ISLAMABAD: SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC CCI) Thursday urged upon the Indian government to resume composite dialogue with Pakistan at the earliest that will help tap existing $50 billion trade potential between the neghbouring countries.
“The Indo-Pak trade could jump to 10 times up the current volume while the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers could result in an expansion of trade between the two countries from its current $2.5 billion to about $50 billion,”
This was stated by Senior Vice President SCCI, Iftikhar Ali Malik while addressing a press conference in New Delhi, according to a press statement issued here Thursday. Malik, who is leading a delegation to India said, New Delhi should play its role to resolve bilateral issues with Pakistan, which are creating hurdles in bilateral trade.
Among others, Pakistan’s Commercial Councillor to India, Naeem Malik and delegation members SM Muneer, Chairman Indo Pak Chamber of commerce, Zubair Tufail, SM Naseer and Malik Sohail Hussain were present on the occasion.
“With the cross border trade especially being brought in for a noticeable transformation, it shall contribute to overall tranquility and peace in the area and shall well facilitate progress in the border areas,” Malik said. Former president of the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Zubair Tufail said that “Being a part of the integrated approach towards better trade ties, such interactions play important,” adding these efforts needed to be continued.
Chairman of the Indo-Pak Chamber of Commerce and Industry SM Muneer was of the view that Indian government has made visa policy very strict for the Pakistani business community as they are given visa for only three months which is one of the main impediment in the trade activities between two countries.
He said that SAARC countries have a great trade potential, they are rich with all resources, but with the political will SAARC countries can increase their share in world economy from 7 to 70 % in the coming years.
“Booming bilateral trade may well be the strongest pillar of Indo-Pak rapprochement so much so that it shall not only overtake the pace of general confidence-building but also have a substantial impact on each other’s mutual perceptions,” he said.
He shared that there is lot of scope for trade in handicrafts, textiles, surgical item, sport goods, and renewable energy sector and many more between India and Pakistan.