President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sohail Lashari said India and Pakistan were keen to start new trade regime and minimise non-tariff barriers.
Lashari, who was leading a trade delegation from Pakistan, was addressing an interactive B2B meet between the chambers of India and chambers of Pakistan organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Saturday.
Lashari further said the objective behind the Pakistan delegation's visit to India was to explore fresh trading avenues between India and Pakistan and to see them as routine international trade partners.
During the interaction, chairman of the Punjab Committee of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry R Bali said: "The first and foremost purpose behind organising the event was to facilitate more and more interaction between the industry and trading counterparts of the participating countries."
In his address, chief guest Punjab minister for industry Madan Mohan Mittal echoed the concern of traders on both the sides and advocated open trade. More efforts were required to enhance the bilateral trade, quipped Mittal.
"Only peace could bring about a positive change in the lives of South Asians. The obvious impediments in the way of prosperity and progress of the region needed to be done away with,"the minister added.
Naeem Anwar, minister (trade), high commission of Pakistan, appreciated the efforts made by the PHD Chamber to foster bilateral ties, stating that visits by delegations help multiply these efforts.
"The kind of growth seen in bilateral trade in the last 4-5 years did not happen in the last 60 years,"said Anwar.
He owed the growth to the new visa policy for businessmen under which they could get up to 10 multiple visas.
The Pak official urged Mittal to make concerted efforts to allow investment from Pakistan in India and vice-versa.
According to Anwar three reasons restrict trade between India and Pakistan - restrictions on the movement of businessmen, which could be eased through liberalised visa regime; delays in customs clearance, which could be resolved by keeping a positive mindset towards each other; and lack of product and sector specific approach, which was necessary to boost the trade volume.