India-Pakistan trade talks to resume in July

Islamabad, June 29 : Commerce ministers of India and Pakistan will meet in Bhutan in July to discuss the revival of talks on trade liberalisation, media reported. According to officials, the ministers would me­et July 24, Dawn online reported.

This will be the first meeting of Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman with Pakistan’s Comm­erce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan after the formation of India’s new government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ”I will meet the Indian state minister for commerce for resumption of bilateral trade talks,” Khan said.

He said all options would be explored for complete liberalisation of trade with India. The meeting will also be attended by the commerce ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries. In 2012, Pakistan expanded the list of items that could be traded with India from 1,918 items to 5,800. Only 1,209 items now remain on the negative list.

Khan said that the meeting would also discuss the resumption of free trade among the member countries. It would also take up the issues of further trimming of the sensitive list, removing visa restrictions, allowing of banking channels and mobile connectivity, Khan added.