LAHORE: Attari-Wagha border will remain open 24/7 throughout the year to facilitate commerce through land between Pakistan and India, sources said.
Both sides have agreed to convene meetings of technical working groups of customs, railways, banking, standard organizations and energy to devise the modalities for effective implementation of all requisite measures, the sources added.
Commerce Ministers of Pakistan and India have expressed commitment of their governments to provide Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) to each country’s goods and services to establish normal trading.
“Let us not get stranded on nomenclature,” said Khurram Dastagir Khan, Pakistan’s Commerce Minister when asked about MFN.
The ministerial meeting was held on margin of SAARC Business Leaders Conclave, which was preceded by consultations at the level of commerce secretaries of the two countries.
The Ministers stressed the importance of trade facilitation and directed their offices to work out modalities for containerization of cargo, allowing all tradable items by land route at Wagah and liberalization of business visa regime.
“Central banks of the two countries in principle have agreed to give banking licences to banks nominated by respective governments,” Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said at a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart.
“For a robust economic relation to develop, businessmen of both sides need to visit each other’s country. Therefore, there is need for further liberalisation of visa regime,” sources quoted Sharma as saying.
To increase trade opportunities, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan will hold an “India Show” in Lahore in mid-February. The joint business forum will hold its third meeting in Pakistan by mid-February, 2014, the sources informed.