SAARC Chamber of Commerce hails Pakistan, India decision to boost trade volume

Lahore: SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry SCCI Thursday welcomed decision of Pakistan, India Foreign Ministers to boost trade volume.

SCCI Pakistan chapter head Iftikhar Ali Malik said durable peace and resolving all outstanding core issues by peaceful talks is pre-requisite for stability and economic growth in the region. He said Foreign Minister Ms Hina Rabbani Khar and his Indian counterpart SM Krishna talks on all important issues confronting two nuclear powers including core issue of Kashmir was good omen for the region.

He felt if all SAARC member states harness their resources, it will definitely help improve socio economic conditions and welfare of people. Intra-regional trade of South Asia are disappointing and constitutes only 1.4% of total world imports, 1.2% of exports. Merchandise trade is only 27.9% of GDP, lowest in the world.

He said SCCI, as representative of private sector worked to create awareness on regional integration. SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Agreement) must also be made more effective to revive economic cooperation for free trade in the region and could help build confidence among business communities of Pakistan & India.

Malik stressed urgent need to promote regional economic cooperation. He felt political tensions and development constraints region faced over years played decelerating role in economic integration of South Asia.

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