India, Pakistan agree to reduce maximum trade duty to 5 pc

India will allow Pakistani products to enter its markets at a maximum duty of five per cent by April 2013 while Pakistan is expected to put in place similar arrangements in the next five years, Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal has said.

India and Pakistan have agreed on a maximum duty of five per cent for trade between the two sides, Sabharwal said during a meeting with members of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday.

“All the items, other than those in the sensitive list, will go down to no more than five per cent,” he said.

India will allow Pakistani products into its markets at a maximum duty of five per cent by April 2013, he was quoted as saying by the media.

“Pakistan, however, will do this within the next five years,” he said.

As part of steps aimed at liberalising trade, both countries will bring down the rate of duties in line with the provisions of SAFTA, Sabharwal said.

India and Pakistan have to improve their relations to foster economic integration and regional trade, he said.

The envoy briefed KCCI members about talks between the Commerce Secretaries last month, during which the two sides signed agreements on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters, redressing trade grievances and conforming standards for certification of goods.

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