The two-day Commerce Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan held could be described as “successful”, even as both sides expressed satisfaction with the overall progress being made to fully normalise the bilateral trading ties.
In a joint statement issued at the conclusion of the “Sixth Round of Talks on Commercial and Economic Co-Operation”, the two sides resolved to remove trade barriers and increase trade volume for mutual benefit.
Currently, bilateral trade stands at USD 2.6 billion. The two sides resolved to take it to USD six billion by 2014.
Regarding the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), both sides agreed to slash duties on a specified number of items in a phased manner.
“The talks were held in a very cordial and constructive atmosphere,” said the statement and added that the Seventh round of talks would take place in Pakistan in April-May 2012.
While the Pakistani delegation was led by its Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood, and the Indian delegation was led by Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar.
Both sides agreed that the momentum of work and the determination to move forward had transmitted positive signals about advancing the bilateral trade agenda.
In this context, India welcomed the decision taken by Pakistan to accord Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India and to the mandate given for full normalisation of the bilateral trade relations, as also meeting of all legal obligations, said the joint statement.
The two commerce secretaries expressed faith in the ongoing process for increase in bilateral trade.
Institutional arrangements put in place for promoting bilateral trade and commerce would continue and the concerned working groups shall meet as required, to take forward the charted roadmaps in this Sixth round of talks, concluded the joint statement.