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'Indo-Pak trade could touch $15 billion a year'

  • As India and Pakistan are on the verge of opening their bilateral trade in a big way, discussions are on for giving multiple entry visas to their businessmen.
  • This was stated by Pakistan's Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, while inaugurating the largest ever India-specific trade exhibition in Lahore today. Mr. Fahim said both the countries are determined to normalise trade and economic ties and the exhibition is part of efforts to achieve this. He said Pakistani traders will soon go to India to organise a Made in Pakistan show. 
  • Fahim acknowledged that the present infrastructure at the Wagah border is inadequate for handling even the current volume of trade but said things are improving.
  • Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal said both the countries have the potential to boost bilateral trade to $15 billion a year.
  • The opening of the exhibition comes two days ahead of Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma's visit to Lahore. He will be accompanied by a large business delegation for talks aimed at normalising trade relations between the two countries.
  • Close to 200 Indian exhibitors are participating in the three-day India Show organised at the Lahore Expo Centre. A wide range of products from gems to heavy machinery are being showcased.
  • The Commerce Secretary-level talks have already led to the approval of several steps by both countries to dismantle hurdles in the way of increasing official trade to $6 billion by 2014. Pakistan government has said it intends to give India Most Favoured Nation-status by the end of the year.
  • Direct trade between India and Pakistan constitutes less than one per cent of their respective global trade. India exported goods worth $2.33 billion to Pakistan last year while its imports were a mere $330 million.


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