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Barriers to bilateral trade have to be removed: Pakistan

Barriers to bilateral trade have to be removed: Pakistan

Pakistan's Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said other impediments to boosting India-Pakistan trade such as non-tariff barriers, lack of adequate connectivity and transportation, issues of standards, customs harmonisation, communication, visa facilitation, payment mechanisms and dispute resolution need to be addressed.

Addressing an interactive session with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here, the minister said Pakistan believes in forging good neighbourly relations with India not only in order to ensure a stable and friendly environment but also to seek a multiplier effect, whereby each other's strengths can grow and prosper together.

He said the CII, being the secretariat to the Pakistan-India Joint Business Forum (PIJBF), has got an important role to play by creating an enabling environment for the business community of both sides, said a statement from the Pakistan High Commission.

The minister said the PIJBF has identified eight areas for bilateral cooperation, including agriculture, textiles and made-ups, pharmaceutical and health care, engineering and auto, banking and financial sector, education and vocational training, energy and SME sectors.

Khurram Dastgir Khan said task forces on these sectors have already been set up, and based on their recommendation the two governments would be taking necessary policy initiatives to strengthen bilateral trade.

He said both sides need to encourage maximum exchange of delegations/person to person meetings to enhance business opportunities..

Khan said Pakistan is hosting a "Made in India" exhibition in February in Lahore and is also planning to hold the second edition of "Life Style Pakistan" exhibition in India in which all leading business group/brands of Pakistan will participate.

He said these events would further the efforts of strengthening the bilateral trade.

The minister is visiting New Delhi Jan 16-17 to attend the South Asian Business Leaders Conclave and will meet Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.