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Pakistan inches forward towards granting MFN status to India
Nov '11
Pakistan has taken a step forward towards granting the most favoured nation (MFN) status to India.

According to a joint statement issued by Commerce Secretaries of both the countries at the end of two-day talks, Pakistan will finalize and ratify a negative list consisting of few hundred items by February 2012.

Post ratification of the negative list, Pakistan will allow import of all items from India, except those on the list. Subsequently, the items on the negative list will also be phased out by 2012-end, leading to the grant of MFN status to India.

Currently Pakistan allows import of just 1,933 items from India, which are on its positive list. The ratification of negative list would pave way for India to freely export over 7,000 items from February 2012.

India had granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996. Under WTO rules, Pakistan has to put India on a par with other countries to grant MFN status to India, that is, it has to allow import of all items from India.

Besides deciding the new timelines, both countries have also agreed to extend tariff concessions on items of commercial interest to further the preferential trading arrangements under the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) process.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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