India, Pak set $6 bn trade target | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India, Pak set $6 bn trade target

delhi Updated: Sep 28, 2011 21:35 IST

India and Pakistan on Wednesday agreed to "normalise" their economic relations, setting an ambitious target of more than doubling bilateral trade to $ 6 billion within three years.

Pakistan has also agreed to implement all the obligations under the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) Agreement, meeting a long pending demand from India.

The two nations, with commercial engagement of only $ 2.7 billion, "agreed to jointly work to more than double bilateral trade within three years USD six billion," a joint statement said after a meeting between commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma and Pakistan commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim in New Delhi.

"The ministers affirmed that fully normalised commercial link... would strengthen the bilateral relationship and build the bridges of friendship, trust and understanding for mutual benefit of their people and promotion of prosperity in South Asia," it said.

Fahim, who is accompanied by a 50 member business delegation, is the first Pakistan commerce minister to visit India after more than 35 years. Before coming here, he met Indian businessmen in Mumbai for the last two days.

For normalising business ties, the ministers "agreed that all mutual obligations contracted under SAFTA would be implemented with full sincerity".

On India's demand for the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status by Pakistan, Fahim said, "things are moving forward according to plan. We are looking forward to achieve the target".

The Pakistan side said that it will allow imports from India on all but few items (in negative list). Petroleum imports would also be allowed, it said.