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`Pak to complete MFN process by 2012`

India Wednesday said with Pakistan agreeing to open its market completely for Indian goods by end-2012, the process of grant of most-favoured nation status to New Delhi will be complete.



New Delhi: India Wednesday said with Pakistan
agreeing to open its market completely for Indian goods by end-2012, the process of grant of most-favoured nation status to New Delhi will be complete.

"With the entire phasing out of the negative list, the
transition process to Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment
shall be completed," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand
Sharma said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Pakistan has agreed to open its market for over 7,000
items from India in the next three months.

At the end of two-day talks held between commerce
secretaries of the two countries here on November 14-15, Islamabad agreed to widen market access for Indian goods by moving from a Positive List (PL) to Negative List (NL) trade regime by February, 2012.

This would translate into a huge opportunity for Indian
businessmen, who will be able to ship all but a few items to a
the Pakistani market -- with a population of 150 million --
through the land, air and sea route.

"In the first stage, Pakistan will transition from the
current Positive List (PL) approach to a Negative List(NL)...
A small NL shall be finalised and ratified by February, 2012.

Thereafter, all items other than those on the NL shall be
freely exportable from India to Pakistan," the joint statement
said.

In the second phase, the NL would be phased out.

"The timing for this phasing out will be announced in
February, 2012... and it is expected that the phasing out will
be completed before the end of 2012," the statement said.

PTI

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