Exports from Pakistan to India rose 66 per cent to $460 million in April-December 2012, against $277 million in the year-ago period. In 2011-12, exports from Pakistan to India stood at $401 million.
Growth of exports from India to Pakistan in April-December 2012 stood at only 16 per cent. Since 2009-10, the share exports to Pakistan in India’s total trade has doubled, according to data released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
“The impressive increase in Pakistan’s exports during April-December 2012 reflects the benefits of the steps taken to enhance bilateral trade and improvement in the trade environment, aided by Safta (South Asia Free Trade Area) tariff reductions,” said a press release by the High Commission of India in Islamabad.
“A number of trade organisations in both countries have promoted, especially in 2012, greater exchange of trade and business delegations between India and Pakistan. Liberalised visa provisions pertaining to business persons will further facilitate such exchanges,” the release added.
While addressing the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Robert D Hormats, US Department of State under-secretary for economic growth, energy & environment, said bilateral trade between the neighbours had the potential to rise to $10 billion in three years if some restrictions and regulations were removed.
“I believe increased India-Pakistan trade is a key element in South Asia’s connectivity with Afghanistan, central Asia and beyond. This is part of the reason the bilateral gains by India and Pakistan over the past two years are important, and indeed historic. Two-way trade at the Wagah border crossing, which I had the opportunity to visit on a recent trip, has increased about 50 per cent last year,” Hormats said.
Both sides have set a target to increase annual bilateral trade to $6 billion by 2013-14, against the current $2.7 billion.