Indo-Pak Track-II dialogue sees consensus on demand for MFN status to India

Islamabad, Mar. 18 : The recently concluded track-II dialogue between India and Pakistan, held at New Delhi, has reached consensus on the demand to award Most Favoured Nation status to India.

A high-level business and trade delegation from Pakistan had visited India to take part in track-II dialogue on enhancing trade relations between the two countries, reports the Daily Times.

The delegates, while referring to measures taken in terms of trade liberalisation, said Pakistani exports to India have risen by 27 percent from 333 million dollars to 422 million dollars in 2012.

During the meeting, Pakistani delegates conveyed that for the first time there is a consensus in Pakistan on promoting trade with India, not just in goods but also in services along with greater cooperation on foreign direct investment.

They also explained the constraints in awarding MFN status to India and highlighted various measures taken by the government of Pakistan for the rationalisation of "trade list" and trade facilitation with India.

The meeting concluded with the formation of joint India-Pakistan Business Council, which is an important milestone for businessmen of both the countries to deliberate on issues concerning mutual trade.

The dialogue was the result of efforts by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) to forge greater business ties between the two nations.

The Pakistani delegation consisted of two former finance ministers, Dr Hafeez A Pasha and Dr Salman Shah, SDPI Deputy Executive Director Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Pakistan's former ambassador to WTO Dr Manzoor Ahmed, Nestle Pakistan Chairman Syed Yawar Ali, faculty members from LUMS and representatives of the media.

The dignitaries at the meeting from the Indian side included Indian Minster for Railways Pawan Kumar Bansal and Ministry of Commerce secretary and additional secretary, among others.

--ANI (Posted on 18-03-2013)

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