LAHORE - Nepal and Pakistan can explore products of comparative advantage favoured by specific climatic zones in both countries. The direct air link between Nepal and Pakistan, increased exchange of business delegations and establishment of display centres in each other’s countries will boost the trade ties and enable both the countries to enjoy increased profits.

This was stated by SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president Iftikhar Malik while stressing the need for expanding role of Pakistan and Nepal for the betterment of the people of South Asia besides promoting peace in the region especially between India and Pakistan. Highlighting the role of SAARC Chamber in this regard, he said Saarc Chamber has been proactively advocating stronger commercial and economic relations, for a prosperous and integrated South Asia. Since its inception, Saarc CCI has played an integral role in providing an institutional framework for promoting economic and regional cooperation in South Asia.

SAARC Chamber vice president, terming Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s two-day tour to Nepal a gold opportunity to explore new avenues of bilateral trade, said that improved regional trade will not only trigger pace of development in the whole SAARC region but also help promoting further bilateral business relations between Pakistan and Nepal.

He said that Prime Minister’s visit to Nepal would provide an opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations across all areas of mutual interest, including trade, education, tourism, defence and people-to-people contacts. PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is on two-day tour to Nepal where he would congratulate the newly elected Prime Minister of Nepal Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli and would call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari.

Iftikhar Malik further stated that SAARC should adopt a global approach and should focus on a wide range of activities like poverty alleviation, improvement of the health sector, trade and commerce in the region. He said that South Asia comprises three percent of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 3.8% ($2.9 trillion) of the global economy. “The respective governments are trying to give their people a higher quality of life despite being racked by high illiteracy, dismal healthcare and poor sanitation,” Vaidya said.

He emphasized the need for exchanging business delegations for enhancing trade and promotion of investment opportunities between Nepal and Pakistan and assured his full support in this regard.

He said current trade volume of $1.36 million per annum was far from satisfactory. Both countries could work together in the fields of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure and automotive industry to boost bilateral trade.

He said the trade ties have a much higher chance of improving as both the countries are important members of the SAARC, share common international views and enjoy good relations and background.

Iftikhar Ali Malik also appreciated the dynamic role of Suraj Vaidya as president of SAARC Chamber for promoting of trade among the member states in the region.