Indo-Pak JSG to explore combined export potential

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New Delhi, Nov 17: An Indo-Pak Joint Study Group (JSG) will be formed at the private sector level to explore the possibilities of co-ordinated export strategy in potential areas, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Chief Executive Tariq Ikram said.

While addressing a conference here, Mr Ikram said four members of the private sector from each country will be part of the (JSG), which will make recommendations for enhancing the combined share of India and Pakistan in the world market.

Special focus will be put on cooperation in the textile sector, he added.

A major breakthrough has already been made in the case of import of cement from Pakistan to India through the Wagah Border. ''But there still exist glitches relating to 100 per cent scanning of trucks that carry the materials, which result in idling of the vehicles for a long time,'' Mr Ikram said.

The official trade between the two countries has picked up from a few million dollars in early 1990s to 1.6 billion dollars in 2006, with India's exports to Pakistan pegged at 1.2 billion dollars.

Mr Ikram said a list of non-tariff barriers between the two countries has already been given to the Indian Government. ''In case of import of mangoes and other fruits and vegetables, phyto-sanitary standards come in the way. Import of rice from Pakistan is also affected adversely,'' Mr Ikram added.

At the current exchange rates as Pakistan's currency gets devalued and the Indian rupee appreciates against the dollar, a scope for greater cooperation in export efforts arises.

''The other areas where both countries need to cooperate with each other include cotton and ginning industry, as both have tremendous opportunities for growth,'' Ministry of Textile Secretary Zafar Mahmood said.

UNI

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