GRANTING MFN STATUS TO INDIA BY PAKISTAN PROSPECTS OF LIBERALIZATION OF BILATERAL TRADE
Keywords:MFN, Bilateral Trade, Non-tariff, Trade barrier
Pakistan government’s recent announcement that it had decided to grant MFN status to India which has yet to take place has received mixed response from think tanks, stakeholders and members of civil society. Those who favour the according of MFN status to India, are of the opinion that a quick way of revival of Pakistan’s economy is to enhance its economic growth rate by increasing its trade with India, a close neighbour and a large market. Those who are skeptical about enhancing trade with India say that liberalization of mutual trade will enable Indian goods to flood Pakistani market and severely damage less competitive segments of its industry. On the other hand, Pakistani exports to India will continue to suffer due to its heavy tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. There are also apprehensions about the success of bilateral trade process due to India’s inflexible policy on resolving bilateral disputes. Under this scenario, this paper discusses the potential and prospects of enlarging Pak-India trade after granting MFN status to India. Looking through past experience of trade with India and its very restrictive trade regime the paper focuses on likely impact of MFN on Pak-India trade. The paper also examines the possibility of sustaining the mutual trade process in the light of tensions on outstanding disputes. Finally the paper concludes by offering recommendations for making bilateral trade a win-win situation.
How to Cite