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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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Gutemberg Dos Santos and Robert Kiyosaki share their vision of leadership

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Gutemberg Dos Santos is a Brazilian-American entrepreneur and one of the main promoters of the use of Blockchain technology and crypto economy.

Gutemberg Dos Santos and Robert Kiyosaki

Gutemberg Dos Santos a couple of years ago sponsored an event in which the Guinness Record broke with the largest number of people playing Cash Flow, a game developed by Robert Kiyosaki. Today, Dos Santos shares some reflections that emerged on that occasion about what a good leader is. 

A good leader is an excellent guide to reach common goals. If I want my team to work successfully I must share my skills and offer the best tools for their performance. I am also committed to strengthening the capabilities of each of the members and never assume that we all work the same as diversity enriches and complements the unit. 

Sharing experiences. If I share my experiences with the rest of my team regarding the success and failures I have had in some projects, I will empathize with my team and together we will be able to reach the goals proposed for the company.

Listening. This part is essential for a business to prosper, if I do not listen to my people I will be walking towards darkness. I must always remain alert to the doubts and questions that my team may have, in this way I will know if we are all on the same frequency and we are walking towards the same course.

Motivating my team. I take my time to know my team, how old they are, what is their educational and socioeconomic level; what goals they pursue in the short and long term. This will help me find keywords that guide me to be empathetic with them and be able to have better communication. 

Being proactive. When facing a difficult situation, I try to get the best out of it, without falling into frustration and rather detect alternative solutions. Trusting and being flexible. I am attentive to the capacities and strengths within my work team, this way I trust people in order to delegate tasks, likewise I am open to listen to proposals and suggestions that lead us to strengthen our project. 

For more information, please visit : www.gutembergds.com 


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When navigating the Spanish legal system choose the right partner for your business

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xpanding your business internationally is challenging for any company and yet the rewards of entering a new market, like Spanish one, can bring unlimited rewards if you do it right.

Although with great risk comes great reward, one of the ways to mitigate those risks is to team up with a top international law firm like Avalaw. It can not only navigate local laws and regulations for both individuals and businesses, but can also provide services in relation to employment or tax.

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Invest with confidence in Spanish businesses and property 

Spain is showing signs of growth economically speaking, and although slow to recover in the face of the 2008 recession, it is now booming in a way other European countries are not. And with the euro performing well against the US dollar and other currencies it makes sense that eyes are turning to Spain for opportunities.

Of course this is also true not just for business purchase or investment, but also for property investment. In cities like Barcelona for example, the property boom continues with great profit to be made where property attracted premium rates and premium rents. 

However investment can be tricky, especially if you are facing a language barrier. How can you trust that due diligence is complete and fair, and that common pitfalls have been investigated or mitigated against.

This is when having the right business partner to do this for you becomes so important.

Experts in immigration law can save you money and effort

Of course it is not only investment opportunities which will require expert assistance.

If you decide to follow your business opportunity in Spain, or wish to employ an international specialist workforce that requires them to relocate to Spain, then you simply cannot do this without a specialist by your side

Even relocation within the European Union can be tricky with multiple bureaucratic steps needed. After the first 3 months to formally register your presence in Spain, you are allowed to carry out legal activities

For those coming from outside of the European Union the immigration laws can seem complicated, onerous and at times, arbitrary. 

From applying for your identity certificate and identity number (NIE or TIE depending on where you are from), getting registered at the local council offices and setting up social security for taxation or getting your health care card making sure you have the right paper and the right visa depending on your visiting purpose, it can be hard to understand and lead to a lot of frustration that could be avoided. 

Not following the rules can cause serious problems. Not undertaking tax obligations properly can cause problems and sometimes very high fines. And get the immigration laws wrong and you might find yourself having to leave the country very quickly and not by your own choice. With so much riding on these things it is worth every penny to hire an expert.

Even if you are concerned about immigration and visa there are different types of permission to remain in Spain. From the certificate awarded to Europeans who can show financial independence, to the blue card offered to non-European skilled workers there is usually a best fitting option. There are even visas for those just wishing to purchase property or not intending to work.

Living, working and investing in Spain does not have to be daunting

You shouldn’t let the spectre of bureaucracy scare you away from some wonderful opportunities for a new life and a chance to make your business global.

It is easy to find many horror stories about Spanish bureaucracy, even to make a simple appointment can seem impossible sometimes, but the rewards are worth it. Choosing the right legal partner to help you on this journey is a great first step on this road. It is one of the most fundamental relationships you need for a successful and happy time in Spain. Do not leave it to chance and start planning today.

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5 Mistakes to Avoid While Buying Study Tables Online

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Study tables are a necessity in almost every household, office space, public places, etc., where one might just like to relax and read or avidly work on a given project or assignment. Let’s face it, completing tasks within a given deadline is a lot more distracting without a study table present. Sitting for hours on the bed with your laptop on your thighs or reading books casually might lead to back injuries and eyesight complications in the future. Hence it is best to have a proper study table to complete all your tasks and have a comfortable experience. These days, almost all customers have shifted to purchasing study tables online instead of going to stores because it saves a lot of time and money. However, while purchasing furniture online, there are a few mistakes which all buyers must avoid in order to invest correctly and have a commendable consumer experience:-

  1. Ignoring the brand name and price value:– It is really easy to go for furniture which is cheap and the description on the products is very promising. However, do not be fooled by such elevated claims these unknown brands make, because in their mission to sell duplicates of popular brands, they will create a divine image about their product and will rob you off your money. To be on the safe side, it is important to visit sites which are popular and there is good feedback about the purchases made. Try purchasing from brands which have both online stores and shops in the city. Better be safe than sorry.
  2. Impulsive purchasing:- Decisions made on an impulse almost never favour a person’s luck. While purchasing study tables, it is important to consider all possible loopholes that might be associated with it. Take your time to think and make a choice which will complement the area surrounding the study table and also will be durable. Don’t make an investment blunder.
  3. Ignoring the compatibility:– If you want to buy coffee table online or a study table, the surroundings it is going to be placed in must be carefully estimated. For instance, taking proper measurements of the area in which the table will be placed as well as the measurement of the door through which the product will be brought in must be accurate. It is suggested that you find a delivery service which places the table in its right place to avoid future complications.
  4. Not settling the place prior to the arrival of the table:– It is imperative that the necessary documents, books, copies, electronic devices, decor, etc., must be assembled in order prior to the arrival of the study table. That way, a lot of time will be saved and the table will be ready to use sooner. Keep a tab on the return policy from the brand you are ordering your study table from.
  5. Not surfing varieties:- Another major mistake buyers commit is not viewing varieties prior to purchasing a study table. It is more feasible if you surf through the different styles and varieties that these study tables are available in before impulsively investing in one. There are several styles that might suit your preferences like a bed study table, height adjusting table, a study table that can be folded and a light and shade one.

So if you are planning on purchasing a study table or a coffee table online, make sure to avoid these common mistakes to make a sound investment on your purchase and have a pleasant consumer experience.

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