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Assocham to host business delegation from Pakistan on Mar 28

The study had stated the bilateral trade between India and Pakistan might clock over USD 12 billion by 2015.

New Delhi: Industry chamber Assocham on Tuesday said it will host a 30-member business delegation from Pakistan visiting New Delhi on March 28, aimed at building confidence and trust particularly in the economic field between the two neighbours.

A trade delegation from Pakistan-based Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) would visit India on a four-day trip and explore ways to enhance bilateral economic and cultural ties between the two countries, the chamber said.

"A business session would be organised by Assocham on March 28 to facilitate business-to-business meetings between businessmen of the two nations," the chamber said.

"Business community in both India and Pakistan are keen to further improve the bilateral trade relations and considering that a safe, progressive and mature neighbour is imperative for any nation. This is an apt moment for an India and Pakistan economic engagement to ease tensions and generate goodwill between both the countries," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.

In its efforts to promote the bilateral trade between India and Pakistan, the chamber had released a study which identified areas of cooperation between the two neighbours.

The study had stated the bilateral trade between India and Pakistan might clock over USD 12 billion by 2015, if Pakistan grants Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India.

The chamber said exports of commodities like coffee, tea, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and automobiles to Pakistan, while imports of fruits, vegetables, organic and inorganic chemicals and mineral fuels from Pakistan could help in boosting the two-way trade.

During 2011-12, bilateral trade between the two countries stood at about USD 2 billion.

Assocham said the MFN status to India will also help legalise informal and illegal trade worth several millions of dollars through Indo-Pak border.

The neighbouring country has missed the deadline of December 31, 2012 for granting the status to India.

In March last year, Pakistan had moved to a negative list regime for trade from the positive list regime. This opened Pakistani market for about 7,000 Indian goods against about 2,000 earlier.

It has said it would remove the negative list, which contains 1,209 items, by December 2012 -- technically which would mean grant of MFN status to India.