Lahore, December 06, 2013 (PPI-OT): A large 177-member Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry delegation under the leadership of LCCI President Engineer Sohail Lashari on Friday crossed over to India to take part in Punjab International Trade Expo 2013 (PITEX 2013) at Ranjit Avenue, Amritsar.
LCCI Vice President Kashif Anwar, Executive Committee Members Mudassar Masood Chaudhry, Zeeshan Khalil, Khawaja Khawar Rashid, Raja Hamid Riaz, Maqsood Ahmad Butt, Talha Tayyab Butt, former Vice Presidents Aftab Ahmad Vohra and Saeeda Nazar were prominent among the delegates.
The LCCI President during his visit to India will also have meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner in India to discuss ways and means to further improve the bilateral trade that is considerably low as compared to the potential in the two countries.
Engineer Sohail Lshari would also address business gatherings at Punjab Haryana Delhi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Agra National Chamber of Industries and Commerce with an objective to share Non Tariff Barriers being faced by Pakistan’s business community with Indian private sector.
Meanwhile, the LCCI President expressed the optimism that Punjab International Trade Expo 2013 (PITEX 2013) would render an integrated approach to serve as a generator of economic growth and development and to help achieve the overall economic development objectives of the two countries.
The LCCI President said that trade exhibitions and exchange of delegations are a proven tool and always provide great opportunity to the entrepreneurs, importers, and exporters, for sales, marketing, promotion and networking with their fellow counterparts and international players as well as give them direct exposure and interaction with their prospective customers and take their business to newer heights. Engineer Sohail Lashari expressed his dismay over the low volume of trade between India and Pakistan. He said that India and Pakistan should promote regional trade on the pattern of ASEAN, EU, NAFTA, etc. to boost bilateral trade.
The LCCI President said that the promotion of trade 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 would get better automatically”, he said. Engineer Sohail Lashari stressed the need for promoting border trade particularly through land routes which is in favour of both the countries.
He said that 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 and 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 and vegetable fats, beverages, spirits, vinegar, leather and 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 and 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.
The LCCI president said, “We, the business community, are committed to have a serious, sustainable and constructive engagement with India. Engineer Sohail Lashari hoped that the PITEX 13 would be able to generate a lot of trade activity which is the need of the hour in order to unlock the tremendous trade and business potential offered by this region.
For more information, contact:
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 111 222 499
Fax: +92 42 636 8854