Pak expected to grant MFN status by year-end
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 23:56
Islamabad: Pakistan is expected to grant the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India by this year- end as it is likely to phase out the negative list by then.

"The negative list is to be phased out; the timing for this will be announced in February, at the time the list is notified. It is expected that the phasing out will be completed before the end of 2012," said joint statement issued after talks between the visiting Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Amin Fahim.

Once the negative list is phased out, the transition to MFN status will be automatically completed.

The statement said that Islamabad has agreed to move from a "positive list to a small negative list by February 2012" and it is expected to be phased out completely by 2012-end.

Official sources told PTI that the Indian side has raised the Pakistani government’s decision to defer the finalization of the negative list and an assurance was given by Fahim that the Pakistani side is committed to the timeframe it had earlier given to the New Delhi.

Commerce Secretaries of the two countries here on November 14-15, in New Delhi had 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.


First Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2012, 23:56

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