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Balance of Land Trade is 5 times in favour of India.

LAHORE -- The land balance of trade is five times in favour of India during the last five year at Wagha border, Lahore.

VP SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI),Pakistan chapter, Iftikhar Ali Malik after reviewing the volume of Pak-Indo trade told here Wednesday that during the period 2007-2008 to 2012, India exported to Pakistan worth Rs 50,000 million newsprint,vegetables,soyabean,spcies etc while Pakistan exported dry fruit,cement,salt,rock salt,raw gypsum,soda ash etc to India only valued at rupees 9000 million.

He said in view of above facts and figures, the balance of trade is straightaway five time in favour of India. He said that according to agreement, both countries can export to each other 137 items at zero duty except 5 % custom duty and 16 % sale tax on the poly propylene granules.He said that under Afghan transit trade to India, a total of 2425 trucks load of dry fruits, pulses crossed to India through Wagha border during the last nine month.

Iftikhar said that Pakistan and India, with the support of their private sector, must take historic steps to normalize bilateral trade relations and fully ensure balance of trade. He said that South Asia is the fastest growing region in the world but also one of the least integrated while the region's trade with the rest of the world is growing rapidly, intra-regional trade is merely 5 per cent of its total trade.

He said that despite being natural trade and investment partners, the volume of trade between Pakistan and India, the two largest economies of the region, has been extremely low. He said that for instance, total trade between Brazil and Argentina amount to US$33 billion in 2010,almost 15 time more than the current Pak-Indo trade of little over US$2 billion. He said that it is worth mentioning that Argentina and Brazil too have had similar turbulent past of war and fierce rivalry.

He said that bilateral trade between Pak-Indo a couple of years ago stood at an estimated US$1.83 billion. India accounts for nearly 1.2 per cent of Pakistan's global exports, while Pakistan accounts for less than 0.9 percent of India's global exports.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said that the private sector of either country has to play a key role in the prevailing scenario for viable and sustainable better Pak-Indo trade relations for welfare of the people of the region. He said opening of proper trade within the ambit of law between the two countries will help definitely check the billions of dollar irregular and illegal trade (smuggling) through land and sea routes.

He stressed the urgent need for holding a series of dialogue between Pak-Indo private sector to thrash out modalities prior to finalize trade promotion agreements without affecting the industry of either country.
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Publication:The Frontier Star (Northwest Frontier Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jun 27, 2013
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