SIALKOT: The High Commissioner of India in Pakistan Mr. T.C.A. Raghavan has said that there are lot of misunderstandings behind the MFN Status to India and non-discriminatory market access to Indian markets for Pakistan.
He stated this while replying to a question raised by member SCCI Executive Committee Waqas Akram Awan in Q & A Session during an important meeting of the exporters held at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) here Wednesday. SCCI President Dr. Sarfraz Bashir, SVP Mian Muhammad Anwar and VP Khawar Sapal were also present on this occasion.
Indian High Commissioner said “there are a lot of misunderstandings in this regard”. He stressed the need of reducing these persisting mutual misunderstandings between India and Pakistan, saying that the time was ripe for both neighbours to go ahead for reducing hurdles from the smooth way to MFN status to India from Pakistan and non-discriminatory markets access to Indian markets for Pakistan in this regard. He said that India also wanted to have normal economic relationship with Pakistan.
Earlier, addressing an important meeting of Sialkot exporters held at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), the High Commissioner of India in Pakistan Mr. T.C.A. Raghavan assured the easy and hurdle free access of Sialkot exporters to Indian markets, saying that India was intending to develop and re-build strong trade relations with Pakistan through the promotion of business-to-business contacts and people-to-people friendly relations between India and Pakistan.
Indian High Commissioner asked the Sialkot exporters to hold exhibition of Sialkot-made export products in any industrial city of India. He said that the exporters of Sialkot were enriched with the natural potential of exploring and capturing the Indian international trade markets by exporting their diversified traditional and non-traditional export products to India. He said that the Sialkot exporters should go ahead to India for holding their exhibitions there by enjoying liberal visa regime in India. He said that the full ranged and full sized Indian trade markets were available for Sialkot exporters
Mr. T.C.A. Raghavan was of the view that the both India and Pakistan have entered into the new era of promotion of mutual strong trade ties, cultural, economic and commercial cooperation, as the both of the neighbours were moving towards the goal of cultural, economical, political , social and trade stability. He said that the time was the ripe now to further cement friendly trade relations.
India wanted to establish and rebuild the strong trade relations with Pakistan, saying that there were bright opportunities of establishing the joint industrial ventures between the SMEs of Sialkot and even in India as well.
Indian High Commissioner highly hailed the unique export culture of Sialkot, its marvellous socio-economic and human development and establishment of Sialkot International Airport on self help basis by business community. He termed these steps as trend setting advising the others to replicate.
Mr. T.C.A. Raghavan hoped that the branches of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) would soon be opened in Pakistan and India to facilitate their businessmen, saying that both SBP and RBI had been working actively on several mutual work lines, in this regard.
Replying to another question, Indian HC said that there was a dire need to rebuild the trust and establish people-to-people and business-to-business contacts between India and Pakistan. He assured his full cooperation to remove all the hurdles from the way of promotion of stronger trade ties between India and Pakistan.
On this occasion, President Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Dr. Sarfraz Bashir said that relations between Pakistan and India had always been the victim of uncertainty, which needed to be mended and transformed into an enduring relationship to work jointly for welfare of the people of both countries. In order to move forward we must stop this endless cycle of conflict, saying that both neighbours should review relations in a constructive and forward looking manner to avoid negative approach. He added that past policies had resulted in diverting attention from most obvious task of improving our economies to ensure better quality of life to the people.
SCCI President added that it was the time that India might reconsider its policy of specific tariffs and regulatory duties and give maximum facilitation to exports from Pakistan for enhancing bilateral trade as India could become most attractive and important market for Pakistani goods.
He suggested that there should be ship cargo service between Pakistan and India in order to facilitate interaction between private sectors and transportation of goods.
On this occasion, SVP of SCCI Mian Muhammad Anwar said that the two neighbouring countries must enhance economic cooperation, which would help in improvement of relations in all terms.
SCCI Vice President Khawar Sapal added that the prospects of increasing trade between Pakistan and India were considerable thus it was direly needed to promote close interaction of the private sector from both sides to enhance trade and commercial cooperation.