Gilgit, December 3: Chairman of the Gilgit – Baltistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GBCCI), Javed Hussain, has said that a Joint Chamber of Commerce will be formed to facilitate trade across the Lion-of-Control. He also told the media that efforts are afoot for decreasing of barriers and opening of routes across the LOC, enabling people-to-people contacts between Azad Kashmir, Indian administered Kashmir and the Gilgit -Baltistan region.
He said this today after returning from Istanbul where he had gone to attend a meeting organized by Resources Conciliation, a UK based NGO working for ‘global peace’.
According to sources, around “10 major business organisations”, for the first time including traders’ associations from both sides, reinvigorated the Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry founded in 2008.
After three days of dialogue in Istanbul, the first written agreement on non-governmental cooperation was signed by the organizations present at the meeting.
Whether Gilgit – Baltistan would gain much from these arrangements is debatable, because unlike Azad Kashmir and the Indian Administered Kashmir, GB has no industry of significance. Majority of the people who make the GBCCI are traders working in the business of “import/export” from China.
However, the most significant achievement could be opening of the routes, to help the divided families from Kargil and Ladakh who have been living as refugees in Skardu and other parts of Baltistan for many years.