Grant of NDMA to India by Pak will boost bilateral trade: FIEO

Granting of non-discriminatory market access (NDMA) to India by Pakistan will help in boosting trade and economic ties between the two countries, apex exporters body FIEO said today.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Rafeeq Ahmed also said that governments of both the countries should open more points of trade through land route.

"Grant of NDMA to India will allow trading of more goods. Businessmen of both the countries are willing to increase trade. The move will boost exports from both the sides," Ahmed told PTI here.

Pakistan has decided to postpone grant of Non- Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) status to India due to lack of consensus at home.

Bilateral trade talks have been suspended since last year following escalation in violence at the LoC.

In 2012, Pakistan had committed itself to give the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status but missed its own deadline of December 31, owing to domestic opposition.

The neighbouring country has to abolish the negative list of 1,209 tradable items.

Abolishing the negative list items that cannot be imported from India means the grant of NDMA status to India.

NDMA is a nomenclature chosen by the Pakistan government to avoid political ramifications at home of giving India the MFN status.

Further, Ahmed said that both sides should think of increasing the number of products traded through Attari-Wagah border. Currently, only 138 items are allowed for trading.

"Pakistani businesses want to do business with India. Allowing more products for trade will help in reducing transactions cost for exporters of both the sides. India and Pakistan should also open more trade routes. It will increase business flows," he added.

The FIEO President said poor air connectivity is also one of the major hurdles in enhancing economic ties.

"Still more work is required to liberalise visa regime," he added.

The bilateral trade between the countries stood at $2.6 billion in 2012-13.

India's main exports to Pakistan include sugar, man-made filaments and chemicals, while its imports comprise mineral fuels, among others.

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