LAHORE: A 12-member World Bank team visited the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Monday to discuss Indo-Pak trade via land route.
The World Bank team headed by Senior Operations Officer Diep Nguyen-van Houtte, South Asia Regional Integration spent over an hour at the LCCI to hear the views of members on facilities at Wagah.
LCCI Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that Pakistan and India are the two countries in the region which can play a very important role in the economic development and trade of South Asia.
He said that current facilities available for trade through Wagha need to be expanded on both sides of the border. Electronic data exchange should be introduced on both sides.
The LCCI Senior Vice President said that testing facilities should also be made available at the border, since there is a lack of awareness about each other’s regulatory regimes particularly in pharmaceutical products. Mutual recognition agreements should be signed.
Officers need to be better sensitised on the trading regimes between the two countries to reduce unpredictability and poor implementation of laws at the borders.
Finally, a new visa policy should be implemented as soon as possible so that citizens of both countries can move more freely across the border.
Houtte said that the information given by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry would help the World Bank finalise a trade facilitation policy between India and Pakistan. She said that the proposals and suggestions would help in the early development of much needed infrastructure at the crossing points between Pakistan and India.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2013.
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