The Prime Minister,
I would like to draw your attention towards the low volume of trade between India and Pakistan. The promotion of trade between the two countries is the only way to achieve the common goal of progress and prosperity in the region. The two neighbouring countries should not mix trade with politics and business community should be allowed to carry on trade without hurdles. If we have strong trade relations the political relations will get better automatically.
The potential gains from increased economic integration between India and Pakistan are large whereas mutual trade between the two countries is unnaturally small. Further efforts to facilitate and increase trade can become an effective tool to promote relations. Pakistan’s major exports to India include vegetables, fruits & nuts, sugar confectionery, mineral fuels, salt etc., but these exports form a very insignificant proportion of India’s imports of these commodities. A big chunk of these commodities is imported by India from countries other than Pakistan. If trade between Pakistan and India is liberalized the exports of these commodities to India can take a quantum jump.
Similarly, there is a great potential for export of fish, resins, animal & vegetable fats, beverages, spirits, vinegar, leather & leather goods, carpets, pharmaceutical products and tobacco.
Similarly, Pakistan can import cotton seed, meat, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, tea, cereals, organic chemicals, pharmaceutical products, tanning, dyeing extracts, chemical products, plastics, rubber and rubber products, iron & steel, machinery, vehicles, raw-materials and semi-finished products etc. Informal trade, via third countries (such as the United Arab Emirates, specifically Dubai), is estimated at some $2 billion to $3 billion per year, and this trade could obviously be undertaken bilaterally at significantly lower cost.
We, the business community, are committed to have a serious, sustainable and constructive engagement with India.
I request you to please do the needful in order to generate a lot of trade activity which is need of the hour to unlock the tremendous trade and business potential offered by this region.