Islamabad: Amidst intense lobbying by several Pakistani industries to block the grant of MFN-status to India, the latest trade figures show that Pakistani exports increased by 66 percent after the two countries initiated steps to normalise trade relations.
Pakistan's exports to India during April-December 2012 showed a growth of 66 percent over the same period in 2011, according to figures from the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics of India’s Commerce Ministry.
In contrast, India's exports to Pakistan grew by 16 percent during April-December 2012.
Pakistan's exports to India in the nine-month period were valued at USD 460 million, significantly higher than the exports of USD 277 million during April-December 2011.
The figure for the nine-month period was also higher than Pakistan's total exports to India during 2011-2012, which were valued at USD 401 million.
"The growth of 183 million dollars in Pakistan?s exports to India during April-December 2012 is more than the increase of about 170 million dollars in its imports from India in the same period," said an official statement from the Indian High Commission.
The latest figures further showed that the share of Pakistan's exports in bilateral trade had almost doubled since 2009-10.
"The impressive increase in Pakistan's exports during April-December 2012 reflects the benefits of the steps taken to enhance bilateral trade, and improvement of trade environment, aided by SAFTA tariff reductions," the statement said.
The figures are in complete contrast to claims by some Pakistani industries, including agriculture, pharmaceuticals, textiles and automobiles, that the liberalisation of bilateral trade would lead to Pakistani markets being swamped by cheaper Indian goods.
However, some businessmen have acknowledged that these industries are opposing trade liberalisation and the grant of Most Favoured Nation-status as they fear it will lead to end of their monopolies.