S. M. Muneer calls for granting of MFN status to India

Islamabad, January 02, 2013 (PPI-OT): Pakistan should honour its commitment in granting the MFN status to India, this was stated by S. M. Muneer, President Indo-Pak CCI and former President FPCCI. He said that Pakistan announced in October 2011 that it will grant MFN status to India from January 1, 2013 and the delay in the matter would jeopardize the process of liberalization of trade between the two countries.

Muneer said that the trade between Pakistan and India is about $2.6 billion in 2011 while the informal or third country trade between the two countries is more than $3 billion. According to an estimate, the impact of trade liberalization would be of about $6 billion of bilateral trade.

India had granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996. Granting the MFN status to India and dismantling the negative list are important for bilateral trade because India in return will bring down its SAFTA sensitive list to 100 tariff lines at six digit level by April 2013, he added.

He stated that in the ministerial and commerce secretary level talks of India and Pakistan this year, it was agreed that after approval by the cabinet the negative list would be removed and Pakistan would transition fully to the MFN status for India by end-December 2012.

MFN status is a WTO obligation and Pakistan has to grant the status for enhancing the trade. Development of Indo-Pak relations were based on reciprocal basis with consideration and implementation from both ends.

He lauded the efforts of Federal Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Mr. Munir Qureshi Secretary Commerce and appreciated their key role in highlighting true perspective of Indo-Pak relations with its due importance before their Indian counterpart and other leaders across the border to bring normalcy in ties.

Muneer said that it is time for us to think of India and its market potential and the significance of stepping up people-to-people and company-to-company interactions for improved industrial ties between the two countries.

India is a big market for us and therefore by granting MFN status to India we can open a large window of opportunity in India for Pakistani products. India is a market of 120 crore people which needs to be tapped by aggressive marketing strategy and intensifying interaction between the business community of the two neighbouring countries.

For more information, contact:
Syed Masood Alam Rizvi
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: 0092-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +9221 3587 4332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk

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