Pakistan agrees to grant India MFN status
The trade between the two neighbours currently stands at $ 2.5 billion, with a total of 1,946 items being traded between them.
Even as formal talks between the two countries’ foreign ministers are slated to take place in New Delhi this month-end, Pakistan is also keen that the 18-point agenda agreed upon during the commerce secretaries’ meeting in April this year is implemented.
According to senior officials, Pakistan is paying 35% extra cost on trade logistics through third countries and illegal channels. The MFN status would allow Pakistan to directly import such products from India.
Also, it could save $1.5 billion annually by redirecting imports of items like steel, chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, machinery and equipment and processed food from India and curtailing smuggling.
Last week, in a joint statement at the end of a seminar organised by the India-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the industry captains suggested that Pakistan grant MFN status to India for expanding bilateral trade.
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