India, Pak business forum vows to augment trade ties

Nayanima Basu New Delhi | Updated on January 20, 2018

Abdul Basit

Need to normalise relations with New Delhi: Basit

India and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to create a level-playing field for businessmen and investors on both sides of the border even as the Joint Business Forum of the two countries held its sixth meeting in the Capital.

“Pakistan is committed to normalising relations with India in line with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision of a peaceful neighbourhood. We need to create a level-playing field that helps create interdependencies.  This is also necessary in the context of promoting regional connectivity and integration,” Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said while addressing the forum.

He also said the recommendations made by the forum on some of the joint working groups would be useful when both sides resume the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.

This was the sixth meeting of the India-Pakistan Joint Business Forum. It is co-chaired by Sunil Kant Munjal, Joint Managing Director, Hero MotoCorp Ltd and Chairman, Hero Corporate Services Ltd, and Syed Yawar Ali, Chairman, Nestle Pakistan.

However, there was no indication from the Pakistan side as to when it intends to grant the most favoured nation (MFN) trade status to India, the deadline for which was December 2012, sources told BusinessLine.

According to sources, the Pakistani delegation mainly consisted of small and medium enterprises and the agriculture sector represented by farmers associations.

10 sectors

The joint business council has identified 10 areas of cooperation: agriculture; automotive and engineering; chemical and petrochemicals; infrastructure; pharmaceuticals; information technology; textiles; education and vocational training; healthcare, and dispute resolution and trade facilitation. The thrust areas of this meeting will be non-discriminatory markets access, relaxing the business visa regime and easing of non-tariff barriers.

The forum was set up in June 2013 with private sector representatives from both sides. It had last met in August 2014.

Published on May 04, 2016

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