Even as tensions between India and Pakistan are at a high following last week’s terror attack on the Indian army base in Uri, industry body Assocham said on Sunday that trade relations between countries remain “abysmally low”. “India-Pakistan trade relations are abysmally low accounting for less than half a per cent of India’s total global trade involving both exports and imports,” the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said in a release in New Delhi.
“Out of India’s total merchandise trade of $641 billion in 2015-16, Pakistan accounted for a meagre $2.67 billion,” it said. “In all, trade with Pakistan was equivalent to 0.41 per cent of India’s global merchandise commerce,” Secretary General Assocham D.S. Rawat said in the statement.
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“Thus, the MFN (Most Favoured Nation) status, or no MFN, has not made much of a difference on the bilateral trade,” he said.
“While India has granted Pakistan the MFN status, Islamabad had not responded. But even with the MFN status, Pakistan’s exports to India remained less than half a billion dollars,” he added.
Rawat noted that for political reasons, businesses have not been cultivating interest in each other’s country.
“Going forward, as things stand today, it is almost no movement seen in the immediate future. Even the symbolic presence of Pakistan exhibitors at the annual India International Trade Fair (IITF) in November in New Delhi is not expected whether or not formal ties are snapped or not, given the present state of affairs,” he said.
The chamber said “India Inc. is fully behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi for steering India’s interest in the best possible directions.”
“India’s strategic decisions are fully the domain of the government, which enjoys the full backing of the nation,” Rawat added.