Indian Finance Minister calls for increased trade

Ppi/express May 18, 2010

NEW DEHLI: Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday has said that the sky is the limit for India-Pakistan trade to expand and flourish.

He was addressing business delegates from both countries at the Indo-Pak Business Meet in New Delhi. A Pakistan delegation, including leaders from various sectors such as textiles, agriculture and IT are participating in the meet.

Asserting that regional cooperation was the best way to enhance any kind of relationship, Mukherjee named a range of areas where such cooperation could lead to better economic cooperation.

"Due to geographical proximities, there is tremendous scope of cheaper transportation costs. Shorter distance will render it unnecessary for the industry to carry higher level of inventories of raw materials and parts, thereby reducing costs of operations" said Mukherjee, calling for free movement of goods between two countries.

Trade between the two countries has grown from $251 million in 2000-01 to $2.3 billion in 2007-08, but dropped 19% to $1.81 billion in 2008-09.

He said although the two countries had not signed any formal trade agreement, India considered Pakistan the Most Favoured Nation.

Quoting increased figures of Indian imports from Pakistan, Mukherjee said improving bilateral trade was not a distant dream but a vision.


Meekal Ahmed | 12 years ago | Reply Why are we linking trade with Kashmir? Obviously, any trade agreement will give careful weight to, and make allowance for, the bi-lateral competitive cost structure of both economies. India being the larger economy will enjoy economies of scale and hence lower unit costs in many products. There are many products India will want to import from us rather than more distant markets assuming the quality is comparable. This is a matter for bilateral negotiations. If we keep our wits about us and are well informed let the negotiators work out an agreement that is mutually beneficial.
Syed A. Mateen | 12 years ago | Reply Increase in trade with India will economically collapse Pakistan. After fighting three wars with India, Pakistan has learned the lesson to keep distant relations with India; otherwise the big fish is going to eat the small fish. How can we increase trade with India when the core issue of Kashmir is not yet settled during the last 63 years? Though Pakistani traders are eager to increase trade with India, but our economical sovereignty does not allow us increase bilateral trade until and unless the core issue of Kashmir is resolved once and for all between India and Pakistan. If India is eager to increase trade with Pakistan, it should define a clear cut policy as what the fate of Kashmir is and how long India is going to take to resolve the life long pending issue of Kashmir? The lack of will and trust deficit between the two countries does not allow Pakistan to depend on India’s trade, as in 1971 India broke Pakistan with the help of its armed forces. I am talking in plain words which are easy to understand.
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