Islamabad: A women`s trade body in Pakistan on Sunday endorsed granting Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India, saying that the move shouldn`t be delayed any longer as it is in the national interest.
"Granting MFN status to India will accelerate development of industry, agriculture and services sector while it would provide relief to masses facing high inflation," said Farida Rashid, President of the Islamabad Women`s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IWCCI).
"MFN (status) will improve trade relations significantly, which will also have a positive impact on the political relations," she said.
Speaking to the business community, Rashid said that an improved Pakistan-India relationship will have a positive impact on the region and rest of the world will also benefit from it.
She said that mixing politics with business has resulted in one of the lowest standards of living in the region, as policymakers have developed a tendency to look at everything through a security prism.
Rashid said that MFN doesn`t mean granting undue favours to the other country, rather it bars a nation from discriminating against its trading partner.
She termed as baseless the two common beliefs against granting MFN status to India - that goods from India will flood Pakistani markets and ruin local producers and?that the two nations` political tensions will defeat smooth trade efforts.
She also called upon the EU to allow zero duty on Pakistan`s exports from January 2014 so that the country`s economy can grow faster.
Pakistan had said it would grant MFN status to India by the end of 2012, but it is yet to happen due to security and political compulsions. India had already granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996.