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India and Pakistan ease shipping links

India and Pakistan ease shipping links

New Delhi: The Indian government has approved a revised protocol, already agreed by Pakistan, that will allow third country-flagged vessels to lift cargo between the two countries for the first time in 35 years. It will also allow Indian and Pakistani flagged vessels to lift third country cargo from each other's ports. Previously Indian and Pakistani traders have been forced to use Dubai or Singapore as intermediary markets when conducting business between the two subcontinent neighbours. Despite these restrictions trade has been steadily increasing: Indian exports to Pakistan in 2004-5 were 167% ahead of the level in 2001-2 while imports rose by 42% over the three-year period.  [30/10/06]

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