India to host Pakistani lifestyle expo

New Delhi, April 8: In a major step towards normalising business relations, India will host an exhibition in which over 100 Pakistani lifestyle companies will showcase their products and services this week.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and his Pakistani counterpart Mohammad Amin Fahim will inaugurate “Lifestyle Pakistan” to be held from April 12 to 15 at Pragati Maidan here, an official said.

Lifestyle companies from different segments, including textiles, couture and pret wear, home textiles, designer furniture, leather accessories, food products, marble ornaments and intricate handicrafts, will showcase their products at the event.

The Pakistani lifestyle exhibition follows a three-day India Show organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in Lahore in February.

“Lifestyle Pakistan comes as a quantum leap in the bilateral trade relations between India and Pakistan, as well as for the expansion of intra-regional trade,” said Tariq Puri, chairman, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan.

“South Asia remains the least integrated region in the world where our intra-regional trade amounts to just over one percent of the region’s GDP,” he said.

Puri said the business community on both sides of the border realises the enormous win-win opportunities that regional trade presents for India and Pakistan.

“We are keen on developing mutually beneficial synergies and are excited to collaborate with FICCI, for what I am confident is the first-of-the-series of many joint ventures,” Puri said in a statement.

Top Pakistani lifestyle brands like Gul Ahmed, AlKaram, Hub Leather, Khaadi, Chen One, Bonanza, Shamaeel by Sitara, Nishat and Orient Textile Mills will be showcasing their products at the four-day event.

Some of the names to participate are ace designers Sahar Atif, Deepak Perwani, Kamiar Rokni, Faiza Samee, Maheen Khan, Rizwan Beyg, Maria B and Nilofer Shahid.

India and Pakistan have taken a number of steps in the recent months to normalise business relations.

The largest ever Indian business delegation to Pakistan, comprising some 120 members and led by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, visited Pakistan Feb 13-16. This followed a high-level Pakistani business delegation comming to India late in 2011.

India’s trade with Pakistan accounts for nearly 0.5 percent of its total global trade. Two-way formal trade between India and Pakistan is estimated at around $3 billion, while India’s total foreign trade is expected to be over $750 billion in the financial year ended March 31.

IANS