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
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
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.