No plans to grant MFN status to India: Pakistan

No plans to grant MFN status to India: Pakistan
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Lahore: The Pakistan government has said it has “no immediate plans” to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India.

Asked whether the government was considering granting MFN status to India and that Prime Minister Imran Khan was keen to hold peace talks with the Indian government, Adviser to the Prime Minister for Commerce, Textile, Industry and Investments, Abdul Razak Dawood said, “No such plans at the moment”.

“At present we have no immediate plans to grant MFN status to India,” he said here at an event on Tuesday.

However, he said Pakistan is working out free trade agreements with different countries, especially China, and hopes to complete the second FTA with China by June, 2019.

Pakistan is yet to award the MFN status to India and it maintains a negative list of 1,209 items which are not permitted to be imported from India.

As per a World Trade Organisation rule, every member of WTO is required to accord this status to other member countries.

India has already granted this status to all WTO members, including Pakistan.

Under the MFN status, a WTO member country is obliged to treat other trading nations in a non-discriminatory manner, especially with regard to customs duty and other levies, but Pakistan is yet to transition fully to MFN status for India.

Pakistan allows only 137 products to be exported from India through the Wagah border land route.

Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at USD 2.28 billion in 2016-17.

India mainly exports cotton, dyes, chemicals, vegetables and iron and steel to Pakistan while it imports fruits, cement, leather, chemicals and spices.