Pakistan can’t offer unilateral trade concessions to India: Minister

  • PTI, Islamabad
  • Updated: May 11, 2016 19:16 IST
Pakistan pavilion in the 31st India International Trade Fair (ITTF) at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. (Sunil Saxena/HT File Photo)

Pakistan cannot offer “unilateral” trade concessions to India, Pakistani commerce minister Khurram Dastgir said, underlining that India should also provide access to Pakistani products with preferential duty regime.

Khan said this while he chaired a meeting with a delegation of Pakistani members of the Pakistan-India Business Council here on Tuesday.

The delegation, led by Yawar Ali Shah, briefed the minister on their recent visit to India and the outcome of meetings held with Indian business and trade stakeholders.

The minister said that India should adopt a reciprocal approach as far trade concessions were concerned.

“Trade concessions cannot be offered to India unilaterally. India also needs to provide access to Pakistani products with a preferential duty regime,” Khan was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune newspaper.

He said Pakistan is making all-out efforts to increase exports to India to $1 billion within a year as textile products and ready-made garments have a great potential in the neighbour’s market.

“Due to proximity, Pakistan is the most favourite and cost-effective market for India in terms of raw material import for their agriculture and textile products,” the commerce minister said.

He told the delegation that the commerce ministry had restructured the National Tariff Commission (NTC) in line with the legal framework set under the guidance of the Supreme Court.

The delegation informed the minister that Indian food manufacturers were looking for different Pakistani agricultural products like mangoes and kinnows in specific seasons.

“Other agricultural products like green peas could also be exported to India as they run cold storages at a far less capacity of 200,000 tons,” they said.

The businessmen were of the view that both countries should cooperate in the promotion of small and medium enterprises, agriculture, tourism and culture, research, branding of Basmati rice and visits of business groups.

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