India, Pak trade secretaries to meet on April 27-28

New Delhi: In an effort to give a trade push to the resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan, the commerce secretaries of the two countries will meet in Islamabad on April 27 and 28.

The meeting comes on the heels of talks between the home secretaries of the two countries here last month, ahead of the India-Pakistan cricket World Cup semi-final match witnessed by the Prime Ministers of the two countries at Mohali.

"By the end of April in Islamabad," Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said today when asked about the commerce secretaries` meeting. She was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a Commerce Ministry and Exim Bank function here.

The trade talks, suspended after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, are scheduled to be held on April 27 and 28, a senior Commerce Ministry official said.

He said while there is no specific agenda, the commerce secretaries would try to iron out outstanding issues affecting bilateral trade.

"Besides, it depends on what they (Pakistan) want," the official said.

India-Pakistan trade is just about USD 2 billion in the absence of the right political atmosphere. India`s total global trade is over USD 500 billion.

The trade balance is mostly in favour of India and Pakistan has been complaining of non-tariff barriers from New Delhi.

Home Secretary G K Pillai and his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhary Qamar Zaman met here on March 28-29. The talks were termed, "extremely positive… right direction".

They marked the resumption of high-level discussions on all issues more than two years after the composite dialogue process was suspended.