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Updated: November 3, 2011 12:28 IST

MFN status will give impetus to India-Pakistan trade: Sharma

Special Correspondent
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Anand Sharma
Anand Sharma

Pakistan Commerce Secretary to visit India this month for further review

Pakistan's decision to grant India the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status would give the much-needed impetus to bilateral trade, besides improving political ties between the two neighbours, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said here on Wednesday. “We deeply appreciate this positive gesture that Pakistan has taken…when bilateral economic engagement improves, it brings prosperity and growth to both the partners,” he said. Mr. Sharma, who spoke to his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Amin Fahim immediately after the Pakistani Cabinet decided to grant MFN status to India, said it would be beneficial for both the countries. “It opens up new pathways of alleviating our economic engagement to a much higher level,” the Minister said. Pointing out that the move would also help improve political relationship between the countries, Mr. Sharma said: “It will be influencing definitely in positive manner…we need to sustain this in the coming months.”

Under the MFN status, Pakistan will treat India on a par with its other favoured trading partners. India has already granted this status to the neighbouring country in 1996. India-Pakistan commercial negotiations were revived in April this year, after a gap of four years. Post-Mumbai attacks in 2008, the bilateral trade was badly hit. In 2010-11, the bilateral trade stood at $2.6 billion. In April 2011, business negotiations were revived with Commerce Secretary-level talks in Islamabad. These were followed by Mr. Fahim's visit to New Delhi in September this year. Pakistan Commerce Secretary Zafar Mahmood would be visiting India in mid-November for further review of economic ties.

More In: Business | Economy

Dr. Singh is not a fool, Pakistan did not give that to India, Gilani will not give and see.waste

from:  Gautham
Posted on: Nov 6, 2011 at 01:19 IST

This is a welcome move. Reduced Indo-Pak conflict means reduced influence of the US over Pakistan and at the same time reduced motivation for pakistan to continue proxy war via Taliban in afghanistan. India wins, pakistan wins, US wins, afghanistan wins.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Nov 3, 2011 at 01:20 IST

It is a good step. Like many other countries in the world Pakistan has finally recognised that the real power of a country is its 'economic power' which is as good, if not better, than military power. Hopefully people of both countries, especially of Pakistan, will benefit from this step Pakistan has taken, though very belatedly. Furthermore, one hopes such steps would help in normalising relations between two neighbours and help in shedding away mutual fears, hatred and mistrust. That said one is surprised at the venom spewed out by Mr. Qureshi against India when refusing her transport facilities for trade with Afghanistan through Pakistan

from:  Raj Behl
Posted on: Nov 2, 2011 at 23:38 IST

This is an excellent development.India is very fortunate to have a prime Minister, who has championed the case for economic growth in the region and focused on improving trade with Countries in the region. This granting of MFN will lead to open borders and a precursor to trade routes to Afghanistan and Central Asia. The Civilian Government in Paksitan has finally found the support from the Military to foster better relations with India through trade. In all this, India must thank the US, which has pushed India's neighbours to improve trade. To all those who fear India's domination, the reality is that an open market will automatically balance out and each Country/region will establish dominance in its own niche industries. Great news!

from:  SRIDHAR
Posted on: Nov 2, 2011 at 22:34 IST

Well done. Now lets sign a No War Pact , resolve the jihadi problem and move towards a South Asia Without Borders in a pragmatic and phased manner for the benefit of the peoples of the region and our common civilization!

from:  Sohail Zahid
Posted on: Nov 2, 2011 at 22:25 IST
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