Pakistan hints at transit trade rights to India

October 11th, 2011 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Oct 11 (IANS) Pakistan’s Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim Tuesday hinted at granting transit trade rights to India to transport goods to Afghanistan.

Fahim told reporters in Lahore that the issue will be discussed in a meeting of the commerce secretaries of India and Pakistan in New Delhi next month, reported Xinhua.

Pakistan has allowed Afghanistan to deliver its items at Wagha, the lone formal land border point between Pakistan and India.

The commerce secretary-level talks would be discussing the issue of granting a Pakistani trade corridor to India for exports to Afghanistan and important decisions could be taken after the meeting, Fahim said.

Under the new Pakistan-Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement signed earlier this year, Afghanistan can transport its goods to India via Pakistani land route in their own trucks. However, India is not permitted to send its goods to Afghanistan through Pakistan’s land route.

Fahim visited India last month for talks with his Indian counterpart Anand Sharma and both agreed to issue multiple-entry visas valid for a year to their businessmen to boost commerce.

During the visit, India and Pakistan agreed to double trade to $6 billion within three years. The Indian government announced it would withdraw its veto in the World Trade Organisation on a European Union duty-free trade package for Pakistan.

“India has assured us that it would support our case for (duty-free) access to EU markets,” Fahim said.

India has granted the Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan and has been demanding the same status from Pakistan since long. The issue could also be discussed at the commerce secretaries talks.

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