The Department of Economics at LUMS (Lahore University of Management Science) organized International Conference on Pakistan-India Trade Normalization Issues. During the two day and six session long conference the findings of policy papers researched at LUMS over a period of two years were publicized.

The conference reconnoitered numerous aspects of Pakistan-India trade relations and observed ways to comprehend the potential of trade between India and Pakistan. In addition to LUMS, researchers from SDPI, USAID, Farmer Association of Pakistan (FAP) and ICRIER (New Delhi) also presented their verdicts.

The conference was attended by former Foreign Minister for Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar, Businessman Syed Babar Ali, Vice Chancellor LUMS Dr. Sohail Naqvi, Chairman Planning and Development Irfan Illahi, a fifteen member delegation comprising of researchers, academics and industry stakeholders from Delhi including Secretary Industries, Commerce & Investment, Punjab;

CEO of Punjab Board of Trade & Investment; renowned journalists and representatives of Karachi and Lahore Chamber of Commerce, representatives from the Agriculture and Pharmaceutical Sectors and academics from India and Pakistan.

Professor Sohail Naqvi, VC LUMS opened the conference with his remarks over the subject matter. The opening session also included an introduction to the project by Dr. Mohsin Khan (Atlantic Council, Project Lead).

Dr. Khan elucidated that the research conducted by LUMS focused on the influence of stabilizing trade with India on three sensitive sectors of the Pakistani Economy, such as the Agriculture, Automotive and the Pharmaceutical sectors.

Later there was a talk by Irfan Illahi, Chairman Planning & Development Punjab. Mr. Illahi said that refining two-pronged trade between the Pakistan and India required systematic and calculated steps where expansions were constant for the long term.

Chairman Planning and Development, Mr. Irfan Illahi, addressing the conference.

The first session of the conference emphasized on broader trade issues between India and Pakistan. The second session travelled through various issues on agriculture trade and the last session was on the pharmaceutical sector.

On the second and final day of the conference the opening session was on the trade scenarios in the automotive industry. The session featured interesting and insightful dialogs between ACMA (Indian Auto Component Manufacturers Association), PAMA and PAPAAM members.

The second session of the day explored issues of the informal trade issues and there was a productive discussion around the areas of informal trade and it was eminent that more methodical work is required to comprehend the nature of such trade and ways to resolve issues emanating from it.

The final feature of the conference was a talk by Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar who gave a synopsis of the political facet of Pakistan-India Trade and her efforts as (former) Foreign Minister in stabilizing trade between Pakistan and India.

Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, Former Foreign Minister for Pakistan, addressing the conference.

The list of speakers and presenters at the conference consisted of Dr. Turab Hussain (LUMS), Dr. Manzoor Ahmad (USAID), Dr. I.N. Mukherji (Consultant UN ESCAP, Delhi), Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Usman Khan (LUMS), Nadia Rehman (USAID/World Bank), Afaq Tiwana (Chairman FAP), Nadia Mukhtar (LUMS), Manoj Pant (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Samavai Batool (SDPI), Nazish Afraz (LUMS), Umer Bhatti (SDPI), Biswajeet Nag (India), Saad Shabbir (SDPI) and Afaq Hussain (Brief Pvt. LTD Delhi).

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