Indo-Pak trade may dip 20%

Indo-Pak trade may dip 20%

New Delhi: Trade between India and Pakistan may dip 20% owing to ongoing political turmoil. Trade may stagnate at $2.1 billion against the projected figure of $2.7 billion, according to a study carried out by industry chamber Assocham.

India is the biggest trading partner of Pakistan for some years now, as far as the Saarc block is concerned. Indian share in Pakistan’s total trade since 2001 increased at almost 50% within the Saarc region. This trend if it persists will also affect intra-Saarc trade

“The shocks of political instability in Pakistan has been observed on India’s cross-border trade and Indian businessmen and small merchants who were contemplating to set up trade relations with it have now holding their plans," said Venugopal N. Dhoot, president, Assocham during an analysis on the subject ‘Pakistan Political Scenario & Its Impact on India’.

Key Findings

* Bilateral trade in 2006-07 between the two countries recorded increase of 88% and stood at $1.6 billion

* India’s exports to Pakistan in the same period was $1.2 billion, which shows an increase of 96% against $690 million in the previous fiscal 2005-06

* Imports from Pakistan during the same period were worth $320 million, an 80% increase over the previous year of $180 million

* Both countries recently allowed trucks to cross Wagah border post for unloading goods to push up bilateral trade. With the two government’s taking initiatives, traders from both countries were planning to trade in bulk of commodities and exports were expected to jump more than 100% per annum in the next 3 years

*The chamber suggested that sectors such as food processing, IT, sports goods and textiles can witness inflow of investments from both countries as also create huge employment opportunities