Amid strained relations between India and Pakistan, a group of 10 women entrepreneurs from Pakistan made efforts here on Tuesday to break the ice on the trade front.
Members of the Central and North Punjab Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry met Indian industrialists and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for technology transfer and trading of goods between the two countries. Industrialists of both countries agreed that the peace was a must for profitable trade.
"What have we gained from wars? Peace should sustain and that is the only way both of us (India and Pakistan) can be prosperous," said Qaisra Sheikh, president of the women's chamber.
"Women in Pakistan are not as confident as those in India. We have comparatively smaller business. About 80% of the women entrepreneurs in Pakistan are into fashion designing" said Sheikh.
"People of both nations should be allowed to meet each other without any hindrance," said Dr Shehla Javed Akram, another member of the delegation.
Vinod Thapar, chairman of Knitwear Club, said the MoU would help in the exchange of goods between the two countries. "Presently, many goods that have to be exported to Afghanistan and Russia are sent via Dubai. If Pakistan allows us to send goods from their country, it would be cheaper for us as well as those countries," said Thapar.
Mahesh Inder Grewal, advisor to the Punjab chief minister, welcomed the delegates from Pakistan and said such visits would help bring India and Pakistan closer.
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had visited Pakistan in November along with a business delegation and invited Pakistani traders to Punjab.