Indo-Pak secretary level talks in November

Last Updated: Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 10:38

New Delhi: India will again press for
normalisation of trade with Pakistan when Commerce Secretaries
of the two neighbouring countries meet here in the second week
of November.

The Commerce Secretary-level talks are being held within
two months of India-Pakistan trade ministers meeting, which
reviewed the bilateral commercial engagement. Commerce and
Industry Minister Anand Sharma had hosted his Pakistani
counterpart Makhdoom Amin Fahim in September.

"Essentially, we will review the progress of the agenda
set in Islamabad in April," a senior Commerce Ministry
official said.

The two countries had resumed economic talks after a long
gap in April and had drawn a roadmap for increasing the
bilateral trade which has remained at a low level of USD 2.65
billion in 2010-11.

Pakistan Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood would be here
for three days from November 14 for comprehensive discussions
with his Indian counterpart Rahul Khullar, the official said.

The main roadblock in pushing the bilateral trade is the
restrictions on imports of most of the Indian merchandise in
Pakistan.

India has been pressing for an arrangement through which
the neighbouring country opens trade with New Delhi on all but
few items. This is what is followed by India, which allows
imports of all Pakistani items excepting a small number of
goods in the negative list.

Like in past, India will build further pressure on
Pakistan to agree for the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment
for New Delhi.

There is a concern among Pakistani Industry that the
Indian exporters may flood the neighbouring market with their
merchandise once normal trade is allowed.

The feeling comes from imbalance in the bilateral trade
against Pakistan.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, October 30, 2011 - 10:38

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