India confident of boosting trade relations with Pakistan

India is giving its all in order to make sure that a trade deal with Pakistan is worked out as soon as possible. The Indian authorities have made a clear cut indication that they are ready to offer preferential access to textiles and other good from their neighbors but only if Pakistan issue MFN (Most Favored Nation status and make steps to boost imports from India.

According to close sources India is considering at allowing the entry of textiles and other goods from Pakistan at concessional or no duty to strengthen trade relations. The package offered to Pakistan could be familiar to the one offered to Bangladesh.

While Indian authorities are optimistic of a positive response from Pakistan as the commerce secretaries are due to meet between Nov 14-18, India wishes that Pakistan not just move from a system of a positive list to negative list. Instead, it has suggested that Pakistan follow the Safta principle of trade through a small sensitive list of items, which should be pruned over time. 

Pakistan’s foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar last week made a strong indication that Pakistan is very close to issuing the long overdue MFN status for India.

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