ISLAMABAD/LAHORE  - Business community has lauded Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Pakistan and expressed hope for he revival of economic ties between both countries.

“Peace and stability is must to enhance the regional trade and also to achieve the target of economic prosperity and stability in the region,” President, Islamabad chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Atif Ikram Sheikh said while talking to APP here on Saturday.

President ICCI said the visit was a positive step towards right direction and would open up ways for economic cooperation. He said both the countries have to settle down all the issues through dialogue process. He added that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Pakistan left a good impact on economic environment and revive the confidence of international investors on the market of both countries.

Atif Sheikh said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the game changer project for the region, it consider as symbol of economic integration and provide connectivity with big market.

While ex-president, Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Dr Hassan Sarosh said, “We need to protect the local market first then open the trade with India at equal level.” Dr. Sarosh said that Free Trade Agreement with India is also need of the hour, which provide huge opportunities for the traders of the both countries.

Ex-president of ICCI, Muzamil Hussain Sabri also welcomed the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Pakistan and said that peaceful dialogue is key for revival of political and economic relations between India and Pakistan. He said that in future “We need to evolve strategy for enhancing the economic ties and open the trade relations with India to bring prosperity and economic stability in the region.”

Meanwhile, LCCI also welcomed the surprise goodwill visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Pakistan. LCCI President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said here that Modi’s visit would help ease the bilateral trade of Pakistan and India. Sheikh Arshad called for removing the non-tariff trade barriers by India, citing that both the countries have great potential for bilateral trade but this should be on equal footings. He said indirect trade was taking place between Pakistan and India via third destination which not only added to shipment cost but also stretched lead time. “We have to find ways to mitigate the adverse effects of tariff and non-tariff barriers,” he maintained.

Sheikh Arshad said private sectors of both countries as well as people-to-people contact could help in raising the level of mutual trade.

He was of the view that India should also show some flexibility on its hard stance on various issues coming in the way of maintaining normal trader, cultural and other relations. While, LCCI Executive Committee member Raja Adeel Ashfaq said Pakistan and India could enhance the two-way trade volume manifolds.

Meanwhile minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir Friday said peaceful and friendly relations between India and Pakistan would be beneficial for the whole region because of their importance. The visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Pakistan was a positive step towards improving the relations between the two neighbours, he added. Moreover, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had a vision to share prosperity through regional economic integration and such meetings between the heads of government would help realize that vision, Khurram Dastgir said talking to a private channel. He expressed the hope that today’s development would pave way for resolving all the issues through dialogue.