Pak will grant MFN sta­tus to In­dia

The Political and Business Daily - - WORLD - SA­J­JAD HUS­SAIN

PAK­ISTAN to­day said it would re­sume the process to strengthen trade ties with In­dia in­clud­ing grant­ing MFN sta­tus once the di­a­logue process gets un­der­way here next month.

"On MFN, Pak­istan and In­dia have been en­gaged in a se­ries of dis­cus­sions to nor­malise bi­lat­eral trade be­tween the two coun­tries. Our Com­merce Min­istry has been play­ing a lead­ing role and use­ful work has been done on the ba­sis of mu­tu­al­ity of ben­e­fit," Pak­istan For­eign Sec­re­tary Aizaz Ah­mad Chaudhry said.

"On MFN, Pak­istan and In­dia have been

en­gaged in a se­ries of dis­cus­sions to nor­malise bi­lat­eral trade be­tween the two coun­tries. Our Com­merce Min­istry has been play­ing a lead­ing role and use­ful work has been done on the ba­sis

of mu­tu­al­ity of ben­e­fit"

"When the di­a­logue process re­sumes, we hope to build on the work al­ready done in this re­gard," Chaudhry told re­porters, a day af­ter it was de­cided that the two na­tions' for­eign sec­re­taries would meet on Au­gust 25 to carry for­ward the di­a­logue process.

Bi­lat­eral re­la­tions have made no head­way since the in­ter­rup­tion of the di­a­logue process nearly two years ago.

Pak­istan has de­cided to post­pone grant of NonDis­crim­i­na­tory Mar­ket Ac­cess (NDMA) sta­tus to In­dia due to lack of con­sen­sus at home.

NDMA is a nomen­cla­ture cho­sen by the Pak­istan govern­ment to avoid po­lit­i­cal ram­i­fica- tions at home of giv­ing In­dia the Most Favoured Na­tion (MFN) sta­tus.

"As you are aware there are a num­ber of is­sues on both sides which need to be ad­dressed. This in­cludes mak­ing sure that vul­ner­a­ble sec­tors are pro­tected, the is­sue of non-tar­iff bar­ri­ers in In­dia, the is­sue of im­bal­ance of trade and some other in­fra­struc­ture re­lated is­sues. You might call them hur­dles or

im­ped­i­ments, I will say these are is­sues on which talks are on­go­ing and progress is be­ing made," Chaudhry said. Bi­lat­eral trade be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan touched $2.6 bil­lion in 2012-13.

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