ISLAMABAD: Trade between India and Pakistan is surging despite problems in movement of goods and people. Pakistan registered a six-fold hike in its exports to India in the last five years. It is expected to go up further with new trade concessions announced by India last week. Bilateral trade swelled from $235.74 million in 2001-02 to more than $1 billion last fiscal year. The balance of trade remains in India's favour.
In recent times, India and Pakistan have opened banks in each other's territory, resumed shipping services and improved cross-border road and rail transport. According to a trade analyst, the share of Pakistan's exports to India in overall exports increased from a mere 0.5 percent in 2001-02 to 1.8 percent in 2005-06."This is a six-time increase in Pakistan's exports to India in the last five years," an official of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry said. Pakistan's exports to India have increased from less than $50 million in 2001-02 to about $300 million in 2005-06.
Simultaneously, Indian exports to Pakistan too surged from $186.52 million to $802 million, up from 1.8 percent to 2.8 percent Pakistan's global imports. In these five years the balance of bilateral trade remained in favour of India. In 2005-06, it rose up to more than $500 million.
Pakistan supplied chickpeas, pulses, grains and sugar when these were in short supply in India. India supplied onions, potatoes, pulses and other food items to Pakistan. India's exports of engineering goods now exceed $10 billion. Pakistan meets its 25-30 percent requirements of engineering products from imports. India can be a good source of engineering products with freight advantage and relatively quick delivery and after-sales service.