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13 Feb, 2014

Pakistan to host ‘India Show’ in Lahore from February 14


NEW DELHI, TNN | Feb 12, 2014: Exploring ‘business’ route to improve relations between the two countries, Pakistan will host three-day ‘India Show’ in Lahore beginning February 14.

It may just be a coincidence that this mega business show of ‘made-in-India’ goods in Pakistan will begin on the Valentine’s Day, but the occasion will indeed provide an opportunity for people-to-people contact – a key to improve relations between two countries having checkered past.

The ‘India Show’ will be organized in the backdrop of increased efforts by the respective governments at confidence-building measures leading to the possible grant of the Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) status to India by Pakistan.

“The event meets the purpose of ensuring continuous and increasing engagement between our business communities and exploring possibilities of expanding business relations with Pakistan”, said Jyotsna Suri, senior vice president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Suri, chairperson of Bharat Hotels Limited, on Wednesday said, “It is also an affirmation of the FICCI’s belief that increased trade and investments will go a long way in improving the relationship between India and Pakistan besides achieving the common goals of inclusive growth”.

The Show will be organized by FICCI in partnership with the India’s ministry of commerce and industry. The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Trade Development Authority of India (TDAP) will support the event which is aimed at showcasing the “best of India in the 21st century”.

Trade between the two countries has increased from $250 million in 2003 to $2.6 billion in 2013, showing an annual growth rate of 25% in the last 10 years.

The event will be the second edition of ‘India Show’ in Pakistan. The first ‘India Show’ was organized in Pakistan in February, 2012.

“The show is also a conscious effort to build on the success of the first show which has carved a niche for itself in the region as a preferred rendezvous for buyer and sellers. This is substantiated by the fact that most of the Indian exhibitors exhausted their stocks of goods in the first few days of the opening of the ‘India Show’ in Pakistan, two years ago”, said FICCI through a formal statement.

Representatives of 100 companies from various sectors will participate in the Show which has the potential to expand trade networks between India and Pakistan, bringing down costs, generating employment and expanding regional trade.

“It offers a gateway to a huge potential market in the region, an opportunity for businesses on both sides to explore investment and joint-ventures and a valuable platform for forging business linkages in the region,” said the statement.

Since this is the first time that the delegation will be led by a woman entrepreneur, the FICCI has organized serious engagements with women entrepreneurs of Pakistan to share experiences and work out future programmes and initiatives.

The FICCI has, on this occasion, also put forward some key recommendations which are essential in changing the dynamics of the India-Pakistan relationship and putting the engagement on a higher trajectory.

These recommendations are: approval and implementation of NDMA by Pakistan to India; liberalisation of the visa regime; signing of multi-modal transport and transit agreement; containerization of cargo; allowing trade-able items by land route at Wagah; increasing the operating hours of customs from 12 hours to 24 hours throughout the week; increasing the number of Land Custom Stations; dismantling of non tariff-barriers; harmonization of customs and mutual recognition of standards.