Traders of India and Pakistan have agreed to form a Joint Working Group (JWG) to remove 'irritants' in bilateral trade, and to improve the trade ties between the two countries.
The decision to form a JWG was taken up at a meeting of the top officials of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Punjab-Haryana-Delhi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) on Thursday.
The JWG, which will have an equal number of members from each side, has been assigned to prepare joint working proposals, so that traders of both countries could avail the opportunities on both sides of the border.
"Private sectors of the two countries should come forward and convince their respective governments to take steps for bringing the business communities further closer," the Daily Times quoted PHDCCI President, Sanjay Bhatia as saying.
On behalf of Indian trading community Bhatia urged Pakistani traders to visit India and "join hands with their Indian counterparts".
LCCI President Shahid Hassan Sheikh underlined the importance of the strategic location that both countries possessed, and said that the enhanced bilateral trade ties would help in ending poverty from the region.
"It would not only give them prominence but also provide leverage to play a global role," he added
Pakistan's exports to India mainly comprise vegetables, fruits, textile yarn and fabrics, rice, leather, petroleum crude and refined sugar.
While important items imported from India include organic chemicals, oil-cake residue of soyabeans, plastic, iron ore agglomerated, dyeing, tanning materials, rubber manufacturers, tea, cardamom large, bidi leaves, ginger, betel leaves, iron and steel and special machinery for particular industry.
Hassan also urged Indian companies to form joint ventures in the fields of software development, telecommunication, information technology, computer engineering, bio-technology, light engineering, foundry machinery items, metallurgy, precious and semi precious gemstones, value added textiles, leather, sports goods, surgical instruments and petrochemicals.