`Final round of Indo-Pak Commerce Secretary talks within 2 months`
Chennai: Final round of Commerce Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan would be held in the next couple of months, a top official said on Friday.
"Within next couple of months, I will be going there (to Pakistan) to finalise the next steps (on the trading arrangement)...," Commerce Secretary C R Rao told reporters here.
The final round of Commerce Secretary-level talks, which started in November last year, was slated to be held in May last but deferred as Pakistan wanted some more time, he said.
Hopefully, the meeting between the two Commerce Secretaries should be held in Islamabad either in August or September, he said.
Rao was here to chair a Open House meet organised by Federation of Indian Exports Organisation (FIEO) and Confederation of Indian Industry(CII).
Noting that there was "immense scope" on improving the trade relations with Pakistan, he said "the President of FIEO talked about the visa problems and the immense scope emerging with Pakistan.
FIEO President M Rafeeque Ahmed told PTI that this initiative would help India increase its exports to Pakistan by 5-6 times.
"Currently, India imports about USD 300 million worth goods (from Pakistan) and exports products worth about USD two billion. It is in favour of India", Ahmed said.
India and Pakistan Commerce Ministers in a joint statement on April 13 had expressed a desire that discussions may continue at the official level for possibilities of opening more land customs stations between the two neighbours.
It was also agreed that discussions would continue at the official level to draw a roadmap for further reductions in the SAFTA-sensitive lists.
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