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Pakistan’s MFN Status to India; Who Will Gain Out of This?

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Pakistan's MFN Status to India, Wagah Border

India and Pakistan at Wagah Border. ‘
Photo taken by Kamran Ali

India and Pakistan are the two countries which are involved in regular trade with the world. But when it comes to the neighbourhood, they are hardly maintaining any business relationship with each other. Many times the idea of starting free trade between the two neighbours was discussed. Pakistan had its own ups and downs in declaring India as its most favoured nation, but now the discussion is more about who among India and Pakistan will be benefited more if Pakistan gives Most Favoured Nation status to India.

Do you think Pakistan should give India MFN Status?

India and Pakistan, known in the world as major nuclear rival neighbours, always had tensed relations. Within this rivalry many steps towards peace were taken, some of which were successful and some eventually failed. The dialogues between two nations had almost stopped when Pakistan’s terrorist organization’s involvement in November 2008 Mumbai attacks came in the picture. India maintained a no dialogue policy until Pakistan would take action against the culprits of Mumbai attack.

It was in July 2009 amidst the tourist season when regular tourists from around the world were coming to Egypt  in full flow, diving in Sharm el Sheikh which is a beautiful tourist destination facing the Red Sea. There were some really interesting developments happening between India and Pakistan. Indian and Pakistani premiers met in Sharm el Sheikh for the first time after Mumbai Attacks. The outcomes of the meeting were lauded in Pakistan, whereas were chided by Indian analysts, but the most important aspect of the meeting was the resumption of the peace process.

While India has given a good reaction prior to the developments in Pakistan about granting MFN status, Pakistan is giving mixed response. There are analysts who think giving MFN to India is a right decision and there are analysts who have censured this step. The main reason of Pakistan for castigating this step is that India has been very strict to Pakistan in terms of providing its market for Pakistani goods.

India had given MFN status to Pakistan as soon as WTO (World Trade Organization) replaced GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) in 1995. The MFN rule requires that a WTO member must apply the same conditions on all trade with other WTO members, i.e. a WTO member has to grant the most favorable conditions under which it allows trade in a certain product type to all other WTO members. “Grant someone a special favour and you have to do the same for all other WTO members.”

Even after India giving MFN status to Pakistan, India’s non-tariff barriers, technical, security and custom standards were so strict that Pakistan couldn’t make most out of it. Pakistan on the other hand, which has comparatively less stricter standards, fear that Indian products will burgeon in their markets challenging their local industries if such status is given to India. 

India has complex trade barriers not only for export to India, but also for import from India. Dr. Ashfaq Hassan, Dean of NUST Business School, Pakistan shared his experience when Pakistan imported live animals from India during the shortage of meat in the country. He mentioned that custom office had problem because the animals were not vaccinated, and they had to take the animals all the way back to Delhi to get them vaccinated.

However, Federal Secretary Commerce, Zafar Mehmood, who believes that trade should normalize between the two countries,  maintains that India and Pakistan were trading normally between 1947 to 1965, and Pakistan’s export to India was quite high in number compared to India’s export to Pakistan. Regarding non tariff barriers imposed by India, he said they have been working with Indian establishment and Indian commerce minister to sort out all the issues and doubts which can later be problematic for either Pakistan or India.

To make things easy for Pakistani exporters and to make them understand about Indian custom regulation, Pakistan invited Indian trade regulator officers to give presentation to Pakistani exporters in Lahore and Karachi. Pakistan is also interested in signing three agreements with India, which stress on the delay in customs in India, discrimination in evaluation of Pakistani goods in customs, resolving disputes of exporters/importers, recognition of Pakistan’s internationally credited laboratory and standards institute in India.

One of the most important thing that Pakistan will gain from giving India the MFN status will be reduced importing costs of machinery and machine parts, for example parts of textile machines, rail wheel, sugar mill machinery, and electric power generation machinery, etc which India produces on par or even better than international level. These machinery when Pakistan imports from other countries, often “Made in India” equipment items end up arriving on Pakistani ports. These parts are then not allowed to pass the Pakistani customs. 

This complexity in trade between India and Pakistan has helped trade mafias whose job is to order parts from India in Dubai or Singapore and then remove “Made in India” markings to sell it to Pakistan on higher rates, causing loss to Pakistan’s industries. If trade is normalized between the countries, Pakistan will not only save the transportation cost but will also get rid of these trade mafias who sell the same thing for higher rates.

