War fear creating uncertainty in business activities: FPCCI

KARACHI: Mian Mahmood Ahmad, Acting president of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), on Wednesday expressed serious concern over present situation at Pak-India border.

Apprehension of war is creating uncertainty in business activities which would ultimately hurt bilateral trade, he said in a statement.

Ahmad said that after South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), it was expected that the trade would be promoted, mutual relations would expand but no significant increase in volume of trade could be seen yet due to growing number of non-tariff barriers (NTBs).

“NTM Desk established in FPCCI is engaged in identifying NTMs/NTBs which is major impediment in the growth of trade and economic relations in the SAARC region. The Desk has submitted its report to SAARC TPN on various NTMs/NTBs by identify priority product in the first phase of NTM project supported and sponsored by international organization GIZ.”

He also said that according to WTO definition, all discriminatory attitudes to restrict the export of a particular country were considered as non-tariff measures. “Unusual certification requirement, harassment by border security agencies, creating apprehension in the minds of public, misleading propaganda against the country, creating hurdles in the issuance of visa, mandatory police reporting requirement, unusual and lengthy documentation by visa offices, delaying tactics and derogatory behavior and attitude of the agencies and city restricted visa are considered non-tariff barriers.” In the presence of these NTMs/NTBs enhancement in mutual trade and economic relation will be a dream.

Ahmed stated that without considering the removal of root causes, trade enlargement was not possible. In fact, trade and economic relations between Pakistan and India could not be segregated with the geo-political issues, he concluded.

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