Indian HC for more trade routesSeptember 17, 2014
Karachi: High Commissioner of India, Dr. T.C.A. Raghavan, while supporting Karachi
Chamber’s suggestion of activating Khokhrapar-Monabao border for trade, said that both countries need to talk about opening up more trade routes including Khokhrapar-Monabao border point in order to facilitate the business communities of both countries.
Speaking at a meeting during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Wednesday, Dr. Raghavan added, “We need to facilitate and create an enabling environment by ensuring a peaceful neighbourhood which is a must to overcome the challenges being by Pakistan and India.”
Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI, Siraj Kassam Teli, Vice Chairmen BMG, Zubair Motiwala and Anjum Nisar, President KCCI, Abdullah Zaki, Senior Vice President KCCI, Muffasar A. Malik, Vice President KCCI, Mohammad Idrees, Former Presidents KCCI, A. Q. Khalil and Majyd Aziz, and Chairman Site Association of Industry Younus M. Bashir were also present on the occasion.
Indian High Commissioner said that in order to improve interaction between the Commercial Section of Indian High Commission in Islamabad and KCCI, the possibility of providing video conferencing facility can certainly be worked out. Indian High Commission’s visa section can be linked with Karachi Chamber via video conferencing which will improve interaction between the officers of commercial section and KCCI representatives on fortnightly basis, he said, adding that it will help in instantly resolving many issues being faced by businessmen and industrialists of Karachi.
Dr. Raghavan informed that the Indian High Commission plans to organize an event on ‘Doing Business in India’ with a view to highlight the trade policy adopted by the new Indian government while a visit of representatives of various chambers of commerce and industry of Pakistan to Attari, India will also be arranged so that Pakistani businessmen could witness the Customs and Trade infrastructure and give their valuable suggestions.
Chairman Businessmen Group & Former President KCCI, Siraj Kassam Teli, in his remarks, stressed the need to address political, economic and other issues between the two neighbouring countries. “Although lots of positive developments have been happening between Pakistan and India yet we have not been able to realize the true potential and move forward.”
He advised the business communities of both countries to urge their respective governments to address political issues particularly the Kashmir issue, water issues and other pressing issues on priority basis without any further delays. “We must come up with a feasible strategy on how to overcome these issues. I urge the governments and bureaucracies of both countries to come up with real solutions”, he added.
Siraj Teli was of the opinion that although businessmen and Industrialists of both countries are keen to enhance trade ties but the governments and bureaucracies were not allowing it to happen.
On the occasion, Vice Chairman BMG, Zubair Motiwala stressed that in order to strengthen trade relations between Pakistan and India, both sides must make efforts to segregate politics and economy, which would certainly allow the economies to take over and the business communities of both sides will have the liberty to decide how they want to do business with each other.
Earlier, while welcoming the Indian High Commissioner, President KCCI Abdullah Zaki appreciated the support extended by Indian government and the Indian High Commission in Pakistan during his recent visit to India to attend Aalishaan Pakistan exhibition held in New Delhi. “It certainly was a good experience to represent KCCI at this important event in India which provided us an opportunity to promote Pakistani goods, hold B2B meetings, identify potential sectors and strengthen trade and investment ties between the business communities of the two countries”, he added.
Commenting on Indo-Pak Trade Relations, Abdullah Zaki mentioned that trade balance has remained in favour of India as during Fiscal Year 2014, Pakistan exported goods to India worth $422.94 million as against $328.62 million in Fiscal Year 2013. On the other hand, goods imported by Pakistan during Fiscal Year 2014 amounted to $1,758.03 million against imports of $1,673.59 million in Fiscal Year 2013.
He was of the view that due to a number of trade hurdles, informal trade was underway through smuggling at the border along with gross misuse of personal baggage scheme.
President KCCI was of the view that bilateral trade promotion initiatives between Pakistan and India can boost bilateral trade manifolds by signing of institutional agreements for development of check posts, sea and trade routes whereas easy issuance of visa and setting up of quick custom clearance systems would also aid in enhancing bilateral trade.
He also urged the policy makers of both countries to seriously enact policy measures for establishing Khokhrapar-Monabao trade route as it can be used as a medium for enhancing trade between Pakistan and India.