Nearly 6,000 items can now be imported into Pakistan from India as against 2,000 items earlier. The two countries have the potential to make headway in sectors like petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, heavy industries, small and medium enterprises, chemicals, iron and steel, automobiles, electricity trade, IT and IT-enabled services, telecommunications, transportation and financial services.
Pakistan has expressed willingness to give India transit facilities for trade with Afghanistan and Iran, especially in energy and infrastructure projects.
Both sides expressed satisfaction at the joint and coordinated efforts made for making the new gates at the Attari Integrated Check Post functional for trade.
"The new arrangements shall streamline movement of trucks across the border and significantly enhance the flow of trade through land route," the joint statement said.
The Pakistani side said they have already built sufficient infrastructure at Wagah border and were clearing all the current cargo traffic.
On the issue of trade in petroleum products and electricity, the ministers expressed the desire that the officials concerned of both countries should fast track the ongoing process.
It was also noted that the respective central banks are examining issues relating to opening of branches of banks of both countries.
According to the joint statement, the two countries are likely to take a decision at forthcoming home secretary-level talks on liberalisation of grant of business visa.
"The ministers expressed their joint wish that business visa regime needs to be liberalised at the earliest," it said.
Pakistan economy had suffered a major set back due to the so called war on terror. The volume of government loans have reached Rs 70 trillions. The wheels of economic development has stopped. According to State Bank of Pakistan the investment is at its lowest level. The foreign reserves are declining. Factorie s and industries are suffering due to load shedding. Unemployment and poverty is rising forcing people to commit suicide. Under these circumstances Pakistan needs to enhance its trade and economic ties with its neighbouring countries the best interest of this country.
India offer to provide electricity to Pakistan is also encouraging. But besides these initiatives Pakistan and India need to settle core issues such as the Kashmir issue, water issues and Siachen. Both sides especially India needs to exhibit sincerity and seriousness. Until and unless Pakistan and India settle these issues the people of two countries cannot come closer and prosperity of both countries would remain a dream.