Bajaj unhappy over Pak's protectionist approach to auto sector

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 18:09

Lahore: India's second largest two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto has expressed unhappiness over Pakistan's protectionist approach towards the automobile sector, preventing the firms from the neighbouring nation to sell products here.

The company's Chairman Rahul Bajaj, who was a part of an Indian business delegation here, however added that the trade between the two countries was moving forward at a considerable pace and this was a good sign as far as bilateral relations was concerned.

"Who could think after the Mumbai attacks that we would be here in Lahore in 2012, discussing trade prospects with our Pakistani counterparts," he added.

However, Bajaj said he was unhappy as there was "no progress" in trade in the automobile sector, which is protected under Pakistan's negative list for doing trade with India.

"As my concern is with the automobile industry, I do not think Pakistan will soon (remove restrictions in this sector). However, if things go smoothly on the trade front, the matter may be reviewed after a year or so," he said.

Pakistan has already said it intends to do away with the negative list by December, paving the way for giving India Most Favoured Nation-status by next year.

The Indian business delegation attended the two-day business conference here that was addressed by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar earlier this week.

The Pakistani automobile industry is very small compared to that of India.

According to data available on the website of Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), the total passenger car sales in March this year stood at 14,469 units.

Passenger car sales in India was at 2,29,866 units in March, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had said in its monthly release.


First Published: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 18:09

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