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Granting MFN status to benefit apparel sectors of India, Pakistan
Nov '11
The granting of most favoured nation (MFN) status by Pakistan to India will benefit the apparel sectors of both countries, according to Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA).

“Pakistan has certain strengths in the textile sector and so does India. India has a very large petrochemical base from which we can obviously benefit through yarns and fabrics coming out of that area. Pakistan has a lot of strength in certain types of cotton that are especially welcomed and used extensively in India's domestic market.” Mr. Shehzad Salim, Central Chairman, PRGMEA, told fibre2fashion.

“Granting of MFN status to India would be a very good gesture from Pakistan's part and it will not only encourage trade, but also create a friendly atmosphere in which future developments can take place. It would be very beneficial as India would get benefit from Pakistan's strengths and advantages, and Pakistan would benefit from India's strengths and advantages. Hence, I do not see any detrimental effects as Pakistan spears ahead with granting of MFN status to India,” he reasoned.

“However, things need to be worked out on both ends regarding removal of non-tariff barriers such as overland transportation of goods, removing certain kinds of restrictions which are very bureaucratic in nature, etc. It is necessary to now move very quickly on these things as well,” Mr. Salim added.

“The removal of bureaucratic non-tariff barriers would result in substantial growth in official trade between both India and Pakistan. Currently, there is a lot of unofficial trade that takes place via various routes. So, making it official and giving easy access will boost trade in both countries,” he explained.

Citing tremendous trade potential between the two countries, Mr. Salim said, “Pakistan's garment and processing industry can also benefit from India's IT sector and the technological advancements that are taking place. Also, India has large dyestuffs and petrochemical base which can be utilized by Pakistan.”

Recommending a strong SAARC trading block, the PRGMEA Central Chairman said, “Pakistan and India together approximately have a population of 1.5 billion, which is about 15-20 percent of the world population, and if we add the balance of the SAARC member countries, the figure goes up dramatically. Hence, forming a strong trading block among SAARC nations would gradually decrease our reliance on the rest of the world.”

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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