Pakistan, on Wednesday, called on India to formulate a joint strategy on marketing and export of premium basmati rice to counter the non-tariff barriers imposed by other countries.

“I think time has come now and we have to work collectively to formulate a new strategy for marketing the much sought-after basmati rice to other parts of the world. We need to fulfil each other's needs and then take on the other countries,” Trade Development Authority of Pakistan Chief Executive Tariq Puri said here.

Mr. Puri, who is here in connection with the “Pakistan Lifestyle” exhibition-cum-cultural show, to be held from April 12 to 15, said: “With this kind of heritage of basmati (rice variety), we are required to devise a common strategy to counter non-tariff barriers of other countries.”

A delegation of Pakistani rice exporters met their Indian counterparts and discussed various ways and means to enhance co-operation in the field of marketing and technology exchange. ``We discussed issues like importing machinery and technology for post-harvesting of rice, including steaming for value addition variety of rice in Pakistan. We also talked about the Geographical Indication (GI) issue and need to work together on this important issue to sort out problems that crop up time and again,” Mr. Puri said.

“We want to benefit from the Indian technology. India is good in rice value addition. Once we start negotiating in machinery equipment and plant from India, the technology and other things will follow,” he added.

Mr. Puri said that Pakistan textiles were popular and had a huge market in India.

“Textiles products are very well accepted in India. With trade normalisation, barriers coming down and issues that were there before are getting removed the biggest beneficiary is direct trade.

“We believe India has a huge potential. We believe it is in billions of dollars,” Mr. Puri said.