India, Pakistan agree to improve bilateral trade

April 29th, 2011 - 2:24 am ICT by BNO News  

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — India and Pakistan agreed on Thursday to initiate steps to improve their bilateral trade that was hampered after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Press Trust of India reported that the trade secretaries of both countries met in Islamabad for two-day talks in which the two sides agreed on a slew of measures to realize the full potential of bilateral trade which at present is less than $2 billion. India’s Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar and his Pakistani counterpart Zafar Mahmood took 19 decisions, including the ones in key areas like examining feasibility of cross-border trade of electricity and petroleum products.

“Both sides agreed that increase in trade and economic engagement would help not only in the mutual quest for national development, but also contribute to building trust between the two countries,” Mahmood said.

The two sides also agreed to discuss an agreement for preferential trade arrangement by extending tariff concessions and to reduce visa restrictions for businesses.

Talks between both countries were stalled after the November 26, 2008, attack in Mumbai blamed on Pakistan-based militants. The group divided in two and carried out an unprecedented attack for 60 hours at the Hotels Taj Mahal and Oberoi-Trident and Jewish outreach centre Nariman House in South Mumbai. Overall, the terrorists killed 166 people and injured 238 others.

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