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Pakistan, India Discussing Bilateral Trade Resolutions

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

29 April 2011


India and Pakistan engaged in talks on April 27-28 to discuss hurdles to bilateral trade under the South Asian Free Trade Area pact, and to discuss the vetoing by India, Peru, Bangladesh and Vietnam of preferential EU tariffs on Pakistani textiles which would have applied from January.

Designed to represent aid to the Pakistani populace worth EUR900m, the EU preferential tariffs were due to enter into force in January 2011 but were vetoed by the four World Trade Organization members when proposed on the basis that they conflict with provisions that stipulate equitable treatment among WTO signatories.

The meetings will provide Pakistani authorities with the opportunity to leverage Indian tariff requests to gain a waiver from the nation.

Following a first day of talks, India called for Pakistan to honour the terms of the South Asian Free Trade Area agreement and to grant India preferential market access. In particular, head of the Indian delegation, Commerce Secretary, Rahul Khullar noted that India had granted Pakistan Most Favoured Nation status but that this had not been reciprocated by Pakistan.

Speaking prior to the meeting, Khullar said there was no specific agenda for the meetings only that both parties would be entering the talks with open minds, and expressed hope that they would be productive in achieving freer trade bilaterally.

TAGS: Pakistan | tax | business | free trade agreement (FTA) | India | export duty | law | tariffs | World Trade Organisation (WTO) | trade treaty | trade disputes | Bangladesh | Peru | tax breaks | import duty | trade | Vietnam | free trade zone

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