PBF says trade with India may be banned permanently till revoking the article 370’

0
84

Islamabad:     President, Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) Sahibzada Usman Zulfiqar
on Monday said there was no use talking to India on the restoration of trade
unless it lifted curfew and restored the special status of Indian held
Kashmir.

He said to India’s misfortune, it has been taken over by extremist and racist
Hindus. Only a person with an extremist mindset would do what they have done
in Kashmir by keeping it under curfew for the last 10 months. Now Prime
Minister Narendra Modi offering Kashmir’s domicile to Indian business
community in order to further deprived the Kashmir’s.

PBF President told since 70 years bilateral trade was largely favoured to
India which even against the wisdom of SAFTA agreement.

Indian exports continued unabated at a monthly average of $150 million while
Pakistan’s decreased from $30 million to $4 million. Pakistan’s decision to
suspend bilateral trade has pulled the plug on this one-way trade.

Neither Pakistan nor India is critically dependent on each other’s market,
though the suspension of bilateral trade might, in the medium term, affect the
consumer welfare by increasing prices of a few agricultural and other
products.

As in absolute terms, India stands to lose a market of $2 billion compared
with Pakistan’s loss of $0.38 billion. Pakistan’s exports of
$383 million to India in 2018 constituted 1.6% of Pakistan’s global exports.
Since Pakistan’s value-added products are systematically excluded through
NTBs, Pakistan’s exports to India are concentrated in a few primary and
intermediate products — dried dates ($92 million), cement ($63 million), sugar
($23 million), gypsum ($19 million), sesame seed ($15 million), leather ($14
million), steel scrap ($13 million), disodium carbonate ($12 million) and
surgical instruments
($11 million).

There is little dependence of Pakistan’s exports on the Indian market for
these products except for dried dates, though the reliance has been reduced
through an aggressive market diversification strategy since February 2019.