The continued political uncertainty in Pakistan threatens to derail ‘The India Show’ to be held in Lahore from February 11 to 13. The show is aimed at giving a renewed emphasis on improving upon the economic and commercial relations between India and Pakistan.
Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said his Government was watching the events unfold in Pakistan but said the “India Show” for the moment was happening. Mr. Sharma would be leading a delegation of Indian officials, CEOs and companies who will showcase their potential during the show and seek partnerships on the other side of the border. The event is being promoted by Federation of India Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).
FICCI director general, Rajiv Kumar said they were going ahead with the preparations for the ‘India Show’ but were observing the situation to keep track of any further development. India would showcase its strengths and invite Pakistani investors during the show. “The focus of the show would be sectors like ICT, manufacturing, infrastructure, agriculture, automobile, auto ancillary, pharmaceuticals,” he added. The high level delegation of Indian CEOs and companies will also explore opportunities for possible joint ventures.
According to a recent FICCI study, India – Pakistan trade amounts to less than 1 per cent of their respective global trade. However, volumes of third-country trade and informal trade indicate tremendous potential between both countries. The Indian delegation would also be visiting Karachi and Islamabad to hold discussions with Pakistan businessmen and business chambers for enhanced economic engagement. More than 100 Indian companies are likely to take part in the expo to showcase their line of products. There would also be a CEOs roundtable that would old B2B meetings in the three cities.
The India trade show is the result of recent visit of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) 100-member delegation, which invited Indian businessmen to Pakistan in December 2011.
According to a recent FICCI study, Pakistan’s share in India’s total exports increased from 0.45 percent in year 2003-2004 to 0.88 per cent in year 2009-2010 and imports from Pakistan as percentage of total imports of India, marginally increased from 0.07 percent in 2003-2004 to 0.10 per cent in year 2009-2010. The formal trade between India and Pakistan increased from $616 million in 2004 to $1.8 billion 2009-10. For the period April- December 2010 the trade has increased to $2.04 billion. The informal trade including third country trade between India and Pakistan is estimated at $10 billion. Trade through third countries or circular trade is mainly conducted through agents operating in free ports like Dubai or Singapore and the Central Asian Republic (CAR) countries. The size of circular trade underlines the potential of flourishing bilateral trade between the two countries.