India and Pakistan should take more steps to remove non-tariff barriers that have been an impediment to bilateral trade, outgoing Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal said.

“The Pakistan-India Joint Business Council meeting by the end of this month is likely to come up with more concrete proposals to expedite trade between the two countries”, Mr. Sabharwal said during a farewell meeting at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.

Giving credit to the private sectors of the two countries for making right moves at right time to boost trade, Mr. Sabharwal said there is no better way of improving bilateral relations than mutually beneficial economic ties.

He said the two countries should take more steps to remove non-tariff barriers.

For every step Pakistan takes, India is ready to take two, he said.

“It is not only the visa regime that has been liberalised, but considerable increase in the bilateral trade has been witnessed in recent years”, Mr. Sabharwal said.

He said it was good to see the new government in Pakistan focusing on the economic well-being of its people.

LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar said regular exchange of delegations by both sides will help normalise trade and economic relations.

“In fact, we are in favour of regional trade and we are gearing up for fair competition with India. The non-tariff barriers being faced by Pakistani exporters are creating enormous problems”, he said.

“Both countries should find ways to cut down NTBs because one or two bad experiences lead the exporters to change their minds”, Mr. Iftikhar said.

Pakistan and India should open consulates in Lahore and Amritsar, respectively, to speed up the process of issuing visas to businessmen, he said.