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New government in Pakistan to help boost India-Pakistan economic relation: Assocham

NEW DELHI: Industry body Assocham on Monday said it expects the new government in Pakistan will help in enhancing trade andeconomic relations with India. 

The chamber said as per its report, the bilateral trade between 
India and Pakistan would touch over $12 billion by 2015 if Pakistan accords India with the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status. 

"While we urge Pakistan to grant us the 
MFN status, New Delhi should ensure that the trade balance which is largely skewed in favour of India should be corrected," it said in a statement. 

It said that new government in Pakistan led by 
PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif will help in increasing economic integration between the two nations. 

Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said Nawaz Sharif, who is set to be the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, should use this opportunity "to cement the business and trade ties with India". 

The chamber will plan to take a delegation of Indian business leaders to Pakistan, he said, adding the number of items of trade should be increased at the Wagah border. 

"The two countries also need to participate in mutual exhibitions and trade shows besides the informal trade on the line of control in Kashmir should also be given a boost," he added. 

The bilateral trade stood at about USD 2.5 billion. "We must increase the official trade and set a target of at doubling the bilateral trade in the current financial year," it said. 

Further the chamber said that genuine concerns of Pakistani businessmen need to be addressed. 

"Although India and Pakistan compete in the international market in the cotton textiles and apparel, the two nations can still cooperate in terms of certain value-additions," it added.