during his visit to KCCI.
According to a statement issued here on Wednesday, he said “I am sure it can be achieved through collective efforts by the business communities and governments of both countries”.
Chairman of Businessmen Group and former President KCCI, Siraj Kassam Teli, President KCCI, Abdullah Zaki, Senior Vice President KCCI, Muffasar A. Malik, former president KCCI, A.Q. Khalil, Junaid Esmail Makda and other members of the Managing Committee were also present on the occasion whereas the SGCCI delegation comprised its president Kamlesh Yagnik, members including Devkishan Manghani, Ashok Jain, Priyaz Padela and Sohail Kazani.
President KCCI, Abdullah Zaki and President SGCCI, Kamlesh Yagnik also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for strengthening cooperation between the two chambers.
Kamlesh Yagnik further noted that currently trade between the two countries is being done via three modes including the direct trade, circular trade and informal trade. “The direct trade was through legal channels and other formalities, followed by circular trade in which India exports products to some other countries which are later imported by Pakistan from these countries whereas Pakistan also exports products to any other country and India imports these Pakistani products from that country”, he added.
He said that the sizeable informal trade between Pakistan and India requires serious attention. Collective efforts must be undertaken by the governments and the business communities of both countries to reduce this informal trade which if addressed will certainly pave way for improved relations between the business communities of both countries, besides ensuring substantial growth at the economic front.
“Every single Pakistani businessman is keen to do business with India”, he said while referring to his meetings with various representatives of Pakistani business community and added that trade between neighbouring countries has to be maximised and business communities of Pakistan and India should unite and work more closely in this regard.
Highlighting some obstacles in enhanced trade between Pakistan and India, Kamlesh Yagnik assured that an elaborate paper will be prepared by his organisation and sent to the concerned authorities in India for reviewing and easing the visa policy and various restrictions on Pakistanis visiting India.
Commenting on MFN status to India, he said that it will give rise to formal trade and result in taking the existing trade volume to new heights. He also suggested that instead of trading in dollars, a currency swap agreement should be inked by both governments which will prove favourable for both the economies.