Islamabad, Mar 2 (ANI): India has welcomed Pakistan's decision to phase out major restrictions on Indian imports by the end of this year, a move to normalise trade ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
India's Foreign Minister SM Krishna thanked Pakistan for deciding to gradually scrap the 'negative list' that prevents the export of hundreds of items from India.
"Pakistan is moving in the right direction in terms of bringing economic content into the political relationship," the Daily Times quoted Krishna, as saying.
"This would certainly help strengthen our bilateral ties," he said.
Islamabad has decided in principle to phase out the negative list between the two countries by December 31, which will complete the trade normalisation process.
India's Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry estimated that the move will increase cross-border trade to over six billion dollars by 2014. Direct trade between Pakistan and India currently constitutes less than one percent of their respective global trade. India exported goods worth 2.33 billion dollars to Pakistan last year while its imports were 330 million dollars. In 1996, India granted Pakistan "most-preferred nation" status, which is intended to remove discriminatory higher pricing and duty tariffs. Pakistan agreed in principle to grant a similar status to India last year, paving the way for a radical change. (ANI)
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