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No MFN status to India


Oct 28, 2012
No MFN status to India for now

| Dastgir says secretaries to discuss market access | May review electricity trade, opening of bank branches |

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Monday ruled out the possibility of granting Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India in the trade talks to begin from Wednesday (tomorrow) in New Delhi.

“Granting MFN status to India is not part of agenda of the talks as both sides will hold negotiations on giving non-discriminatory access (NDA) to the markets of two countries,” said Minister of State for Commerce and Textile Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan while talking to The Nation on Monday.

The title of the talks will be “meeting for review of previous round of setting of fresh timelines”.
He informed that Pakistan would raise the issue of non-tariff barriers faced by the business community of Pakistan.

“The two-day secretary-level talks will start from tomorrow (Wednesday), which will be followed by the meeting of commerce ministers of the two countries,” said Khurram Dastgir Khan.

“I will visit to New Delhi to attend the SAARC Business Conclave starting on Friday and will hold meeting with my Indian counterpart on the sidelines of the business conclave,” said the state minister.

Last round of talks between Pakistan and India was held in September 2012. Sources informed that both sides would also review the electricity trade, opening of bank branches in the upcoming talks.

Sources said that non-discriminatory access (NDA) is the other name of Most-Favoured Nation status for India, which will have lesser political implication. On the issue of NDA, the source said that Pakistani ministry of commerce would approach the stakeholders after making progress on phasing out of the negative list.

The government has not decided to grant Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India, as it would consider it after 2014 general elections of the neighbouring country, sources said. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has already made it clear that there is no immediate plan to give MFN status to India, saying there is a need to normalise relations between the two countries.

However, Pakistan had assured the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as part of $6.64 billion loan agreement, of granting the MFN status to India. “We are moving forward to eliminate the negative list on trade with India and extend India the Most-Favoured Nation status,” Pakistan had said in a letter to the IMF.

Meanwhile, according to statement issued here, Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma will inaugurate the 5th South Asian Business Leaders Conclave (SBLC) on Thursday in New Delhi. Engr Khurram Dastagir, who will lead the Pakistani delegation, will address the ministerial round along with his counterparts from other South Asian countries.

“The SBLC, which has been graduated to Economic Davos of South Asia is a biennial event of SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SAAC CCI) which is addressed by eminent personalities, business leaders and policy makers from across the region,” states a press release issued by chairman media, diplomatic affairs and public relations FPCCI Malik Sohail Hussain.

The 5th edition of the Conclave is being organised in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in partnership with Friedrich Naumann Foundation: regional directorate, New Delhi.

About 300 delegates from across South Asia are expected to participate in the Conclave which is being organised under the theme “South Asian Century: Progressing towards Regional Integration” while focusing on important contemporary and emerging issues.

The inaugural session will be followed by Ministerial Round “Taking Stock of the South Asian Economic Integration Process” wherein Commerce/Economic Affairs Ministers from Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will share their vision to foster regional integration process in South Asia. In addition to five sessions on important issues like energy cooperation, entrepreneurial development, South Asia in 21st Century and others the Conclave also includes dedicated session on youth.

In addition to Indian commerce minister, the inaugural session will be addressed by Ahmed Saleem, Secretary General South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Vikramjit Singh Sahney, President SAARC CCI, Sidharath Birla, President FICCI and Siegfried Herzog, Regional Director FNF.

The ministerial round will also be addressed by Shaker Kargar, Minister of Commerce and Industry Afghanistan, Norbu Wangchuk, Minister of Economic Affairs Bhutan, Mohamed Saeed, Minister for Economic Development Maldives, Shanker Prasad Koirala, Minister for Commerce and Supplies Nepal and Abdul Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce Sri Lanka.

The unresolved issue relating to expanded ‘containerized trade’ is likely to be taken up in secretary-level talks in New Delhi.

Well-informed sources aware of the development told TheNation that the factor has also caused limited trade from the land route of Wagah/Attari while more committed effort to implementing the roadmap from both sides remained unseen unfortunately.

