India, Pak discuss ways to normalise, enhance trade ties

New Delhi: Ahead of the meeting between their commerce ministers on Saturday, India and Pakistan on Wednesday discussed “impediments” hampering the normalisation of trade ties, in a bid to remove them and move forward.
During the meeting between Commerce Secretary S R Rao and his Pakistani counterpart Qasim M Niyaz, both the sides agreed that normalisation and enhancement of trade was a continuous process, sources said.
Happening after a gap of over a year, the secretary- level meeting was also aimed at understanding the viewpoint of the Nawaz Sharif government on normalising Indo-Pak trade ties, officials here said.
“The meeting took place in a positive and amicable environment. Both the sides discussed the impediments including non-trade barriers for trade and ways to remove them to enhance commerce,” a source in the Pakistani side said.
The trade liberalisation process between the two nations was hit after the beheading of an Indian soldier in January last year.
Besides, Pakistan missing the deadline for granting the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India has also not gone down well with Indian authorities.
Pakistan was to grant the status in December 2012 by eliminating the negative list of 1,209 items.
Sources said that secretaries of both the sides reviewed the progress of talks in other areas such as initiation of trade in petroleum products and power export to Pakistan.
“Both the sides agreed that enhancement and normalisation of trade is a continuous process. They also agreed to move forward on all matters,” a source said.—PTI