Vikramjit hails Pak goodwill gesture for peace and prosperity

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The SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry president on Monday hailed the goodwill gesture of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for durable peace and prosperity in South Asia.
Talking to APP from New Delhi, Vikramjit Singh Sahney said that a delegation of Pak-India Joint Business Council called on Nawaz in Islamabad on June 29. He said during the meeting, the PM stressed on the need to explore potential areas of cooperation between the two countries and he said his government would pursue investor-friendly policies. He said SCCI would fully ensure market access and the industrialists of both countries must also be provided a level playing field. Vikram said Nawaz had also informed the delegates that during his last tenure, he had pursued a policy of friendship and cooperation with India and now the same policy would be towed.
Veteran trade leader Iftikhar Ali Malik, a member of the delegation was also present. The SCCI chief stressed an urgent need that all member countries of SCCI should work together to promote durable peace and strengthen economic ties, besides accelerating development activities for people of the region.
Vikram said that 65 per cent of total South Asian trade potential had not been exploited, adding that it was one of the key reasons for instability in the region. He said that intra-regional trade figures of South Asia were disappointing as trade in the region constituted only 1.4 per cent to the total world imports and only 27.9 per cent of GDP, the lowest in the world.
He said although South Asia had significantly reduced import tariffs, the cost of trading across its boarders was one of the highest in the world. A number of non-tariff barriers have been identified which hamper trade and increase cost.