Islamabad, June 28, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) will jointly organize a roundtable on Indo-Pakistan trade ties with an emphasis on non-tariff barriers to trade (NTBs) in September 2013 in Karachi.
This was decided in a meeting held between FPCCI and a team from ICRIER comprising of Dr. Nisha Taneja, Sanjana Joshi and Samridhi Bimal who visited the FPCCI Head Office. It was further stated by the ICRIER team that this is the second event in the series of roundtables on Indo-Pakistan trade which was initiated last year, with the first roundtable held in Lahore by ICRIER in partnership with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
While welcoming the idea of the roundtable, Mr. Shaheen Ilyas Sarwana, Vice President of FPCCI and Mr. S.M. Muneer, President of the India Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that this roundtable will provide opportunities to the business community of both countries to discuss Indo-Pak trade relations and non-tariff barriers to trade (NTBs) hampering the promotion of trade.
It was further discussed that the representatives of regional chambers of commerce from India would also attend the roundtable to give their proposals and suggestions. It was also decided to hold the roundtable on the sidelines of the Expo Pakistan 2013.
Mr. Sarwana stated that Pakistan and India must act like mature nations and work towards better relations through the route of trade. He said that as the bigger country, India should set a good precedent by removing the NTBs faced by Pakistani exporters, which would also help to remove the apprehensions of Pakistani businessmen regarding trade with India.
Mr. S.M. Muneer said that Pakistani exporters faced NTBs such as clearance delay at customs stage at Indian ports and requirements regarding certification which impeded trade considerably. He also laid stress on Indian airlines to initiate flights to Pakistan, saying that more direct flights between the two countries would help save time and money, and also bring the people closer together. Furthermore, he said that the process of visas in both countries was cumbersome, and made trade between the two difficult.
Dr. Nisha Taneja said that after holding the first roundtable of the series successfully in Lahore, ICRIER was now going to organize this second roundtable in Karachi, in order to identify the problems faced by businessmen of both sides in trading with each other. She said that Indian businessmen were eager to trade with Pakistan, and the Indian market was extremely receptive to Pakistani textiles and fashion.
Mrs Rukhsana Jehangir Vice President FPCCI and Mr. Nasiruddin Sheikh Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Fair and Exhibition highlighted the problems being faced by Pakistani exhibitors in Indian customs which some time cause unnecessary delay in release of goods resulting in lapse of precious days of exhibitions.
The Indian team was informed about the future program of FPCCI of fair and exhibition in India. Both side also discussed MFN status and its benefits which could not be achieved by both the nations. They were also of the opinion that until visa procedure is ease nothing can happen in terms of promotion of bilateral trade and economic relations.
For more information, contact:
Syed Masood Alam Rizvi
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Tel: 0092-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +9221 3587 4332