Latest Business News > News Delhi – India and Pakistan said Thursday they hoped to transform trade ties and boost peace prospects at the opening of the largest Pakistani commercial fair ever staged on Indian soil.
“There is no other option but economic partnership between Indian and Pakistan,” Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said at the launch of the four-day exhibition in New Delhi, a sentiment echoed by Pakistani officials.
“We have to recognise our true trade potential and leave our children with a legacy that ensures prosperity, harmony and peace.”
The opening came just days after Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari made the first trip to India by a Pakistani head of state in seven years.
Pakistan has brought more than 650 business people to the Indian capital for the trade show as commercial ties improve between the neighbours.
The two countries have approved a most-favoured-nation accord, reducing taxes that hamper trade.
Official two-way trade of around $2.6 billion is heavily tilted in India’s favour but unofficial trade is estimated at around $10 billion.
The show underscored hopes voiced by the two nations that boosting trade can help the peace process.
“(A) lot of movement has happened in the past year, normalisation is going very fast,” Pakistan Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood said.
The fair showcases the products of Pakistan’s top jewellery, furniture and clothes designers along with the goods of leading food producers.
“We have the top brands of Pakistan, the high-end fashion and creative work in this show,” Tariq Puri, chief executive of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, said.
“We have never had so many quality people under the same roof.”
The Pakistani lifestyle exhibition in New Delhi follows a successful “made-in-India” trade show in the Pakistani city of Lahore in February. AFP