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2014-02-27

India, Pak businessmen recommends more land routes to boost trade

Indian and Pakistani businessmen have recommended opening up of more land routes to boost trade between the two nations.

Indian and Pakistani businessmen have recommended opening up of more land routes to boost trade between the two nations. 
 

During wide-ranging discussions at the Pakistan India Joint Business Forum held in Lahore recently, they called for formation of task-forces on sectors like agriculture, automotive, energy and SMEs, while concluding with a list of recommendations identifying areas of potential cooperation, according to a report by Pakistani daily 'Dawn'. 
 

Businessmen of both sides recommended opening up of more land routes, ensuring that the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at the Wagah-Attari border is operational on both sides and facilitating phone communication, the report said. 
 

The delegates also emphasised on the need for a dispute resolution mechanism and proposed the immediate implementation of the Redress of Trade Grievances Agreement, ratified by both countries in September 2012. 
 

They noted that there had been progress in the power sector with India offering to sell electricity to Pakistan and both sides discussing tariffs and modalities for transmission. 
 

The energy task-force emphasised the importance of business-to-business collaboration and government support, specifically in renewable energy projects. 
 

The two governments were advised to move forward in facilitating cross-border sale of power. 
 

However a majority of Pakistani delegates were of the opinion that like the previous two rounds of negotiations, they got a clear message that India is ready to accord access to its markets through manufacturing on its soil and not through trade. 
 

"In spite of repeated requests, the Indians kept on explaining customs and excise duties that too without cascade and not tariff," some delegates representing Pakistan's agriculture, auto and engineering besides SME sectors in the negotiations, told Dawn.

 

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