Pakistan sees $1-bn textiles and agro products market in India

12 May 2016


Pakistan is banking on the land route and a huge demand for its textiles, readymade garments and various seasonal agricultural products such as mango and kinno in India, to notch up $1 billion worth of exports.

But for an export push, Islamabad should first grant India the most favoured nation (MFN) status, Pakistan business representatives told their government.

Pakistan's commerce minister Khurram Distagir Khan has said textile made-ups and readymade garments from Pakistan have great potential demand in India and that these along with its various agricultural products like green peas can create a huge market in the neighbouring country.

Agricultural exports are feasible through land route even with freezing plants of as low a capacity as 200,000 tonnes, he added.

These together could help Pakistan increase its exports to India to the tune of one billion dollars within a year, he said

Besides the proceeds from exports, trade between India and Pakistan would help in promoting various sectors, including SME, agriculture, research, tourism and culture sectors in the two countries, the Pakistani minister pointed out.

Khan was addressing a meeting of Pakistani counterparts of Pakistan-India Business Council delegation led by Yawar Ali Shah, Pak news agency APP reported.

The minister was of the view that land route make Pakistan the most favorable and cost-effective market for India for importing raw material for their agriculture and textile products.

The minister assured complete support to the business interlocutors. He said that Pakistan's government would work towards increasing exports from the country. Towards this, the government has decided to provide enough funds to establish a multi-billion 'Expo Centre' in Peshawar during the next budget. The ministry has restructured National Tariff Commission (NTC) as per the legal framework guided by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Meanwhile, another delegation of Pakistan Commercial Exporters Association, which called on Dastagir Khan, sought support for exports of gems and jewellery. The minister also agreed that the gems and jewellery products should be included in Trade Development Authority of Pakistan's (TDAP) exhibition calendar.

India's stand that it will first ensure a commitment by members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over government food subsidy programs before allowing a consensus on the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) has got support from Syed Yawar Ali.

Speaking at an India Pakistan Joint Business Forum (IPJBF) in New Delhi, he said that he supported India's efforts to protect farmers' interest in the WTO.

The minister also said that India and Pakistan are working towards a resolution and, if all goes well, Pakistan may award the MFN status to India by this year end. However, the Kashmir dispute remains a major roadblock, he added.

The Nawaz Sharif government had said last year that it will grant the MFN status to India in 2013, as a part of World Trade Organisation (WTO) obligations.

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