Busi­ness Coun­cil to Take Shape

Southasia - - Briefing -

Dur­ing his maiden visit to Pak­istan, Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Min­is­ter of In­dian Pun­jab, met with Shah­baz Sharif, Chief Min­is­ter of Pun­jab at the re­cent In­dia-Pak­istan Busi­ness Roundtable where the two signed agree­ments to for­mal­ize a com­mon busi­ness coun­cil, es­tab­lish joint in­dus­trial zones, hold busi­ness con­fer­ences and in­crease bi­lat­eral trade. This was Badal’s first visit to Pak­istan dur­ing which he hoped to fos­ter greater eco­nomic bonds be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan. Most re­cently, In­dia has also ap­pointed its first Mus­lim For­eign Min­is­ter, a move that is ex­pected to ease ten­sions be­tween the two coun­tries and pro­mote greater un­der­stand­ing.

Ad­mir­ing the Indo-Pak friend­ship, Badal ex­pressed a de­sire for greater eco­nomic and trade part­ner­ship be­tween the two neigh­bors, thus paving the way for re­gional sta­bil­ity. Shah­baz Sharif deemed the roundtable meet­ings a wel­come step and a ma­jor stride in build­ing a stronger re­la­tion­ship. Pak­istan re­cently granted In­dia the sta­tus of the Most Fa­vored Na­tion in trade but this move re­mains to be im­ple­mented. Es­tab­lish­ing a com­mon busi­ness coun­cil re­in­forces the trust and con­fi­dence of both coun­tries to build av­enues of growth and devel­op­ment. To es­tab­lish greater trade ties be­tween SAARC na­tions, Badal was of the view that Pak­istan and In­dia should take ref­er­ence from the Euro­pean Union as a model to im­prove their mu­tual in­dus­trial and trade ties.

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