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Delhi, Kabul for trade pact

New Delhi, Nov. 15: Delhi is set to finalise a preferential trade agreement with Afghanistan.

Afghan commerce minister Sayed Mustafa Kazmi is arriving here on a five-day visit on Sunday to hold talks with the Indian side on enhancing trade co-operation. One of the high points of the discussions will be a bilateral preferential trade agreement.

The failure of India and Pakistan to come to a similar agreement is a sore point in bilateral ties.

Kazmi’s visit is another indication of growing ties between Delhi and Kabul. Afghan foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah was here a fortnight ago.

The Afghan minister will be mainly holding talks with disinvestment minister Arun Shourie, who is looking after the commerce portfolio in the absence of Murasoli Maran. But a meeting with foreign minister Yashwant Sinha is also scheduled to give the two sides a chance to exchange notes on developments in Afghanistan as well as the region.

In September, a “Made in India” industry and trade show was organised in Kabul. Many issues that the two sides are likely to take up in the next few days will flow from the trade show, which was a success.

The Afghan minister is likely to visit the international trade fair which started here yesterday. A trip to Bangalore, the information technology hub, is also scheduled.

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