Trade issues to figure in Modi-Sharif talks tomorrow

Tags: Economy
Trade related issues such as grant of non-discriminatory market access to Indian products are expected to figure in the bilateral meeting of Narendra Modi and Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here tomorrow.

"Definitely both the prime ministers will discuss issues related with trade. It is an important issue. But the ball is in the court of Pakistan. India has already agreed on the roadmap to boost trade between the two countries," official sources said.

Sharif is here to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Modi. His delegation includes Advisor Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry.

Sharif will have a separate meeting with Modi before returning to Pakistan.

Pakistan has decided to postpone grant of Non- Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) status to India due to domestic compulsions.

Bilateral trade talks have been suspended since last year following escalation in violence at the LoC.

In 2012, Pakistan had committed itself to give the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status but missed its own deadline of December 31, owing to domestic opposition.

The neighbouring country has to abolish the negative list of 1,209 tradable items.

Abolishing the negative list items that cannot be imported from India means the grant of NDMA status to India.

NDMA is a nomenclature chosen by the Pakistan government to avoid political ramifications at home of giving India the MFN status.

Besides, both the sides have earlier agreed to start trade in power and oil sectors and open more trade routes.

The bilateral trade between the countries stood at USD 2.6 billion in 2012-13.

India's main exports to Pakistan include sugar, man-made filaments and chemicals, while its imports comprise mineral fuels, among others.

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