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03 Nov 2011 – India to Expedite Visas for Businessmen Who Visited in 2010, 2011

Islamabad: Mr. Arvind Saxena, the Counsellor (Economics and Commerce) of the Indian High Commission visited the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Head Office on Thursday, November 3, 2011, where he met Chaudhary Aamer Ata Bajwa, Acting President-FPCCI and other leading members of the business community of Pakistan.

Mr. Saxena was greeted by Mr. Bajwa, who thanked him for visiting Federation House, Karachi. Also present on the occasion were Mr. Tariq Sayeed, VP-CACCI and Former President FPCCI and Former and Founder President of SAARC CCI ; Mr. Khalid Tawab, Mr. Dawood Usman Jakhura and Engr. Muhammad Usman Shaikh, Vice Presidents-FPCCI; Mian Zahid Hussain; Mr. Khurram Sayeed; Mr. Mansha Churra; Mr. Nasiruddin Sheikh and Mir Nasir Abbas, DG(IA)-FPCCI.

While welcoming Mr. Saxena at FPCCI, Mr. Bajwa praised his predecessor, Mr. Rajinder Kumar Sharma, and said that Mr. Sharma had worked very hard during his three-year tenure to bring the businessmen of Pakistan and India closer. He expressed the hope that Mr. Saxena would also play a similar leading role in facilitating the business community on both sides of the Indo-Pak border.

Mr. Tariq Sayeed mentioned that investment and joint ventures needed to be initiated across the Indo-Pak border by both countries. He stressed that the plan drafted by the two Commerce Secretaries during the Secretary-level talks earlier this year must be implemented in letter and spirit.

Some of the other issues which were discussed during the course of the meeting included: the need for enhancing the infrastructure at Wagah-Attari for trade, progress on the negative list issue, establishing reciprocal banking channels, and the problems faced by the Pakistani business community in getting Indian visas.

The decision to accord MFN status to India was welcomed by Mr. Saxena, and he stated that this was the first step towards achieving free trade, the ultimate realization of which would be SAFTA. With regard to business visas to Pakistanis, Mr. Saxena very generously offered to expedite issuance of visas to businessmen who had visited India in 2010 or 2011, which would reduce the backlog of visa applications at the Indian High Commission. This would allow Pakistani exhibitors to attend the upcoming IITF later this month.

Mr. Saxena assured FPCCI of his utmost cooperation and asked the business community to approach him in case any problems were faced in dealing with their Indian counterparts. The meeting was concluded with presentation of the FPCCI crest to Mr. Saxena by the Acting President Mr. Bajwa, which was followed by a lunch hosted in his favor by FPCCI.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Raza Khan,
Chairman Coordination,
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
FPCCI, Capital Office, Islamabad,
Former President, Haripur Chamber of Commerce,
Founder President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce.
Tel: FPCCI +92-51-2251891-3. Fax +92-51-251894
Tel: Business +92-51-4434200-5. Fax +92-514434203

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