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.