Indo-Pak secretary level talks in November
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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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