Sharma's Pak visit to normalise trade relations

Despite Pakistan not granting India the Most Favoured Nation status, developments in the last few months between the countries has given a fillip to the trade normalisation process and bolstered the confidence of the business community on both sides of the border.

The fledgling trade ties are likely to gather further momentum when Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma visits Islamabad from February 13 to 16. His visit comes at a time when Pakistan is expected to finalise and ratify a pruned Negative List as discussed during Commerce Secretary level meeting between India and Pakistan in November.

If a smaller Negative List comes into force, all items excluding those on the list shall be freely exportable from India to Pakistan and will carry lower tariff and customs duty.The two sides have a paltry $2.66 billion of annual volume of trade between them, but have the potential to scale it up ten fold.

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