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'Made in Pakistan' exhibition in Delhi in Nov
Ehtasham Khan in New Delhi |
October 01, 2003 17:27 IST
The Confederation of Indian Industry is gearing up to host an exhibition of Pakistani products in New Delhi in November as part of a series of initiatives aimed at boosting trade between the two nations.
"The exhibition is the third stage in the roadmap we have prepared to bring India and Pakistan close to each other. It is in the interests of people on both sides," said a CII official.
The exhibition -- Made in Pakistan -- will showcase a range of Pakistani products and will also aim at proving to Pakistan that India is genuinely concerned about importing goods from its neighbour.
"There is a fear in Pakistan that it would be flooded with high quality and cheap Indian products once vibrant trade relations between the two are established," said the CII official.
Industry observers say this is one reason why Pakistan has not yet given the Most Favoured Nation status to India.
India granted Pakistan the MFN status in 1995.
"We want to give them the confidence that trade would not be one-sided," the official said.
Pakistan maintains a 'permissible list' of 600 items -- like chemicals, minerals, metal products, cardamom and tyres -- that may be legally imported from India. But most finished products and white goods are not part of this list.
The exhibition will showcase Pakistani products ranging from textiles to light manufacturing goods.
Although the ministry of external affairs has approved the holding of the exhibition, no specific date for it has been finalised yet.
"We are waiting for the dates. We also don't know which are the companies that will participate in the exhibition. But it will surely be help in November," the official said.
The CII had last month launched the India-Pakistan CEOs' Business Forum to facilitate business activities and create a cordial atmosphere.
A 12-member Pakistani delegation, led by Amin Hashwani of the Hashwani Group of Companies, had participated in the meeting.
The forum had announced a roadmap to improve business ties in at least four areas and promote bilateral trade. These areas are trade and investment; manufacturing; healthcare and education; and entertainment and communication and image building.
Later a joint Web site was also launched.
India and Pakistan have an official annual trade of around $200 million, but exports through third countries total nearly $1 billion. Experts say trade could rise to nearly $4 billion if they started trading with each other directly.