The Harvest Tradings CEO Ahmad Jawad and business experts have said that trade with India in agri products without subsidy would not be beneficial for Pakistan in any aspect.
Ahmad Jawad said that Pakistan agriculture sector would face real difficulties on opening of trade while India will deprive Pakistan of water by 2020. He said that Pakistan industry was affected after opening of free trade with China and the same situation may be faced at the start of trade with India. He said that Indian PM Manmohan Singh already had announced that there could be no “business as usual” with Pakistan after a clash last week, but we believe in free trade and frequent interactions that is a future of two countries, volume of which between India and Pakistan is about $2.5 billion and it is expected that this can be enhanced to $8 billion in the next two years. Jawad reminded, Pakistani agriculturists are not against trade with India but they expect to be protected against the highly subsidised agriculture products of India.
On average, each agriculture hectare gets a subsidy of $300 per year in India,” This works out to be around Rs 11,900 per acre of subsidy or 30 maunds average production of any commodity.
Pakistan can only benefit and target the huge retail market in India if subsidies are provided to the farmers and also substitute imports with cheaper imports from India. The potential import items include tea, spices, auto parts, consumer and light engineering goods, tyres and transport equipment, entertainment, healthcare, information technology and pharmaceuticals.
The resultant potential savings would be up to $1b for Pakistan and benefit the local consumers, who will have access to more choices and cheaper products; Jawad added.
He said Pakistan must urge India to remove barriers and provide level playing field to Pakistani exporters.
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