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Sukhbir to visit Pakistan, explore deeper trade ties

Posted on Nov 03, 04:44PM | IANS

Hailing the opening of trade ties through the Attari-Wagah border, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said he would visit Pakistan Monday to explore strengthening trade between "eastern" and "western" Punjab (in Pakistan).

Badal said that Punjab had been waiting to be allowed to export its agricultural produce, including wheat and paddy, directly to Pakistan and Central Asian countries, as also Iran, by road.

He said that the opening of the Attari-Wagah border for trade was a "game-changer," with a potentially huge impact for all of north India.

The deputy chief minister was addressing the 'Invest North' convention organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Gurgaon Saturday.

He said that once import and export of nearly 6,000 items was allowed through the Attari-Wagah land route, 30 km from Amritsar, the economic profile of north India could change.

At present, India and Pakistan allow trade of only 137 items through the land route. Over 6,000 items can be traded between the two countries through sea, via Mumbai and Karachi.

India has set up a Rs.150 crore state-of-the-art integrated check post (ICP) to handle greater passenger and cargo traffic on its side at Attari.