Pakistan means business with India, Fahim reiterates news
27 September 2011

Pakistan commerce minister Makhdoom Muhammad Ameen Fahim, in Mumbai on a six-day visit to India, today expressed regret about the November 2008 terrorist attack on the city.

Condemning the 26/11 attack, Fahim called it ''very bad'' and that it ''should not be repeated''. India has consistently accused Pakistan authorities of abetting the attack.

Fahid and most of his 80-strong delegation are staying at the Taj Mahal hotel, one of the main targets of the 26/11 attack. He and his team will carry on to Delhi for formal trade talks, which begin on Wednesday.

The latest trade talks are a follow-up to the secretary-level talks held in Islamabad in April this year.

Apart from other things, the Pakistan side is likely to take up the issue of ending non-tariff barriers (NTBs), which prevent many of its goods from entering India. With Pakistan blocking Indian imports through a 'positive list', of banned items, India on its part has maintained that the NTBs Pakistan claims are not country-specific.

Trade between the two countries has grown four-fold in seven years to $2.7 billion during 2010-11, but it is considered to constitute only a quarter of the informal trade of over $10 billion between the two countries.

The Pakistan side has already proclaimed that the country is keen to extend 'most favoured nation' (MFN) status to India. Fahid reiterated this in a meeting with Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan at Raj Bhavan today.

India granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996 as mandated by the World Trade Organisation (WTO); but that country has not yet reciprocated. (See: Pak trade minister in Mumbai with high-level team)

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Pakistan means business with India, Fahim reiterates