LAHORE: Trade between Pakistan and India will help reduce poverty in both countries and lead to economic development and resolution of political issues. This was the general opinion of experts and analysts of trade between Pakistan and India.
Pakistan-India Chamber of Commerce President S.M. Muneer has said that Pakistan’s economy especially industrial sector would boost by having a larger market in India for its products. Regarding the solution of other issues with India, Muneer said that mutual trade should be promoted at any cost, adding that in this regard politics should be separated from trade ties between the two countries.
Muneer lauded the agreement of the two countries on opening of Wagha border for mutual trade and decision to set up branches of Indian and Pakistani banks in each other’s country. He said that both the countries will benefit from the understanding reached on issuance of visas to the bona fide businessmen for one year and for ten cities. Previously, the visas were issued for one-to-two months and for three cities only.
Analyst Dr. Muhammad Khan has said that Pak-India joint communiqué is a worthy effort to pave the way for development of peace. He said that as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his meeting with Indian counterpart decided to boost bilateral trade, the agreement to enhance volume of trade between the two countries is a sign of Pakistan government’s sincerity. He stressed the need to further reduce trade barriers between the two countries. He said political stability is necessary for promotion of bilateral trade.
Former Finance Minister and Economist Shaukat Tareen said SAARC countries are doing hardly 5% regional trade, which is very low as compared to ASEAN and European Union doing more than 35% of regional trade. “We have to remove non-trade barriers between Pakistan and India. Establishment of posts at the border and setting up bank branches in each other’s country is one such step which will greatly help to increase regional trade volume,” he added.
Indian Journalist Nilofar Soharwardi has expressed appreciation for the decision of commerce ministers of both countries to take a number of steps to enhance bilateral trade. She said opening of 24-hour customs will help increase bilateral trade more. She added that the trade between Pakistan and India will help reduce poverty in both countries and lead to economic development and resolution of political issues.