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Pakistan seeks cooperation with India in renewable energy, power

NEW DELHI: Seeking to deepen economic and trade ties with India, Pakistan today underlined the scope of cooperation in renewable energy, agriculture and electricity. 

"Of course, we can learn from each other. In the last few days, we have had two expert-level delegations. One is just here in India who are looking at energy sector in India," Pakistan High Commissioner to India
Salman Bashir said. 

Describing the cooperation in the sector as mutually beneficial, he added the visiting team was looking especially at "renewable energy, use of 
solar power in agriculture". 

He said the team has visited some "very good" solar power plants in India. Bashir added he thinks this is another area where both countries can benefit. 

He recalled a recent visit by Indian farmers to Pakistan and said farmers too can benefit from each other's experience since both countries have almost similar weather conditions. 

Speaking at the PHD Chamber, he said there are good agricultural universities in Pakistan which will be happy to collaborate with similar institutions in India. 

Bashir also touched upon the topic of Pakistan buying electricity from India saying there was a chance for trade in electricity and gas which is being worked out at technical level. 

He noted that India and Pakistan are working to open bank branches in each others' countries, which he said will boost trade as currently the payments are routed through a third country. 

For increasing trade between the two countries, Bashir said "better road and rail traffic is an important requirement... There is no limit to items being traded through rail and sea and that is an important area to be improved". 

Speaking about Pakistan granting the Most Favoured Nation status to India, he said Pakistan is in the process of reducing the number of items on "negative list" with India. He said only a few sensitive items would be left when the process is completed. 

Bashir also spoke about energy cooperation and underlined the issue of trans-regional pipelines. 

"Mutual collaborative efforts could bring dividends for the region," he said adding the concept of energy cooperation in 
South Asia is well established.