Greater trade is key to normalisation of bilateral relations: Gautam Bambawale


FPCCI President Rauf Alam says businessmen of Pakistan, India should strive for improved trade


High Commissioner of India to Pakistan Gautam Bambawale on Thursday said the road to normalisation of bilateral relations is in the interest of Pakistan and India while the key to it lies in greater trade, business and commerce.

He said that the list of commodities which can be traded and exchanged between Pakistan and through Wagah Border should be increased to reduce cost of doing business for the entrepreneurs of both countries.

Gautam Bambawale said this while talking to Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Abdul Rauf Alam, United Business Group Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik, TDAP CEO SM Muneer, FPCCI VP Zafar Bakhtawri, Zubair Tufail, Khalid Jaweed, Zubair Ahmed Malik, Tariq Sadiq, Noor Ahmed Khan, Shakil Dhingri and others were also present on the occasion.

Bambawale said that there should be more trade shows and exhibitions in each other’s country. In this regard, the HC welcomed the holding of “Alishan Pakistan 2016” exhibition at New Delhi in September 2016 and assured all-out cooperation by the Indian authorities.

He said that both countries should make it easier for businesspersons to visit the other country. Visa regulations should be liberalised which will result in enhanced trade and will bring people of the two countries closer.

Trade between India and China was just $1 billion in 2000 but has risen to $75 billion in 2015 despite differences, Bambawale said that India wants to expand trade with Pakistan in the same manner and Pakistan should also think on these lines.

Speaking on the occasion, FPCCI President Abdul Rauf Alam said that trade between SAARC nations is limited and very costly due to tariff and non-tariff barriers.

He said that governments and business community of Pakistan and India should strive to bring the two nations closer while some sustainable steps are required for building trust which is imperative for the development of both nations.

He said that business is the best tool to reduce tensions and improve trust which will have an impact on the standard of living of tens of millions of people in a short span.

The TDAP CEO asked the Indian High Commissioner to ease issuance of visa to bolster trade while Khalid Jaweed demanded import of plant and machinery through Wagah border as imports through Calcutta add to the cost of doing business.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said that SAARC Chamber Building in Islamabad will be inaugurated by SAARC leaders during the SAARC summit scheduled on November 10 and 11.

Zafar Bakhtawri demanded waiver of condition of police reporting in issuance of visa.