Indo-Pak trade to be core issue for discussion during Singh-Zardari meeting: Sources

   Apr 8, 1:16 pm

Lahore, Apr 8(ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is likely to talk about Indo-Pak trade issues at his luncheon with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Sources told the Express Tribune President Zardari and Singh are likely to finalise the date of implementation of the Most- Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India.

Both leaders will provide their assent to a technical draft prepared and agreed upon earlier by commerce ministers of both countries, and discuss and resolve political non-tariff barriers (NTB), sources added.

Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom almost finalised the draft of the agreement during their last meeting, sources said.

The draft already agreed upon includes Pakistan's assent, in principle, to grant the MFN status to India and a finalised negative list of non-tradeable items, which will be phased out by the year's end. It also includes NTBs, which India will withdraw in the meanwhile.

According to sources, both leaders are also likely to discuss softening of borders and visa relaxation, especially for traders and businessmen, and trade in local currencies.

The added that Zardari will suggest to Singh that traders are stamped a visa at the border, and that banks from both countries open branches in the other country.(ANI)

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