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India cuts sensitive list for SAARC NLDC (21.08.2012)
New Delhi: India has reduced the number of items in the sensitive list for SAARC's non-least developed countries (NLDCs) like Pakistan, a move which will further expand trade in goods in the region. The Cabinet yesterday approved reduction of 30 per cent or 264 such items for NLDCs that are contained under the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA)."This shall reduce India's sensitive list for Pakistan from 878 to 614 tariff lines," an official statement said today. "With this decision India has effectively performed its lead role in harmonizing the SAFTA framework and ensuring move towards a vibrant economic community and move towards normalization of trade relations with Pakistan," it said. The peak tariff rates for non-least developed nations would now be reduced to 5 per cent within three years as per agreed SAFTA process of tariff liberalization, the statement said. Shifting of items from sensitive list to general category lead to reduction in duties and boost trade. Under the SAFTA, which came into force in July 2006, India's imports are classified under two lists – the MFN list and sensitive list. India's sensitive list for least developed countries (LDC) like Bangladesh has just 25 items. And the same for non-LDC like Pakistan contains 878 commodities. The statement said India has, in the last one year, steered the trade liberalization process under the agreement so as to accelerate the pace of the process for SAFTA Economic Integration. A major step in this direction was taken in November 2011 when India unilaterally reduced its sensitive list for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to 25 items while allowing all other imports at zero basic customs duty." Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal benefited as a result of this trade liberalization move," it said. Further liberalisation of trade will be discussed in next meeting of the Commerce Secretaries of India. Source: financialexpress.com. http://www.eximguru.com/export-import-news/Trade-Associations/India-cuts-sensitive-list-for-11271.aspx
Indian group to open business in Pakistan (21.08.2012)
Godrej, the Indian consumer goods group, plans to establish operations in Pakistan and Myanmar, in a sign of deepening trade between India and two of its largest neighbours. Adi Godrej, the billionaire head of the Godrej conglomerate, told the Financial Times that his 115-year-old group, which had revenues of Rs185bn ($3.3bn) in 2011, will begin exporting to Pakistan this year. “We will be setting up businesses before the end of the calendar year in Pakistan,” Mr Godrej said. “Pakistan is the sixth largest country in the world in terms of population, so the opportunity is reasonably good.” The move is one of the most prominent signs of increased trade between the two nuclear-armed states, and follows a wider rapprochement that included a visit by Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s president, to New Delhi earlier this year. Last month, Pakistani tycoon Mian Mohammad Mansha told the FT he was looking to expand his Nishat conglomerate’s banking business into India. The move by Mr Godrej’s family-controlled group, which includes four listed entities and more than a dozen private subsidiaries with interests ranging from real estate to industrial engineering, is part of an expansion aimed at increasing revenues to $33bn over the next decade. Legal changes agreed between the two countries earlier this year allowed the export of certain products from India into Pakistan. Although direct investments are not yet permitted, Mr Godrej says he anticipates this being allowed in the near future. Godrej is the world’s largest...