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India, Pakistan commerce ministers to meet next month

Tags: Nirmala Sitharaman, Khurram Dastgir Khan, commerce and industry minister, india-pakistan meet, SAFTA

June 30, 2014 | COMMENTS ( 0 )

India, Pakistan commerce ministers to meet next month

Minister for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman will meet her Pakistani counterpart Khurram Dastgir Khan for the first time next month to discuss a fresh roadmap for removing bottlenecks in the liberalization of bilateral trade.

 

 The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Area) ministerial council in Bhutan on 24 July.

 

 “I will meet the Indian state minister for commerce for resumption of bilateral trade talks,” Khan was quoted as saying.

 

 It will be first high level trade interaction since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in India.

 

The two ministers will also discuss the agreements signed in 2012 to remove bottlenecks in trade facilitation. Pakistan has already modified the politically sensitive issue of granting Most-Favoured Nation status to India by changing it to Non-Discriminatory Access (NDA). In 2012, Pakistan expanded the list of items tradable with India from 1,918 items to 5,800. Only 1,209 items now remain on the negative list. Pakistan has 936 items on the sensitive list and India 614. It will be the second meeting of Pakistan’s commerce minister with the Indian side after his visit in January during the tenure of the previous United Progressive Alliance government.

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