February 16, 2012

Rajya Kanoria, president of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, told Reuters, ”It’s not peace that will lead to trade, but trade that will lead to peace… The direction is right but the speed is not fast enough.”

Both India and Pakistan need to hear this message. And it seems like government officials from both nations can’t avoid it. With a visit by Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma to Pakistan this week, there has been a lot of talk of improving economic ties, and industry leaders on both sides of the border have been pushing leaders to make some breakthroughs. But it is unclear what truly new developments will emerge from Sharma’s meetings with his Pakistani counterpart, Amin Fahim. Pakistan already granted India Most Favoured Nation status last year, which was a necessary step towards normalising trade relations.

Before this week’s trade meetings, though, there have been promises of visa reform, and soon Pakistan is supposed to supply India with a “negative list” detailing the goods that cannot be exported from India into Pakistan. The hope is that Pakistan will prepare a small list of non-tradeable goods as opposed to the current, not-so exhaustive “positive list.” A small “negative list” will be seen as a major step forward, and in the eyes of India, it will show Pakistan’s willingness to move ahead seriously on the trade front.

Will Pakistan make the bold step? And will stronger, more open trade practices emerge between the two countries because of it?

Tell us what you think. Participate in the poll below.


Vote in our poll:

Do you believe that the current trade talks between India and Pakistan will lead to a new era of enhanced economic cooperation?

  • Yes (51%, 276 Votes)
  • No (33%, 179 Votes)
  • Undecided (16%, 46 Votes)

Total Voters: 536