Financial relations: Pakistan, India to open bank branches soon

Much-awaited banking links between the countries will give a boost to trade and commerce.

Our Correspondent February 06, 2014
Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan TCA Raghavan speaks at a session in Karachi on Thursday. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan T C A Raghavan has said that Pakistan and India are soon going to open bank branches in their respective countries.

“India and Pakistan will sign an agreement next month to open bank branches in Mumbai and Karachi. The much-awaited banking links will give a boost to trade and commerce,” Raghavan said.

He was speaking to the business community at the head office of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Thursday.

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“It is good that bilateral trade between India and Pakistan has grown considerably in the last few years but it is still far behind its true potential,” he added.

The high commissioner said his country wants to provide all possible support to the business community of Pakistan so that the two neighbours can increase bilateral trade according to their potential.

Speaking on India-China trade, the high commissioner said the two countries are rapidly improving their trade which is now touching $100 billion.

Concerning visa issues, he said India has eased its visa conditions and it is processing more multiple-entry visas for Pakistani businessmen. “However, India has not yet decided on opening an Indian consulate in Karachi, which is one of the core demands of the business community of Karachi,” he added.

FPCCI President Zubair Ahmed Malik said India and Pakistan should increase regional trade and the two countries need to put all the major issues behind trade cooperation.

Currently, bilateral trade is heavily in India’s favour, which has to change if the two countries want to see more trade in the future, he added.

According to the figures of the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India, bilateral trade recorded a net increase of $410 million from April 2012 to March 2013, up 20%. Pakistan’s exports to India grew 28% while Indian exports to Pakistan increased 19% during this period.

This recent jump in exports is encouraging for Pakistan but it is still far behind the potential.

Official trade between India and Pakistan has crossed $2.6 billion. India’s exports to Pakistan are $2.1 billion while Pakistan’s exports to India are just $500 million.

Both countries have repeatedly pledged to remove non-tarrif barriers which are hampering trade. Pakistan has so far given Indian the Most Favoured Nation status and pledged to work towards freer trade.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2014.

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Ali | 7 years ago | Reply

@Ravi: I wish u all the good luck! May our sub-continent blossoms and be the Europe and US of east!

Naresh | 7 years ago | Reply

@Muslim Leaguer: Regret that one did indeed erred and got the wrong information. Trust the following will meet your approbation : . . Total Assets 2,310,012,053,000 = Pak Rupees 2,310.012053000 Billion @Pak Rupees 105 = US$ One Equates to about USD 22 Billion . For State Bank of India : .,438,442 The Total Assets of the State Bank of India is only US$ 288.53 Billion . Bigger is most definitely NOT NECESSARILY BETTER and in this respect one must not compare Apples to Water Melons. The State Bank of Pakistan, being basically a CENTRAL BANK, must be compared to the Reserve Bank of India. In contrasts The State Bank of India not only Provides General Banking Functions (its main function) but also is AN AGENT OF The Reserve Bank of India in places where the RBI does not have any Branches - The RBI has only 27 Branches in India. As such the size of the SBI is huge due to its multiple functions. . With the "Conservative and Careful" Policies (Not to be confused with the International Investment Banks) of the Reserve Bank of India the Indian Banks weathered the International Financial Crisis much better as the International Investment Banks carried out - what I would term - Legal "Frauds" where the Banks were fined Large amounts but all the "Rinky Dinkers" got away! . Cheers

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