Amritsar: Favouring enhancement of trade between India and Pakistan through land route, US Ambassador to India Richard R Verma said here today that he would certainly do whatever he can to push the governments of both the countries to resolve the issue at the earliest.
“There is indeed immense potential to save huge transportation costs and time, if more and more trade is done through land route via Attari -Wagah border,” Verma said.
While listening to Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) concerns and possible solutions to enhance trade between India and Pakistan through land route, Verma said that he would certainly do all he can, to push the governments of both countries to resolve these issues at the earliest and leverage each other's strengths.
A delegation of CII's Amritsar Zonal council led by its Vice Chairman Pradeep Sehgal met the US Ambassador during an interaction organised by Customs Commissioner at Integrated Check Post (ICP) at the Attari.
“Though the economic destinies of India and Pakistan are interlinked, but our bilateral trade is below USD 3 billion which has the potential to touch USD 10 billion in the next few years. Our economies are complementary and it is highly imperative that, Pakistan at least declare the Negative list of a few important items, and thus allow import of the rest of items from India”, said Seghal.
Seghal said that “the biggest hurdle is that, though India has granted Pakistan the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status, Pakistan has only created a positive list of importable goods from India.”
“If it intends to protect particular industries, it should rather create a ‘negative list' of those items and allow export of rest of items from India to Pakistan”, he added.
US Ambassador Verma while commenting on Pakistan and Afghanistan said that America perceived the situation in these two countries with a long term perspective and strongly believed in strengthening democracies in both these countries.
Earlier, interacting with faculty and some representatives of trade and industry at Guru Nanak Dev University here, Verma said humanitarian and military aid to Pakistan was to fight poverty, developing infrastructure and bolster it's capabilities to fight terrorism.
Throwing light on various strategic partnerships between the India and US, he said “If India and US work together, it is not only that the two nations shall be benefited, but the two together shall be able to deliver significantly for the rest of the world.”
Verma said the current times in which he is steering the US policies in India are the conducive times where the connect between two largest democracies at government levels now is coupled with the people to people connect that was always there in the yesteryears.
The US Ambassador also visited historic Khalsa college here and got glimpses of Punjab's rich history and culture.