ISLAMABAD, Nov 16: Bilateral trade between Pakistan and India has doubled in the last two years to $2.7 billion, which can be pushed up to $8bn by taking some simple measures, said Zubair Ahmed Malik, president of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

Speaking at a roundtable conference on ‘India Pakistan Economic Relations: The Next Milestone’, he said that strong political will was needed to realise the actual trade potential, which wan no less than $50bn a year.

The conference was organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in New Delhi.

Mr Malik said that FPCCI and FICCI had been working together for two decades to further bilateral economic agenda. FPCCI would extend full cooperation to FICCI in organising the second edition of the ‘India Show’ in Lahore from Feb 14 to 16, 2013.

Vikramjit Singh Sahney, President, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Senior Executive Committee Member of FICCI, said that political will on both sides was needed to exploit growing opportunities.

FPCCI Vice President Gluzar Feroz asked India to allow direct sales of certain items to Pakistan like chemicals, dyes and heavy machinery, which would reduce costs and improve relations.

Naeem Anwar, Minister of Trade at the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi, said Islamabad had completed the consultation and hoped negotiations on issuing the MFN status to India would start soon.—APP