India Inc has expressed its happiness over the decision and hoped that it would lead to multi-fold increase in the bilateral trade. “Pakistan's decision to grant MFN Status to India will help give a big jump to bilateral trade. It will substantially reduce illegal and third country trade with the potential of raising official bilateral trade to $8 billion in less than five years. However, road blocks like stringent visa rules, non-tariff barriers, difficulty in communication and opening of more trade routes like Wagah still needs to be addressed,” Confederation of Indian Industry Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said in a statement.
Similarly, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Secretary General Rajiv Kumar said it would mark a beginning of a new era in South Asian economic and commercial relations.
“This announcement provides an ideal foundation for the upcoming visit of India's Commerce Minister to Pakistan in February 2012…Coming on the eve of the next SAARC Summit, this announcement will also have a positive impact on the SAARC process as well,” Mr. Rajiv Kumar added.
According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), bilateral trade could go up to $6 billion by 2014.
“The move could also lead to negotiations on opening of the mutual investment,” Assocham Secretary General D. S. Rawat said.
The CII said that the move would “pave way for economic integration of South Asia. It would substantially reduce illegal and third country trade.”