The two sides in secretary-level talks are likely to agree on fresh timelines for implementing the agreed roadmap regarding expanded bilateral trade.

“Expanded bilateral trade and political relationship between India and Pakistan would surly help both the countries to get the Safta agreements implemented in its true spirit,” a businessman from Pakistani side commented. He also said that without the removal of major obstacles by India in the way of expanded trade, Pakistan should set aside one of its promise it had made earlier in the roadmap pertain to grant India with the MFN (most favoured nation) status.

It is to note here that India’s trade with Bangladesh, for example, has more than doubled to $5.8bn since 2010. Similarly, its trade with Nepal has surged from $1.9b to $3.6bn and with Sri Lanka from $2.5bn to $4.6bn. Pakistan, on the other hand, has remained far behind to boost its trade significantly with the Saarc member countries. Its trade with Nepal is negligible and with Bangladesh $650mn and with Sri Lank $384mn.



No MFN status to India for now



Jan 14, 2014
It's Obvious pakistanis fear the takeover by Indian companies just like bollywood took over pakistan cinema...
It doesn't matter sooner or later pakistan will have to grant MNF status to india, and the day pakistan give MNF to India, pakistan will be a mini market for India...:lol::lol:



New Recruit

Nov 20, 2013
compared to the quality of products made by Europe or USA our products are shit quality. even cocacola made in india is bad quality compared to those available in the gulf.


May 3, 2009
It's Obvious pakistanis fear the takeover by Indian companies just like bollywood took over pakistan cinema...
It doesn't matter sooner or later pakistan will have to grant MNF status to india, and the day pakistan give MNF to India, pakistan will be a mini market for India...:lol::lol:
All right genius, we do know about your little game too.


Mar 31, 2007
It's Obvious pakistanis fear the takeover by Indian companies just like bollywood took over pakistan cinema...
It doesn't matter sooner or later pakistan will have to grant MNF status to india, and the day pakistan give MNF to India, pakistan will be a mini market for India...:lol::lol:
You are welcome, but not violating the state rules.
All goods coming in from India had to be registered and recorded.
Unfortunately, Indian way of operations has been have a politician in pocket, let him appoint an officer at port and Indian trucks keep flowing without any record.
Evidence is flooded market.
All Pakistanis shall put pre-condition on Indian trade... only when a fool proof mechanism is in place and traffic supervised by rangers.
I'm sure India would not be interested in trade on fair terms, as Pakistani companies would beat them.
On the other hand, just to hurt Pakistan industry, India used Zardari to destroy resources & infrastructure of Pakistan.


Mar 4, 2008
United Kingdom
interesting topic.

here is a very informative article by Joseph E. Stiglitz (a Nobel laureate in economics and University Professor at Columbia University) about when is Free trade good for everyone:

The Free-Trade Charade
  • NEW YORK – Though nothing has come of the World Trade Organization’s Doha Development Round of global trade negotiations since they were launched almost a dozen years ago, another round of talks is in the works. But this time the negotiations will not be held on a global, multilateral basis; rather, two huge regional agreements – one transpacific, and the other transatlantic – are to be negotiated. Are the coming talks likely to be more successful?

    The Doha Round was torpedoed by the United States’ refusal to eliminate agricultural subsidies – a sine qua non for any true development round, given that 70% of those in the developing world depend on agriculture directly or indirectly. The US position was truly breathtaking, given that the WTO had already judged that America’s cotton subsidies – paid to fewer than 25,000 rich farmers – were illegal. America’s response was to bribe Brazil, which had brought the complaint, not to pursue the matter further, leaving in the lurch millions of poor cotton farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and India, who suffer from depressed prices because of America’s largesse to its wealthy farmers.

