The Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car, could be cruising on Pakistani roads if the governments of India and Pakistan remove bottlenecks standing in the way of joint ventures and investments between the two countries.
The International Multi Group of Companies, a Pakistani business house with interests in areas as diverse as edible oil and film imports, has expressed an interest in importing vehicles from Tata Group, including the Nano and CNG buses.
"We already have a letter of intent with the Tata Group as we were interested in their CNG buses. At a later stage, if restrictions in the trade policies of both India and Pakistan are removed, we are interested in bringing the Nano to Pakistan," said Amjad Rashid, global chairman, IMGC.
IMGC's plans to import CNG buses from Tata have been held up due to restrictions in Pakistan's trade policy, which allows the import of only a limited number of vehicles and makes it mandatory for a majority of vehicles to be assembled within the country. At the same time, the Reserve Bank of India's policies do not allow joint ventures and investments in Pakistan.
"We raised these issues with Indian commerce secretary Rahul Khullar when he was in Islamabad last month," Rashid said.
IMGC, one of Pakistan's largest manufacturers of edible oil with an annual turnover of about $200 million, is also interested in collaborating in other sectors with the Tata Group, including technology, Rashid said.
The group is also Pakistan's largest importer of Indian films. "We brought in 30 Indian films last year and we have signed for 15 more films this year. We are also about to conclude a deal for digital film technology, which will remove the need for importing film prints as movies will be brought in as digital files," Rashid said.
The Tata Group backed off on business ventures with Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.