News / Asia

Large Indian Trade Delegation Visits Pakistan

Anjana Pasricha

Trade representatives from India have concluded four days of meetings with business leaders in Pakistan aimed at deepening economic engagement between the rival South Asian nations.  

India's 120-member delegation, led by trade Minister Anand Sharma, included some of the nation's top business leaders.  Among them were  Rajan Mittal, the head of India's leading telecom company, Bharti; and Naresh Goyal, the head of the nation's largest airline, Jet Airways.  

The high-profile delegation met Pakistani business leaders and authorities in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.

Trade Minister Sharma underlined the need for the two countries to dismantle existing barriers to trade.    

“The road map that we have defined for ourselves should bring in a liberal trade regime," said Sharma.

The two sides signed three accords in such areas as customs cooperation and grievance redress. They agreed to make it easier to secure business visas. And they agreed to open a gate at a border crossing in April to facilitate the movement of trucks.

Pakistan has also promised to increase the number of goods that can be traded and to leave only a small number of goods on a list of items that cannot be traded.

Business leaders believe this could help the two countries achieve their goal of increasing trade from the current level of $2.3 billion to $6 billion in three years.

The effort to normalize trade ties began last November, when Islamabad promised to open its markets to most Indian goods.   

The move has been widely praised. Indian Trade Minister Sharma said that growing trade relations will strengthen forces that believe in peace.

Many believe that strengthening trade will foster better ties between the South Asian rivals and make it easier to work out their political differences.

Dipankar Banerjee is at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi:       

“It reflects a very true and genuine interest on the part of India and also the business community on both sides to normalize trade ties," said Banerjee.

However it could take time to significantly step up economic engagement between the rivals due to old animosities.  

There is some disappointment in New Delhi that Pakistan has not yet formally implemented the Most Favored Nation status it granted to India.

Analysts attribute the delay to lingering suspicions in Pakistan over normalizing trade with India.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs