Islamabad: An "enabling environment" was prevailing between India and Pakistan to promote trade relations and people-to-people contacts, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Thursday.

Gilani made the remarks during a meeting with an Indian business delegation that is accompanying Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on a visit to Pakistan.

The people-to-people interaction and exchange of high-level visits of parliamentarians would strengthen "meaningful and productive contacts", the Premier said.

Recalling his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Mohali during the semi-final of the cricket World Cup last year, Gilani said Singh was a "sincere leader who was committed to normalise relations between India and Pakistan".

He said the visit to Mohali had also given him an opportunity to meet the top Indian leadership, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Gilani further said he was looking forward to the Indian Prime Minister's visit to Pakistan.

He said his recent meeting with an Indian parliamentarian delegation was a "step in the right direction" as far as people-to-people contacts were concerned.

Gilani added he was looking forward to the visit of the Lok Sabha Speaker to Pakistan. The premier asked R B Mittal, the leader of the business delegation, to convey his best wishes to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Indian businessmen expressed their resolve to build durable trade relations between the two countries. They expressed gratitude over the hospitality extended to them in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

The businessmen said there was an "environment and momentum to enhance trade between the two countries and leave a worthwhile legacy for coming generations", said a statement issued by the premier's office.

The delegation called for the setting up of a India-Pakistan business forum to facilitate business activities on efficient and meaningful grounds. India and Pakistan on Wednesday signed three agreements on cooperation in customs matters, mutual recognition of standards and redressing of trade grievances to boost bilateral trade.

The pacts were inked following talks between Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Amin Fahim. The Pakistan side said it is committed to switch over to a negative list regime for trade with India by the end of February.

The Pakistani cabinet this week deferred a decision on implementing the negative list after some ministries expressed their reservations over the move.