LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistani products will also be exported to India and we should not be afraid in this regard. Special funds can be allocated in the next provincial budget to enhance trade between both the countries.

He expressed these views while addressing a conference on the subject of new opportunities of trade between Pakistan and India held under the aegis of Punjab Investment Board at CM’s Secretariat here. Provincial Minister Ch Abdul Ghafoor, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Dr Nadeem ul Haq, Federal Secretary Commerce Zafar Mahmood, Mian Mansha, Vice Chairman Punjab Investment Board Miftah Ismail, heads of trade and business institutions from all over the country and prominent personalities associated with banking, pharmaceutical, agriculture and other sectors attended the conference. The conference discussed in detail various aspects of new prospects of Pak-India trade. The speakers stressed the need for opening up new trade routes with India like Wagha-Attari route.

Federal Secretary Commerce Zafar Mahmood said the Pakistan and India have inked three trade-related agreements so far. If India provides subsidy on products sent to Pakistan we will also impose duty on those items despite MFN status to India.

Mian Muhammad Mansha, on this occasion, said that due to trade liberalization with India the inflation trend in Pakistan will go down while property rates will jump.

Punjab CM proposed that new trade gateway set up at Wagha border be run as a corporate model. He said that expansion in trade relations between Pakistan and India is mutually beneficial for both the countries and it will also benefit Pak industry.

He said that we should evolve a comprehensive strategy aimed at protecting the interests of Pakistan and benefit of the new prospects with collective wisdom.

He said that both the countries should utilize their resources for the progress and prosperity of their people instead of fighting with each other as it is the only way through which both the countries can be developed and get their masses rid of poverty and unemployment. He said that besides promotion of trade serious steps would also have to be taken for resolving the Kashmir issue and provision of water share to Pakistan. He said that like Europe if we learnt to live peacefully by following the principle of mutual coexistence, then our future will be bright.

Punjab Chief Minister termed the new prospects of Pak-India trade a good omen. He said that both the countries can get rid of menace of poverty and unemployment by promoting regional trade and investment.