Moreover, Pakistan’s textile and textile finishing has high appreciation in India and India is considered as great market for textile industry of Pakistan because of the high quality and similar traditions. Another industry which will gain from giving MFN status to India is Pakistan’s Cement industry. Pakistan produces high quality cement in surplus, that is more than what Pakistan needs. Also, while approximate cost of one bag of cement in Lahore is 100 Rupees, the same bag twenty Kilometres across the border in India costs 500 Rupees, this price difference can be utilized by the Pakistani industries for their benefit.

Various analysts in Pakistan believe that Pakistan’s bank sector also has a good opportunity in India. India is believed to be a major market for banks. Many analysts stressed on the fact that international banks are earning more profit from India than from Pakistan.

Pakistan’s restricted trade with India is an international obligation which has to be resolved, there is also a huge number of population (nearly 50%) in Pakistan’s north eastern and eastern areas which borders with India, this population will gain a lot if trade is normalized. These are some of the main reasons why Pakistan government should consider granting India MFN status.

The two countries share almost similar culture, similar dressing style, similar food and similar language, thus there is a huge opportunity for trade among the two. While India is a powerful economy which can threaten Pakistan’s local industry, Pakistan should not forget that India is also a huge market of one billion people from which Pakistani industries can make huge profit.

Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

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Dropshipping: How to start a hands-free online business

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Online Banking

No inventory, no headaches. This is the basic fonament of dropshipping selling model, so If you are thinking to start a new business from home, in this article we analyze the main advantages and disadvantage of drop shipping.

Dropshipping can be a real way to make a little bit of money on the side, all you have to do is work hard and choose a product of your interest as health and beauty, video games, wholesale gadget parts, music, candles or whatever you like yourself.

But, how dropshipping works? There are three different parts to this business model, the suppliers, the e-commerce store or dropshipper and the final customer. And four steps to make it all work together.

In the first place, you will have to list the supplier product on your e-commerce store for customers to buy. Afterwards and in second place, the customer can purchase something from your e-commerce store. The third step comes when you order that same exact product that the customer paid for, from your supplier. So finally your drop shipping supplier will ship this product directly to your final customer, and they will receive the item that they have ordered from your e-commerce store.

Easy right? You will receive the money you sold your product for and the supplier will charge you the wholesale price. So your profit will be the difference between the retail price and the wholesale price that you will pay to your dropshipping suppliers.

How to find products to sell online?

It is time to find products to sell and push for those items you think will succeed and customers will purchase. A good way to start is by importing items from China which will translate into better profits for your e-commerce.

China brands and chinese dropshippers are becoming very popular because they wholesale products with high-profit potential, as a double stereo Bluetooth with DSP for 27.62 dollars, that it can be sold for the retail price of 46.95 dollars. The benefit will be huge.

Or a popular set of knives ship free, a good opportunity to increase your earnings and avoid to invest in shipping. This little opportunity will make the difference in your new e-commerce. Millions of people buy knives every day as they are incredibly useful in the kitchen and required for many outdoor activities like trekking, camping or scuba diving.

Disadvantages and advantages of Drop Shipping

Even If the high-profit opportunities exist, they are not common. In general, low margins are the biggest disadvantage of operating in a highly competitive niche. E-commerce stores need so little in getting the business started, that they can afford to operate in such a low margins.

The inventory issues are another disadvantage of drop shipping. When you are sourcing from multiples suppliers, inventory changes on a daily basis, but to mitigate this problem you can start stocking some of your items. Shipping complexities If you work with multiple warehouses and supplier errors fulfilling the orders can be also tricky to face.

However, the benefits can be very good If you want to make it work and you have the time to invest. The biggest advantage of drop shipping is that you can launch an e-commerce store without having to invest much money in front. With this business model, you don’t have to purchase an item unless you already made the sale and the final customer has paid.

It is possible to work from anywhere as long as you have the internet connection, so make sure you can communicate with suppliers and customers easily. Another big advantage is that is easy to scale, as most of the work to process additional orders will be borne by the suppliers, allowing you to expand and create a better customer service and build the base of a good marketing strategy. So as the popular saying proclaims, If it is too good to be true, it probably is.

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Managing A Renovation Project

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Northeast_View_in_the_East_Room_during_the_White_House_Renovation-06-21-1951

Starting a renovation project can be a big challenge. It is not as simple as the shows you see on TV, a huge amount of planning, legal stuff and sourcing goes on before the work even begins.

Managing a project like this can be a complex affair which is why you need to make sure you know exactly what to do at every stage, and leave no stone unturned.

  1. Assess the Building’s Condition

Before you start to plan a renovation project you will need to know exactly what you are dealing with. You will need to visit the site and run a full check to see if the building is structurally sound, if the foundations are stable and what cosmetic touches you will need to do.

