Pakistan and India form Business Council
During a recent IndiaPakistan Business Roundtable in Lahore, Pakistan and India have formed a common business council to facilitate expansion in bilateral trade and provide avenues for growth in the region. The agreement was signed between Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister of Indian Punjab and Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab. The Roundtable Conference was held under the patronage of the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade.
The Business Council, consisting of 10 members from both the countries, will take steps to establish joint industrial zones, hold business conferences and strengthen trade relations. Speaking on the occasion, Badal said, “Today’s world runs on business and both countries will have to work together on the economic front.”
Accompanying Badal were provincial ministers, industrialists and businesspersons aiming to boost bilateral trade. Also discussed at the meeting were the possible options of increasing trade activities to which Shehbaz Sharif suggested that the two countries should use the Wagah border to reduce costs.
Addressing the conference, Sharif said that wars had pushed Pakistan and India into poverty, hunger and unemployment. He was of the view that although history has separated the two countries but also made them neighbours. He stressed on the need to work together for the progress and prosperity of the people in order to change the course of history. India and Pakistan must live together and resolve their issues through mutual negotiations. Badal and Sharif discussed various issues at the conference among, which the electricity issue was on top.
Badal said that the state of Punjab in India would be in a position to export electricity as it was soon going to achieve power surplus. However, power exports to Pakistan would depend on approval from the government of India. Badal reiterated the need to establish trade ties between SAARC nations and proposed for Pakistan and India to take guidance from the European Union as a model to improve their economic relations.
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