India shouldn’t remain highest uncertain destination for Pak businessmen

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday said after getting MFN status, India should no more remain highest uncertain destination for Pakistani businessmen.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. said New Delhi needs to alter perception and lift trade barriers otherwise all efforts to ensure peace and prosperity through enhanced trade will remain counterproductive,

Trade below 3 billion US dollars have made both neighbours world’s poorest performers in terms of intra-regional trade, he said.

Pakistani exporters who are weary of the high cost of uncertainty, quantitatively ranked highest in the world, should plan to compete Indians in their home market, he said.

India should allow movement of goods beyond border while ensuring fast disposal of merchandise, he said.

Indian authorities are still rejecting majority of visa applications. Recently a group of businessmen women were denied entry; in 2010, 350 businessmen applied for visa through ICCI but only 32 visas were granted, he informed adding that experience of other business chambers is not different.

Businessmen say that period of visa validity, narrow scope of travel and reporting arrival are obstacles in realising true trade potential, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal. The two countries should explore possibility of moving from sticker scheme to an electronic business travel card, he added.

Customs organizations of both countries can exchange data so that export document of one country may serve as the import document of the other country, he suggested.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that India and Pakistan should take steps to ensure non-reversal of the liberalized bilateral trading environment while Islamabad should address the issues of keeping the existing infrastructure underutilized.

Hawks in New Delhi, who are against constructive engagement with Islamabad should realise that Indian share in Afghan market may not surpass 7 per cent without Pakistan’s help, Dr. Mughal observed.

Similarly, Indian exports to Central Asian will remain costly unless moved through Pakistan, he said adding that gas and goods transit fees can help Pakistan generate 6-8 billion dollars.

India is already in process of negotiating trade deals with the US, EU, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, and Japan while her exports will surpass $300 billion in the current fiscal. India’s trade with Beijing stands at USD 60 billion per annum. Pakistan can help her achieve mark of 500 billion dollar of exports by 2015.

Leave a Reply