‘Pak moving towards granting MFN status to India’

Pak recently switched over to a negative list regime for trade with India, paving the way for MFN-status by next year.

Islamabad: Pakistan is moving towards granting Most Favoured Nation-status to India "despite some hurdles" as the two countries have made significant progress in trade cooperation, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Wednesday.

Zardari referred to the importance of regional trade while addressing a dinner hosted by him at the presidency to mark the 50th anniversary of Pakistan-EU relations and said his government had designated 2012 as the "Year of Regional Trade and Economic Connectivity".

"We have made significant progress on trade and economic cooperation with India. We are moving towards the grant of MFN-status to India despite some hurdles," Zardari told the gathering that included diplomats, senior Pakistani officials and the media.

Pakistan recently switched over to a negative list regime for trade with India, paving the way for the grant of MFN-status by next year.

Commenting on the regional security situation, the President said a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan is in Pakistan`s best interest.

Pakistan is ready to extend full cooperation to "facilitate political reconciliation in Afghanistan", he said.

Pakistan is also actively engaged with Afghanistan to develop joint cooperative projects and the bilateral Transit Trade Agreement will give impetus to regional development and stability, he said.

In his address, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, the European Union Ambassador to Pakistan, commended Zardari for his visit to India in April and the "significant steps" taken by the Pakistani government over the past year to liberalise trade with India.


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