  1. Stop Deterioration

When you have assessed the current situation of the property you intend to work on, you will also want to make sure that no further damage occurs as you prepare for starting work on the project. You may need to put up scaffolding to keep the building supported or board out floors and the roof to prevent damp getting in.

  1. Check for Grants

It is not likely that you will get a grant for your restoration project, but it is certainly worth looking into. If the building you are working on is listed you may be given funding to carry out the work and make sure that the building’s integrity is kept.

  1. Apply for Permission

One of the most boring and long winded parts of renovation is getting the permission to carry out the work in the first place. As soon as you know you want to start a project, get your application for planning permission, listed building consent and any other things in. It may take a few weeks for the results to come back so it is always worth doing it as soon as you can.

  1. Structural work

The first thing you will need to do in terms of working on the property is making sure that the building has water, electrics and gas supplies- as well as being weatherproof. It may take some installation, plastering and insulating to get the building ready for the rest of the work you plan to do.

  1. Demolition

There may be certain parts of the building that you plan on knocking down and salvaging, so once you’ve stabilised the main structure you can go ahead and do the groundwork.

  1. Issues with Damp

If you are working on an old building, you will find that it is much more likely to be damp than a more modern one. This is because older buildings are made with solid walls. Because of this there is no airflow going through the bricks and therefore condensation builds up much more easily causing damp and mould to grow. To get rid of the damp you may need to call someone in to help you identify the source and to seal up any potential holes for water to enter the home.

  1. Check Drains

Sometimes you may find that the drainage around the property is damaged or blocked- and this can be another cause of damp in the home due to water becoming logged underneath the foundations. You will also want to check what’s connected to which part of the house, and you can do this by putting different coloured food dye down the sink and having someone inside a manhole seeing where the water comes out. It will show you whether your drains are in working order or if they are blocked.

  1. Plan Access

With a large project like this you will need lots of heavy equipment and machinery. Make sure that you have the ability to get the large diggers and other machines to the site without being an inconvenience to the surrounding public.

  1. Managing employees

It is not easy to manage a full group of trade people, but it will be required if you are to work on a large project.  If you are going to be overseeing the development of a home extension or a large row of homes, you will need to make sure that before the work begins you lay out the guidelines, safety laws and provide training to your workers. If anyone gets injured during the construction they could go to a lawyer like Hofmann & Schweitzer if you do not take the time to write down every regulation. It could be worth going over it with a lawyer before your employees sign it.

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New Business Approaches

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Business, like anything in life, can sometimes become a bit stale. Sometimes you need to refresh your approaches to give it that new lease of life that is so badly needs. But, sometimes it is unclear, and you’re not sure which direction you need to take to get the best out of your business. It is something that everyone goes through at some point, but is something that can be easily solved. All you need to do is know your business, and do a little research. Luckily for you, this article is going to give you a bit of advice if you’re stuck with knowing what to do.

Customer Focused

Somehow, this is where a lot of businesses lack. They’re so money driven that sometimes they can lose track of the bigger picture, and the people who matter the most. The customers. They’re ultimately who are going to be giving you the money you so badly desire, so keeping them at the forefront of your mind should be something you’re always trying to do. Even little things like making sure your office is immaculate when customers come in is going to make the difference between a sale or not. If they see somewhere that looks a bit dirty and dingy, they’re not going to want to do business. People prefer places to look tidy and smart. Custodial services aren’t that expensive, so if you know you’re rubbish at keeping the office clean, this might be worth looking into. Another way of making sure your customers are always happy is by doing questionnaires. These can be done either when they come in the store, or online anonymously. This feedback to your should be invaluable.

Marketing

Marketing should be a big approach for any business. If you’re not currently marketing yourself, you really need to look into why it’s important and how your business will benefit from it. If you are marketing already, then you’re already on a step in the right direction. The only downside to marketing is your approaches can sometimes become a little stale. What once used to work for you might not work now. This is where a fresh approach is definitely needed. Do some online research and see which methods you might be interested in. If you haven’t tried it before, SEO and link building is a really good way of gaining your business exposure. It is a risky game, so you are going to be better off hiring a consultant, but it’s definitely worth doing in the long run. Be warned though, you won’t see results straight away, and it is on the more expensive side of marketing. If you’d like to try cheaper ones, then radio or social media marketing might be the route to go down for you. It just might be the case that you don’t get as much exposure from methods such as radio.

New business approaches are bound to only do good for you. Above are just two ways in which you can make your business better.

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