India-Belarus meet to foster bilateral trade

On Tuesday, India and Belarus drafted a 10 pact agreement to expand cooperation in various diplomatic areas and decisively explore a joint development and manufacture of military platforms, giving momentum to existing bilateral relationships between the two countries. The meeting was held at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Belarus President A G Lukashenko, discussed in brief about expanding their focus on increasing the economic engagement between the two countries. They also mulled over the fact that there was indeed a huge scope for ramping up trade and investment between the two nations.

“We will encourage joint development and manufacturing in defense sector under the ‘Make in India’ program,” Modi said in a media statement as reported in the Economic Times.

Modi also said that he and Lukashenko went through the “architecture” of India-Belarus partnership and suggested ideas to expand it.

The pacts provided for enhancing bilateral cooperation in a variety of areas, including oil and gas, education and sports.

Additionally, Modi also highlighted India’s ongoing negotiations with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) for a free trade agreement. For which Belarus is part of the five member-EEU and is considered an influential central Asian bloc.

The volume of bilateral trade in 2016 amounted to $402 million approximately.

Sources: Economic Times, The Hindu

Image source: The Hindu 

Pakistan may soon grant MFN status to India

Photo Courtesy - Representational image.
Photo Courtesy – Representational image.

New Delhi: After years of dilly-dallying, Pakistan may soon grant the long awaited Most Favoured Nation status to India, according to the co-chair of the India-Pakistan Joint Business Forum (IPJBF) Syed Yawar Ali.

“All the home work has been completed and formalities have been done so I think it is only the matter of time when the two governments meet and right forum is there. So I do not think that is an issue,” said Mr. Ali.

The announcement was made at the fourth meeting held at New Delhi which was co-chaired by Joint MD of Hero MotoCorp Sunil Kant Munjal.

Although Pakistan has decided to give the MFN status to its neighbour, they have decided to postpone the Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) to India owning to disagreement within the political circle.

Opening of the Pakistan markets would mean increased bilateral trade between the two developing nations. The trade revenue between India and Pakistan touched $2.6 billion in 2012-13.

Pakistan would drop a significant number from the negative list of tradable items if the status is granted. “India has done lot of FTAs and bilateral agreements with neighbours. So I think the time has come when we should also start thinking about it. This is the future we are looking at,” added Mr. Ali.

They are also looking forward to negotiating the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in the upcoming meeting of the foreign secretaries in Lahore on August 25th.

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