Breaking MFN deadlock: Pakistan seeks market access to India

*High commissioner to India says Pakistan wants level-playing field for strengthening trade ties with India

NEW DELHI: Pakistan has asked the Indian government to address its concerns related to “market access, tariff and non-tariff barriers’.
Pakistani High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit said Pakistan wants a level-playing field for promoting and further strengthening trade ties with India. “There is need to address concerns relating to market access, tariff and non-tariff barriers,” he said.
“At the same time, innovative proposals and ideas may also be explored which can help create economic inter-dependence between the two countries. Mutual economic dependence will boost confidence amongst the business communities and make economic cooperation sustainable,” he added, while addressing the fourth meeting of the Pakistan-India Joint Business Forum (PIJBF).
India and Pakistan are looking to take fresh guard in relations when the foreign secretaries meet in Islamabad on August 25. Pakistan is likely to push for a full-scale resumption of the dialogue process, which has effectively remained stalled since January 2013.
Talking about the meeting, the high commissioner said Pakistan was looking forward to a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue process. 
He said PM Narendra Modi and his counterpart Nawaz Sharif had both agreed in their meeting here that the 2 countries needed to move from confrontation to cooperation.
After the IPJBF meeting, Pakistani industry expressed hope that Islamabad would soon grant the MFN status as the formalities on the matter have already been completed.
“All the home work has been completed and formalities have been done so I think it is only the matter of time when the two governments meet and right forum is there. So I do not think that is an issue,” Pakistan Co-chair for IPJBF Syed Yawar Ali told reporters. 

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