April 1999 News

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Indo-Pak Taskforce sets up target of Rs 10,000 crore

6th April 1999
Daily Excelsior

BANGALORE: An Indo-Pak Taskforce on trade has set a target of Rs.10,000 crore for bilateral trade to be achieved by the year 2003, Pakistan High Commissioner in India Ashraf Jehangir Qazi said today.

Addressing members of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) here, he said the current direct trade between the two countries was only 250 million dollars though the actual volume, including diversion through a third country, stood at one billion dollars.

The main obstacles in achieving the target set up by the task force, he said were economic and technical, besides the overall political relation. Unlike the political problems, the technical ones arising out of a trade imbalance could be resolved without any difficulty, he pointed out and said by resolving them trade could flourish.

He said his country had identified certain items that could be imported by India to avoid bilateral trade imbalance. Neighbouring states suffer from the same problem as exports to India from these countries were minimal compared to what was offered by India.

Terming bangalore as a model city for hi-tech industries for the entire South Asia, he said India could play a major role in improving the information technology sector in his country.

About the Indian proposal to buy power from his country, he said it could only be a short term measure for which details regarding price and other modalities were yet to be worked out. Pakistan was now having surplus power due to the recession and because of the additional capacities generated by independent power producers. Since the situation might change in the long run, he said his country was not not in a position to sign a long-term power transfer agreement with India.

The sale of power would also help his country control the balance of trade which was now now favourable to India, he added. (UNI)

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