Pakistan, India seek to boost bilateral trade

Eurasia News

NEW DELHI: Pakistan and India on Saturday decided to have a non-discriminatory market access programme, keep Wagha-Attari border open 24 hours throughout the year and facilitate the opening of bank branches in each other’s country, the Indian media reported.

“We have agreed that we will open Wagha-Attari border for trade 24X7…Central banks of the two countries in principally agreed to give banking licences to banks nominated by respective governments,” the Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said in a joint press conference along with his Pakistani counterpart Khurram Dastagir Khan.

The commerce ministers of the two countries, whose bilateral trade stood at $2.60 billion in 2012-13, agreed to have a decided to have a non-discriminatory market access on reciprocal basis.

The two ministers also underlined the need for relaxing visa regime to facilitate travel of businessmen to each other’s country.

“For a robust economic relation to develop, businessmen of both sides need to visit each other’s country. (There is) need for further liberalisation of visa regime,” Sharma said.

On the occasion, Khurram Dastagir said that Pakistan has been waiting for the Reserve Bank of India to nominate banks that could be allowed to open branches in Pakistan.