Pakistanís exports to India can reach $1b
By Sajid Chaudhry
ISLAMABAD: Pakistanís exports to India can grow to $ 1 billion, if New Dehli brings its tariff regime at par with Islamabadís and provides a level playing field for trade.
At present the Indiaís tariff regime is most complicated in the world with a lot of non-tariff barriers. European Union is also preparing the case against India seeking the liberalization of tariff regime. As far as Pakistanís tariff regime is concerned, it is most liberalised in the region and has import duty ranging between 5 to 25 percent only. ďAnd there are no non-tariff barriers at all.Ē Bilateral trade between the two neighbours is in favour of India because of the liberalised tariff regime of Pakistan. The official said that India has given the MFN status to Pakistan even then Pakistanís exports during 2004-05 by December stands at $ 90 million while imports from India stands at $ 370 million.
According to World Bankís study, with the MFN status, Pakistanís annual exports to India should stand at $ 700 to 800 million, but the current trade volume paints a different picture. Pakistanís exports cannot swell unless and until India liberalises its tariff regime and provides level playing field. ďWe have not extended the MF status to India, even then its exports are more than three times higher than Pakistanís.
To a question he said that India desires to export machinery and raw materials to Pakistan that would be more beneficial for Pakistan to up-grade the industry, enhance production and lower the cost of production.
The official said that at present both the countries are in a process to promote direct trade especially through land route. The desire for promotion of trade has led the creation of high level Pak-India Joint Study Group.
The first meeting of study group that was held at New Delhi the Pakistani delegation has handed over a list of all the irritants that are faced by our exporters at Indian ports and customs stations.
The Most Favoured Nation (MNF) status to India is not the main issue for promotion of trade between the countries as the India is enjoying balance of trade in his favour without having MNF status from Pakistan.