FPCCI, ICRIER to jointly organise Indo-Pak roundtable in Sept

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) and the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) will jointly organise a roundtable on Indo-Pakistan trade ties with an emphasis on non-tariff barriers to trade (NTBs) in September 2013 in Karachi. This was decided in a meeting held between FPCCI and a team from ICRIER comprising Dr Nisha Taneja, Sanjana Joshi and Samridhi Bimal who visited the FPCCI’s head office. It was further stated by the ICRIER team that this was the second event in the series of roundtables on Indo-Pakistan trade which was initiated last year, with the first roundtable held in Lahore by ICRIER in partnership with the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
Welcoming the idea of the roundtable, FPCCI Vice President Shaheen Ilyas Sarwana and India Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry President S M Muneer said it will provide opportunities to the business community of both countries to discuss trade relations and NTBs hampering trade promotion. It was further discussed that representatives of regional chambers of commerce from India would also attend the roundtable to give their proposals and suggestions. The roundtable will be held on the sidelines of the Expo Pakistan 2013.
Sarwana said Pakistan and India must act like mature nations and work towards better relations through trade. He said as the bigger country, India should set a good precedent by removing NTBs faced by Pakistani exporters, which would also help remove apprehensions of Pakistani businessmen regarding trade with India.
S M Muneer said Pakistani exporters faced NTBs such as clearance delay at customs at Indian ports and requirements regarding certification which impeded trade considerably. He also laid stress on Indian airlines to initiate flights to Pakistan, saying that more direct flights between the two countries would help save time and money, and also bring people from both sides closer. Furthermore, he said the process of visas in both countries was cumbersome, and had an adverse impact on trade between the countries.
Dr Nisha Taneja said after holding the first roundtable of the series successfully in Lahore, ICRIER was now going to organise this second roundtable in Karachi, in order to identify problems faced by businessmen of both sides in trading with each other. She said Indian businessmen were eager to trade with Pakistan, and the Indian market was extremely receptive to Pakistani textiles and fashion. FPCCI Vice President Rukhsana Jehangir and FPCCI Standing Committee on Fair and Exhibition Chairman Nasiruddin Sheikh highlighted problems being faced by Pakistani exhibitors at Indian customs which he said sometimes caused unnecessary delay in release of goods, resulting in lapse of precious days of exhibitions. The Indian team was informed about the future program of FPCCI on fair and exhibition in India. Both side also discussed the most favoured nation (MFN) status and those benefits which could not be reaped by both the nations.



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