New visa norms likely to boost India-Pak trade: SAARC-CCI
New Delhi: New liberalised visa regime between India and Pakistan is expected to almost double the bilateral trade from the existing USD 2.5 billion within a year, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Sunday.
"Within one year of liberalisation of visa norms, the trade volume would jump to almost double," chamber's President Vikramjit Singh Sahney said.
The visa liberalisation would give a quantum leap to the trust factor, promote people to people contacts and hurdle free trade between two countries, he said in a statement.
The present trade volume was insignificant at USD 2.5 billion as compared with the potential availability, he added.
India and Pakistan, yesterday, signed the much-awaited liberalised visa agreement, introducing for the first time group tourist and pilgrim visas, separate visa for businessmen and visa on arrival for those over 65 years of age.
The new pact, signed between external affairs minister S M Krishna and Pakistan interior minister Rehman Malik, replaces a 38-year-old restrictive visa agreement and will pave the way for time-bound visa approval and greater people to people contacts and boost trade.