ISLAMABAD / NEW DELHI: In its bid to improve relations with India, Pakistan has decided to normalise cross-border trade by the end 2012, Associate Press (AP) reported on Wednesday.
According to a government statement quoted in the AP report, Pakistan will “phase out restrictions on imports from India by December.”
The statement further said that once the “negative list” of goods had been eliminated by December this year, then “the process of trade normalisation between the two countries would be completed.”
A press release from the Cabinet detailed that 1209 items on the negative list will be eliminated.
At present, Pakistan maintains a list of 1,945 items allowed to run from India to Pakistan, only 108 of which can be trafficked directly by road through Wagah.
The release further quoted the Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, who called for bilateral trade to be expanded to other areas beyond the Line of Control.
Indian Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textile Anand Sharma appreciated Pakistan’s decision to liberalise trade between the two countries and said “the move would open business opportunities,” IBN Live India reported.
“This will mark a dramatic shift in the lines that can be traded as now almost 90 per cent items can be traded with Pakistan as opposed to 17 per cent earlier,” Sharma was quoted in the report.
“I am happy that this has been achieved. We believe that strengthening economic engagement between India and Pakistan lies at the heart of building enduring peace and stability in this region. Flourishing trade is the biggest confidence building measure among any two nations,” Sharma further said.
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