World Bank to develop Wagah border facilities

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LAHORE: A World Bank (WB) mission visited the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Tuesday to discuss the issues in Indo-Pakistan trade through land route.

The WB team, headed by Diep Nguyen-van Houtte, Senior Operations Officer of South Asia Regional Integration, discussed facilities at Wagah border with the LCCI. She said that the proposals and suggestions given by the LCCI members would help the bank develop early the much-needed infrastructure at the crossing points between Pakistan and India. LCCI Senior Vice President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said the neighbouring countries could play a very important role to boost regional economy and trade.

He said the government of Pakistan was very keen to have strong trade ties with its neighbours, especially India.

He highlighted the need to create a platform to facilitate the businessmen on both sides as “this will help improve the bilateral trade”.

Sheikh urged private donors to support in developing the infrastructure to ease trade through borders. He said that the current facilities available for trade through land need to be expanded on both sides of the border and electronic data exchange should be introduced.

Since expanding trade requires more specialised logistic services, he said, large logistic service providers with the requisite expertise, particularly from the private sector, should be encouraged to play a part. He said testing should be made available at the border. Awareness should be created on each other’s regulatory regimes, particularly in pharmaceuticals, he added.

New visa policy should be implemented as soon as possible, he said, adding that visas should be liberalised more by both countries to improve business-to-business and people-to-people contact.

Courtesy:   The Peninsula Qatar

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