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  • Indo-Pak trade could touch $15 billion a year

    Published on February 11, 2012

    India and Pakistan have the potential to boost bilateral trade to $15 billion a year. This was stated by Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal in Lahore at the inauguration of the largest ever India-specific trade exhibition in Pakistan today.

    Sabharwal said India is a growing economy and other countries of the region too should benefit from its growth. Both should have trust and understanding for the mutual benefit of the people of the two nations.

    Allaying fears of Pakistani Industries, Pakistan Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim said prices of medicines in India are cheap and Pakistan should benefit from it. Mr. Fahim said Pakistani traders have raised some issues on India’s visa regime and customs regulations and these should be resolved on a priority basis.

    Close to 200 Indian exhibitors are participating in the three-day India Show organised at the Lahore Expo Centre.

    A wide range of products from gems to heavy machinery, are being showcased at the exhibition. The Exhibition was formally opened by Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim two days ahead of Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma’s visit to Pakistan. Sharma will be accompanied by a large business delegation for talks aimed at normalizing trade relations between the two countries.

    The Commerce Secretary-level talks have already led to the approval of several steps by both countries to dismantle hurdles in the way of increasing official trade to $6 billion by 2014. Direct trade between India and Pakistan constitutes less than one per cent of their respective global trade. India exported goods worth $2.33 billion to Pakistan last year while its imports were a mere $330 million.

    Islamabad is currently in the process of switching from a positive list regime to a negative list regime. Pakistan government has said it intends to give India Most Favoured Nation status by the end of the year.

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