India blamed for low intra Saarc trade volume

KARACHI: Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday blamed India for low volume of trade within Saarc region which has kept millions below the poverty line.

India wants to domine the region so that all the countries become satellite states which is biggest hurdle in improving trade and standard of living of people living in this region, said Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW, in a statement issued from Islamabad.

He said that India is the biggest and most irresponsible economy in the region forcing businessmen of India and Pakistan to use third country for trade which jacks up cost y around 35 percent.

He said that Pakistan has always supported and encouraged the regional cooperation but it has not helped take bilateral trade to desired level due to negative Indian attitude.

Cordial relations between Pakistan and India will have a very positive impact on the region as it will reduce political struggle, poverty and lawlessness for which visa relaxations, confidence building and understanding is badly needed.

Pakistan biggest trading partner must not be a country or an economic block located in the far-flung corners of the world but a neighbouring country, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal.

Bilateral trade can be enhanced to 20-25 times which has been impeded by tariff barriers, shambled infrastructure, useless tensions, costly transport, red tapes, stringent customs procedures, and visa restrictions etc. Pakistan’s 70 per cent trade was with India soon after partition which has now almost gone off the map.

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