Gujarat industry body to press for easing visa policy for Pak businessmen

The Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) in India is in the process of preparing a case for easing of visa policy for Pakistani businessmen with the concerned authorities in India.

SGCCI president Kamlesh Yagnik revealed this yesterday at a meeting with Pakistani businessmen at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Wednesday.

According to Yagnik every single Pakistani businessman was keen to do business with India as he referred to his meetings with various representatives of Pakistani business community.

He said that trade between neighbouring countries needed to be maximised while  business communities needed to unite and work more closely in this regard.

Yagnik suggested that rather than trading in dollars, a currency swap agreement needed to be inked by both governments.

Regarding MFN status to India, he said that it would give rise to formal trade and take the current volume of trade to new heights.

He added that it was possible to enhance the existing the $2 billion trade to $25 billion in the next 10 years through collective efforts.

The occasion saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding for strengthening cooperation between the two chambers was signed by KCCI president Abdullah Zaki and Yagnik.

Yagnik further noted that as present, trade between Indian and Pakistan was happening via three modes including the direct trade, circular trade and informal trade.

He said, the direct trade was through legal channels involving various formalities, followed by circular trade in which India exported products to some other countries, which were later imported by Pakistan from these countries. Similarly, Pakistan also exported products to any other country from where India imported them.

He said the sizeable informal trade between Pakistan and India required serious attention and collective efforts were needed to be undertaken by the governments and the business communities of both countries to reduce the informal trade which, if addressed, would pave the way for improved relations between the business communities of both countries, and also ensuring substantial growth on the economic front.