Sceptical Pak traders favour MFN status to India

Posted on January 8, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

AMRITSAR: With a hope to increase bilateral trade in automotive sector with India, a delegation of 52 members of Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers' (PAAPAM) arrived India via Attari land border on Saturday to attend the Auto Expo being held in Delhi. Though Pakistani businessmen favoured giving Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India, but they were also sceptical that MFN status could ruin their local industry.

Talking to TOI, PAAPAM chairman Syed Nabeel Hashmi said in recent past Pakistan government had given positive and strong signal to India of according MFN status to increase bilateral trade between two nations. “We have welcomed the decision, but at the same time we have told government that interests of local industry should be safeguarded,” he said. He said there should be two-way trade. He said during auto expo they would hold meeting with their Indian counterparts and would hold B to B interaction and explore new possibilities of trade.

Hashmi suggested that to make a favourable atmosphere allowing trade and business to flourish, both the governments of India and Pakistan, in the first phase, should allow free movement of people and vehicles across the border. “I wish I had driven to Delhi in my car as was in Europe,” he said, adding that in the second phase thrust should be given to promote trade between two nations.

Another Pak businessman Rais Ahmad Sheikh said “PAAPAM had not opposed giving MFN status to India provided Pakistan's home industry was not affected,” he said. He said their market was open for raw material, but it shouldn't happen that their country becomes a market for selling finished goods. “Business should be of mutual interest,” he said.

One of the delegates, Mohammad Saleem said they would stay for nearly a week in India and explore business potential in automotive sector. He opined that there should be frequent exchange of business delegations between two countries for the economic growth of the region.

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