The ‘trade for peace’ train steams ahead

The ‘trade for peace’ train steams ahead

It’s all systems go for ‘Dividends’, the Second Aman ki Asha Indo-Pak Economic Conference, Lahore, May 7-8, 2012

Trade-1Taking forward the ‘trade for peace’ agenda initiated with its groundbreaking Indo-Pak business conference in May 2010, Aman ki Asha is organising ‘Dividends’, the Second Indo-Pak Economic Conference in Lahore, on May 7-8, 2012 in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the Pakistan Business Council (PBC).

On April 18, 2012, the CII and PBC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Aman ki Asha, Jang Group and Times of India, agreeing to host annual conferences alternately in India and Pakistan. The forthcoming conference in Lahore will be the first under this partnership.

The first meeting in May 2010 brought together some 250 Indian and 60 Pakistani businessmen and women whose joint statement highlighted achievable objectives and identified six sectors with the highest potential for mutual cooperation: Textiles, Information Technology (IT), Agriculture, althcare, Energy and Education.

They had urged both governments to ease visa restrictions, especially for the business community and to lift the ban on cell-phone roaming between India and Pakistan.

Business visas are being relaxed, but delegates will not be able to use their Indian mobile phones in Pakistan, unless the governments lift that restriction prior to the meeting in Lahore that starts on May 7, 2012.

At the last Indo-Pak Business Meet two years ago, Indian finance minister Pranab Mukherjee delivered the inaugural address and Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Shahid Malik, was among the luminaries who attended the event and stayed till the very end, leaving with positive feedback.

LOGO1The forthcoming ‘Dividends’ conference is expected to be even more high-powered than the previous one, with three federal ministers addressing the gathering, Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Sheikh, Hina Rabbani Khar, Foreign Minister of Pakistan, and Makhdoom Amin Faheem, Federal Minister of Commerce. Keynote speakers include Razzak Dawood, Chairman Descon, Sunil Kant Munjal, Chairman Hero Corporate Services and Indian parliamentarian Mani Shankar Aiyer.

Other prominent personalities expected to make presentations and participate in discussions include Indian High Commissioner Sharat Shabarwal, CII President Adi Godjrej, Rakesh Bharti Mittal, MD of Bharti Enterprise Ltd, Vikram S. Mehta, Chairman Shell Group India, Mian Muhammad Mansha, Chairman MCB Bank, Mohan Kaul, Co-Chair, Commonwealth Business Forum, Jehangir Siddiqui, JS Group, Zakir Mahmood, President Habib Bank Limited, and Bashir Ali Muhammad, Chairman Gul Ahmed Textiles.

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