Pak minister hopeful of increase in trade with India

November 14th, 2007 - 10:31 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov 14 (ANI): Pakistan’s Minister of State and Chief Executive of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, Tariq Ikram, has expressed hope that trade relations with India will improve in the near future, and said that it will result in more business with New Delhi.
“Trade with India must increase. Trade as you know is a complex matter. Pakistan exports textile and garments and that’s almost amount to 60 percent of our exports, but India does not export these items. Now, when we start to talk to each other more aggressively in terms of trade, more opportunities will emerge,” Ikram said.
Ikram, came to Delhi on Wednesday to inaugurate the Pakistani stall at the 27th edition of the India International Trade Fair.
“We are one of the most dominant holders of space in the SAARC pavilion. So, the difference this year is that there is a greater level of expectation of doing business; so many business men have participated,” Ikram said.
India’s exports to Pakistan in 2004/05 increased by 76 per cent to 505.44 million dollars from 286 million dollars in 2003/04. Imports from Pakistan during the same period rose 65 percent to 95.33 million dollars from 57.74 million dollars a year ago.
In 2006-07, however, Indian exports to Pakistan stood at 1348.32 million dollars, while Pakistan’s exports to India over the same period were worth 323.19 million dollars.
The fortnight long annual India International Trade Fair (IITF-2007), to be held in New Delhi from Wednesday, will see the participation of 64 exhibitors from Pakistan.
Onyx stone artefacts and dry fruits, which are very popular in India, are among the prominent displays at the Pakistan hall.
Ikram had earlier lamented that Pakistan’s large export profile could not be properly accommodated in the fair and a single country exhibition was on the cards next year.
Pakistan has so far linked enhancement of trade relations to a resolution of the Kashmir issue. But India insists that trade and other issues should be de-linked from Kashmir dispute.
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, an Indian industry lobby group, has predicted that two-way trade could reach 10 billion dollars within five years of signing a free trade agreement between India and Pakistan. (ANI)

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