India, Pak to sign three agreements to boost trade

India, Pak to sign three agreements to boost trade

Even as New Delhi remains non-committal on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Islamabad, India and Pakistan are likely to sign three agreements to boost bilateral trade and economic relations.

Pakistan is also exploring possibilities of importing power from India and officials of the two countries are understood to be discussing a proposal to set up a 500 MW cross-border High Voltage Direct Current transmission link.

Speaking at an India-Pakistan Parliamentary Dialogue organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said: “New Delhi and Islamabad will soon sign agreements for bilateral customs cooperation, mutual recognition and institutionalisation of grievance redress mechanism.”

He said Commerce Secretary S R Rao will meet his counterpart Munir Qureshi in Islamabad shortly after External Affairs Minister S M Krishna’s visit to Pakistan, beginning on September 7.

A Group of Experts of India and Pakistan met in Islamabad in August to explore the possibility of a 500 MW cross-border transmission link, wherein Pakistan may source power from the Indian electricity market on a commercial basis.

Haider Abbas Rizvi, member of Pakistan’s National Assembly, said India and Pakistan must continue efforts to boost economic ties.