: International News
India, Pakistan agree to reduce trade
Islamabad, April 29, 2011
India and Pakistan Thursday agreed to
reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers and form a joint trade
promotion body to boost bilateral trade.
"To build confidence, dispel misunderstandings and allay any
misapprehensions, it is essential that governments in both
countries support business communities in promotion of
bilateral trade," according to a joint statement issued after
the 5th round of India-Pakistan talks on commercial and
economic cooperation held here.
Indian Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar and his Pakistan
counterpart Zafar Mahmood led the April 27-28 talks aimed at
boosting business between the two countries.
During the discussions, both sides agreed that increase in
trade and economic engagement would help not only in mutual
quest for national development but also contribute to building
trust between the two countries.
"To promote trade, both tariff and non-tariff barriers need to
be reduced or removed," the statement said.
The two countries have decided to set up a joint working group
on "economic and commercial cooperation and trade promotion".
It will be co-chaired by the joint secretaries of the
respective departments of commerce.
According to the joint statement, commerce secretaries of both
the countries would meet bi-annually to review the functioning
of the joint working group.
Trade talks between the two countries were suspended in the
aftermath of the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008 that
left 166 people dead. India-Pakistan ties were considerably
strained following the terror attack.
There is potential for bilateral trade to go up to an
estimated $6.5 billion from the current $2 billion.