INDO-PAK TRADE MAY CROSS US $ 500 MILLION THIS FISCAL: KAMAL NATH
Date : 10 Dec 2004
Location : New Delhi
Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, has said that the total trade between India and Pakistan is likely to cross US $ 500 million during 2004-05, given the buoyant trend in bilateral trade during the current fiscal. In reply to a Starred question in the Lok Sabha today, the Minister said that the two-way trade between India and Pakistan during April-July 2004 had almost trebled in four months, rising to US $ 186.36 million as against $ 64.41 million during the corresponding period last fiscal. India-Pakistan trade had increased from US $ 251.01 million during 2002-03 to US $ 344.29 million during 2003-04 showing a positive growth of approximately 40%.
There has also been a visible increase in business to business dialogues through exchange of visits and participation in trade fairs and exhibitions etc. Pakistan and India are signatories to the South Asia Free Trade Area (SAFTA) Agreement which is scheduled to come into effect from 1/1/2006 and it will give a significant boost to economic activities between the two nations. A Joint Study Group at Commerce Secretaries level of India and Pakistan is proposed to be set up to discuss trade related issues between the two countries with a view to sorting these out for mutual benefit, the Minister said.
Shri Kamal Nath participated in the 4th SAARC Commerce Ministers Meeting in Islamabad on November 22-23, 2004. This meeting reviewed the progress in economic cooperation since the 3rd Meeting of the SAARC Commerce Ministers. It noted with satisfaction the significant progress recorded in regional economic cooperation, in particular, the signing of the SAFTA Agreement. On the occasion, Commerce Ministers of India and Pakistan had a separate interaction to lay down a road map for promoting trade between the two countries. They agreed to set up a Joint Study Group at Commerce Secretaries’ level of both the countries for evolving a strategy for boosting trade between India and Pakistan.