India-Pakistan annual trade potential is $15 billion
By Rizwan Khatik - Sat Feb 11, 2:17 pm
India and Pakistan have the potential to boost bilateral trade to $15 billion a year, High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal said today at the inauguration of the largest ever India-specific trade exhibition in Pakistan.
Close to 200 Indian exhibitors are participating in the three-day India Show organised at the Lahore Expo Centre.
A wide array of products, ranging from gems to heavy machinery, is being showcased at the exhibition that was formally opened by Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim.
Sabharwal urged businessmen from both countries to explore opportunities to boost trade, and said the two countries had potential to boost bilateral trade to $15 billion a year.
India is a growing economy and other countries of the region too should benefit from its growth, he said.
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 USD six 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 and thePakistan government has said it intends to give India Most Favoured Nation-status by the end of the year.
Pakistan has called on India to remove what it describes as non-tariff barriers.
India has clarified that its regulations are not Pakistan-specific though it is willing to address the issues raised by Pakistani traders.