World Bank delegation visits LCCI.
Lahore -- A 12-member World Bank mission visited Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry and had an interactive session with the LCCI members on Pak-India trade through land route. The World Bank team headed by Ms. Diep Nguyen-van Houtte, Senior Operations Officer, South Asia Regional Integration spent well over an hour at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry to gather the views of LCCI members about facilities at Wagha.
The LCCI Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh presented the address of welcome while former Senior Vice President Sohail Lashari, former Vice Presidents Aftab Ahmad Vohra, Shafqat Saeed Piracha, Saeeda Nazar, Executive Committee Member Mian Zahid Javed and former Executive Committee Member Rehmatullah Javed also spoke on the occasion.
Ms. Diep Nguyen-van Houtte said that the information given by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry would help World Bank finalize a trade facilitation policy between India and Pakistan. She said that the proposals and suggestions would help a lot in early development of much needed infrastructure at the crossing points between Pakistan and India.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that Pakistan and India are the two countries in the region which can play a very important role in the economic development and trade in this area. Government of Pakistan is very keen to have strong trade ties with its neighbors especially with India.
He said that a platform should be created which should facilitate the businessmen on both sides as this would help improve the trade flows between both the countries.
Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that private donors shouldsupport the cause so that infrastructure should be developed in order to ease the trade activity via borders.
He said that the current facilities available for trade through land route needs to be expanded on both sides of the border and electronic data exchange should be introduced on both sides. Since expanding trade requires more specialized logistic services.
Large logistic service providers with the requisite expertise particularly from the private sector should be encouraged to provide these services.
The LCCI Senior Vice President said that testing facilities should be made available at the border. There is a lack of awareness on each other's regulatory regimes particularly in pharmaceutical products. Mutual recognition agreements should be signed.
Officers need to be better sensitized on the trading regimes between the two countries to reduce unpredictability and poor implementation of laws on borders which impair trade environment.
Implementation of new visa policy should be done at the earliest and further liberalization of visas should be undertaken by both countries to improve business to business and people to people contact.