    Given this recent history, it now seems clear that the negotiations to create a free-trade area between the US and Europe, and another between the US and much of the Pacific (except for China), are not about establishing a true free-trade system. Instead, the goal is a managed trade regime – managed, that is, to serve the special interests that have long dominated trade policy in the West.

    hThere are a few basic principles that those entering the discussions will, one hopes, take to heart. First, any trade agreement has to be symmetrical. If, as part of the “Trans-Pacific Partnership” (TPP), the US demands that Japan eliminate its rice subsidies, the US should, in turn, offer to eliminate its production (and water) subsidies, not just on rice (which is relatively unimportant in the US) but on other agricultural commodities as well.

    Second, no trade agreement should put commercial interests ahead of broader national interests, especially when non-trade-related issues like financial regulation and intellectual property are at stake. America’s trade agreement with Chile, for example, impedes Chile’s use of capital controls – even though the International Monetary Fund now recognizes that capital controls can be an important instrument of macro-prudential policy.

    Other trade agreements have insisted on financial liberalization and deregulation as well, even though the 2008 crisis should have taught us that the absence of good regulation can jeopardize economic prosperity. America’s pharmaceutical industry, which wields considerable clout with the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), has succeeded in foisting on other countries an unbalanced intellectual-property regime, which, designed to fight generic drugs, puts profit ahead of saving lives. Even the US Supreme Court has now said that the US Patent Office went too far in granting patents on genes.

    Finally, there must be a commitment to transparency. But those engaging in these trade negotiations should be forewarned: the US is committed to a lack of transparency. The USTR’s office has been reluctant to reveal its negotiating position even to members of the US Congress; on the basis of what has been leaked, one can understand why. The USTR’s office is backtracking on principles – for example, access to generic medicines – that Congress had inserted into earlier trade agreements, like that with Peru.

    In the case of the TPP, there is a further concern. Asia has developed an efficient supply chain, with goods flowing easily from one country to another in the process of producing finished goods. But the TPP could interfere with that if China remains outside of it.

    With formal tariffs already so low, negotiators will focus largely on non-tariff barriers – such as regulatory barriers. But the USTR’s office, representing corporate interests, will almost surely push for the lowest common standard, leveling downward rather than upward. For example, many countries have tax and regulatory provisions that discourage large automobiles – not because they are trying to discriminate against US goods, but because they worry about pollution and energy efficiency.

    The more general point, alluded to earlier, is that trade agreements typically put commercial interests ahead of other values – the right to a healthy life and protection of the environment, to name just two. France, for example, wants a “cultural exception” in trade agreements that would allow it to continue to support its films – from which the whole world benefits. This and other broader values should be non-negotiable.

    Indeed, the irony is that the social benefits of such subsidies are enormous, while the costs are negligible. Does anyone really believe that a French art film represents a serious threat to a Hollywood summer blockbuster? Yet Hollywood’s greed knows no limit, and America’s trade negotiators take no prisoners. And that’s precisely why such items should be taken off the table before negotiations begin. Otherwise, arms will be twisted, and there is a real risk that an agreement will sacrifice basic values to commercial interests.

    If negotiators created a genuine free-trade regime that put the public interest first, with the views of ordinary citizens given at least as much weight as those of corporate lobbyists, I might be optimistic that what would emerge would strengthen the economy and improve social well-being. The reality, however, is that we have a managed trade regime that puts corporate interests first, and a process of negotiations that is undemocratic and non-transparent.

    The likelihood that what emerges from the coming talks will serve ordinary Americans’ interests is low; the outlook for ordinary citizens in other countries is even bleaker.

    Read more at Joseph E. Stiglitz
    explains how multilateral trade negotiations fail ordinary citizens.

    - Project Syndicate

this article is very USA focussed but same is applied to everyone else. the principles of when Free Trade is useful are the same everywhere in most of the cases. A small example is that FTA in cars will be harmful for Pakistan if India is providing subsidy at any point in the supply chain of car manufacturing whereas Pakistan is not providing any such subsidy. So when removing any item from the negative list, it must be ensured that no government is providing any subsidy for the item in question. This will allow fair competition which will benefit all.

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