NEW DELHI: India has decided to allow foreign direct investments from Pakistan, India's trade minister said on Friday.
"India has taken an in-principle decision, as a part of the process to deepen our economic engagement, to allow foreign direct investments from Pakistan in India," said Trade Minister Anand Sharma at a news conference with his Pakistani counterpart.
Under current rules, Pakistani citizens cannot directly invest in India. Investment flows are unlikely to surge, but the move will go some way to addressing concerns by Pakistani businessmen that India places too many restrictions on them.
Sharma also said an agreement to relax restrictions on visas for Pakistani businessmen was almost ready. More than 600 Pakistani businesses are in New Delhi this week at a trade fair to promote their products to the Indian market.
Liberalising heavily restricted trade and investment flows is now the driver of peace efforts between the neighbours, whose fragile ties were shattered when Pakistani militants attacked the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008.
In the face of some domestic opposition, the government of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari last November vowed to grant India most favoured nation status, which ends restrictions that require most products to move via a third country.
The move was hailed by India and the two countries are now focused on resolving economic issues before moving on to more intractable problems such as the disputed region of Kashmir.
Sharma and the Pakistani trade minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, were also scheduled to open an expanded border trade terminal at Wagah, between the Pakistani city of Lahore and India's Amritsar.
With a capacity to handle about 600 trucks a day, the border crossing is expected to help bring trade to $8 billion annually from the current level of $2.6 billion, Indian industry chamber Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, said in a study published this week.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
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The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
For the past 2 years the Jang Group and Geo have been working on a project of great national interest; one that we hope will help usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country and indeed, in the region. And one that hopefully all Pakistanis can be proud of. more
The Jang Group has entered into an agreement with the Times of India Group, the largest media group of India, to campaign for peace betw