India, Pakistan Agree to Boost Trade to $6 Bn in 3 Years

Posted September 28th, 2011 at 1:00 pm (UTC-5)
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India and Pakistan have agreed to boost trade ties as part of a peace process between the nuclear-armed rivals, who resumed talks earlier this year after a break of several years.

In a joint statement issued Wednesday following talks in New Delhi, the Indian and Pakistani trade ministers pledged to more than double the value of bilateral trade to $6 billion within three years.

The talks were the first between top Indian and Pakistani trade officials in the Indian capital in 35 years. Reuters quotes Indian Trade Minister Anand Sharma as saying the meetings were “very productive and useful.” Pakistani Trade Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim also welcomed the talks, saying “things are moving forward according to plan.”

Trade flows between India and Pakistan have remained relatively small due to a legacy of mistrust between the neighbors, who have gone to war three times since their independence from Britain in 1947.

As part Wednesday’s agreement, Pakistan said it will allow India to export more goods to the Pakistani market, including gasoline.