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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 March, 2004, 18:03 GMT
Pakistani wares on show in Delhi
By Monica Gupta
BBC correspondent in Delhi

Women's clothes and spices produced in Pakistan are drawing the crowds at the "Made in Pakistan" exhibition being held in New Delhi.

A stall at the Made in Pakistan trade show in Delhi
Exhibitors aim to boost trade between India and Pakistan
The exhibition - the first of its kind in India has close to 300 exhibitors participating from across the border - who include over 40 women.

Farhad who runs a boutique called Ethnic Enterprises in Pakistan has brought salwar suits, dupattas and kurtis (traditional dresses worn by women in both countries) to sell at the exhibition.

"I had come earlier during the India International Trade fair in November last year. The response was very good, which is why I am here again," she says.

'High prices'

Another lady exhibitor Nuzrat, who is also a boutique owner, says the Pakistani salwar suits for women are better quality and have finer embroidery.

Indian buyers particularly women thronged the stalls selling suits and cosmetics, although some felt the clothes were too steeply priced.

Our drink is a purely Pakistani product. It is popular in several countries...even the US, and we are hoping that it will gain popularity here as well
Qamar Pervez Khan
A stall selling Pakola, a Pakistani fizzy drink, also attracted attention.

Qamar Pervez Khan of Pakola says this is the first time that his company has brought the drink to India.

"Our drink is a purely Pakistani product. It is popular in several countries including Afghanistan... and even the US, and we are hoping that it will gain popularity here," he said.

Spice wars

Shan Food Industries, whose packaged spices include a product called "Bombay biryani masala", are extremely popular back home.

A sign at the Made in Pakistan trade show in Delhi
Some Indians are still wary of Pakistani goods
"We are hoping that our Indian brethren will enjoy our taste and flavour. Though Indian spices are also well known, we are giving them tough competition in other countries, particularly the US," says Shan's Khalid Idris Malik.

Y. K. Modi, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, whic is jointly organising the exhibition with its Pakistani counterpart says the main objective of holding the exhibition is to educate people in India about what can be purchased from Pakistan.

Third party trade

"If the price and quality of their products is good, Indians will buy their products," he says.

Mohammad Amin Khatri, who is the director of the Pakistan Pavillion at the fair, says the exhibition will help boost direct trade between the two countries.

"Presently a large part of the trade takes place indirectly through third countries like Dubai. Under the WTO regime, both countries have no option but to trade with each other," he says.

Bilateral trade between India and Pakistan is presently valued at between $200-$250m, while unofficial levels are estimated at over $1bn.


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