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Investment from Pakistan allowed by India


NEW DELHI: India has decided to allow foreign direct investment from Pakistan, India’s trade minister said on Friday, hours before the two countries were due to open a trading post on the border in the latest sign of thawing economic ties. “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. More than 600 Pakistani businesses are in New Delhi this week at a trade fair to promote their products to the Indian market. 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.