Pakistan businessmen push for MFN status to India

Pakistan should grant India Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status for mutual interest as this will help triple bilateral trade to $10 billion in three years, a Pakistani business delegation said.

"Pakistan should give India the MFN status. It is very much needed in the interest of both the nations. It will help the trade volume between the two to grow to $10 billion in three years," SM Muneer, President, India-Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said.

 Pakistan businessmen push for MFN status to India

Representational image: PTI

India had given MFN status to Pakistan in 2006 but the move is yet to be reciprocated by its neighbour. Pakistan has been postponing the implementation of its decision to grant MFN status to India with several deadlines missed, which is believed to be due to its domestic political compulsions.

Muneer said the granting of MFN status to India would help alleviate poverty prevalent in both nations.

He further said India might have to wait till the general election next year gets over as Pakistani authority would like to see the outcome of the poll, but added that whichever party comes into power, it would not come in the way for granting the status to India.

The bilateral trade between India and Pakistan currently stands at around USD 3.5 billion and the balance is highly tilted in favour of India.

Muneer, however, said Pakistan granting India MFN status would also help businessmen from his country, as they would be able to get access to a market which has a 1.2 billion plus population.

"We will get a bigger market and opportunity to export our product in India," he said, adding Pakistan's auto and agri sectors have some reservations on granting India MFN status.

However, Indian authorities should also look at opening the banking channel, easing visa norms and starting flights to Pakistan for improving business relations, Muneer said.

PTI

Updated Date: Dec 01, 2013 16:34:51 IST