MFN status leap forward: Experts
‘Step Towards Economic Integration Of South Asia’
New Delhi, Nov 3: Pakistan’s decision to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India has resulted in a flurry of activity in the trade and commerce circles here. Leading organizations in these fields have described it a positive development leading to the economic empowerment of the region.
Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General CII, said the move will give a big jump to bilateral trade and will also pave the way for economic-integration of South Asia. He expressed the hope that roadblocks such as stringent visa rules, non-tariff barriers, difficulty in communication and opening of more trade routes like Wagah would also be removed soon.
President of Federation of Indian Export Organization, Ramu S Deora, said Pakistan’s decision in response to a unilateral step taken by India a decade back to grant a similar status to Islamabad would provide greater market access to Indian goods.
Prior to MFN regime, Pakistan had permitted import of 1964 Indian items. India does not allow trade of 850 items from Pakistan.
Islamabad’s decision to
accord MNF status to India is being seen by the experts as beginning of the slew of measures the two nations intend to take to liberalise trade, economics and visa regime. They believe that a major hurdle has been removed with the grant of MNF status on road to ushering the sub-continent into a liberal regime.
It is likely to be followed by the two countries removing non-tariff barriers and all other restrictive practices. All these steps could subsequently lead to a liberal diplomatic regime, the experts felt.
The fact that India’s Commerce Minister Anand Sharma lost no time in welcoming the Pakistan’s move is an indication that trade and commerce would play a key role in the resolution of bilateral disputes between the two countries.
Meanwhile, normalization of India’s relations with its two key neighbours China and Pakistan is also likely to hinge around trade and commerce in the days to come despite the acrimony generated due to bilateral border disputes and other related issues.
The much awaited MFN status to India by Pakistan and Commerce Ministry’s expectation of doubling the trade component with Beijing by 2015 is indicative of this trend.
Close on the heels of Pakistan’s decision to grant MNF status, Commerce Minister Mr Anand Sharma on Thursday expressed hope that India and China will achieve the target of $ 100 billion trade by 2015 as against present $ 59.62 billion. He discussed the issue during his meeting with Governor of China’s Xinjiang province Nur Baki.
Significantly, the two countries have agreed that an Indian delegation should visit Xingjiang shortly for exploring the possibilities of promoting Indian products such as handicrafts, handloom and films.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 4 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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