India, Pakistan trade almost doubles

Dawn, March 20, 2006
‘India, Pakistan trade almost doubles’

NEW DELHI, March 19: Trade between rival neighbours India and Pakistan almost doubled to cross the one-billion-dollar mark this year, an industry body said. The 400 million dollar increase in the year to March 2006 was attributed to the launch of a South Asian Free Trade Area Agreement (SAFTA) and the opening of rail and road links last year, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

“The establishment of relations along with SAFTA has brought changes in customs tariffs and reduced trade-related barriers, leading to restoration of direct trade linkages and reducing the transaction costs,” said the statement quoted by the Press Trust of India news agency.

India and Pakistan launched a peace process in January 2004.

After the start of the peace talks Pakistan scrapped import duties on 13 commodities from India that were scarce in its local markets, including garlic, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and livestock.—AFP

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