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India should be given the MFN status, says President FPCCI

NEW DEHLI: President of Federation of Pakistani Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Zubair Ahmed Malik has said India should be awarded with the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status, ARY News reported on Saturday.

While addressing a seminar in New Delhi, Zubair Ahmed Malik has said that the bilateral trade between the countries has reached $2.7 billion in the past two years; it can be starched to $50 billion annually with the help of some serious efforts.

President of FPCCI headed the Pakistani business delegation participating in the India International Trade Fair.

He stressed that in order to boost bilateral trade between the two countries, it is necessary to ease visa restrictions.

“To prosper the trade between the two countries it is mandatory to grant free movement to people which can be done if the visa regime is eased by both governments”, Malik added.

Malik further said that India should be given the MFN status.

India had already granted Pakistan MFN status in 1996 but Pakistan is yet to reciprocate the measure even though according to World Trade Organization (WTO) norms, member countries are required to provide this status on a reciprocal basis.

Federal chambers of Pakistan and India has been doing efforts for last 20 years to flourish the bilateral trade and India will organize an exhibition on February 14 in this regard.

The Pakistani government has missed the December 31, 2012 deadline for phasing out its negative list regime for trade and to grant MFN status to India.

Trade Minister, Naeem Anwar said that deadline was missed as some business sectors in Pakistan raised concerns about awarding MFN status to India.

Anwar said that talks are in progress on the issue of granting MFN to India and negotiation will also held with India in this regard.

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