MFN status to India possible: Pakistan

By agencies   |   Monday, 23 January 2006, 08:00 Hrs
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ISLAMABAD: After backtracking all the while on granting Most Favored Nation status to India, a new report of the Pakistan government says that India should be granted MFN status to boost trade and revenues from levies.

The report, which was made by the industries, production and special initiatives ministry, said allowing free trade with India would lead to lower prices for consumers and help reduce illegal trade between the two countries.

The report also said the MFN status will also lead to a greater market access, lower production costs and increased industrial competitiveness due to the availability of cheap imports.

"Trade can be liberalized bilaterally through MFN-based trade or under the formation of the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) and granting MFN status to India will place India at par with Pakistan's trading partners," the report said.

Pakistan, which is yet to ratify the SAFTA agreement said it favors India and to derive maximum benefits from trade liberalization, Pakistan should move to MFN-based trade with India, it said.

The report recommended that Pakistan should negotiate strategic partnerships and collaborations with Indian firms and lower barriers to investment and also develop capacity building for anti-dumping.

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