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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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Matica’s CEO Sandro Camilleri speaks about security in digital payments

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One thing is for sure: the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated many behaviors and trends that once were holding their pace. A great example can be found in digital payments and online shopping. According to Rakuten Intelligence, from March through mid-April, e-commerce spending in the United States increased more than 30% compared to the same period last year. When it comes to worldwide scores, it reaches the surprising increase of 74%.

Although books and cleaning products led the ranks mapped by Rakuten, specialists argue that digital payments and online shopping are here to stay, as much as it has already been observed in Asian countries. In this sense, securing financial transactions and protecting consumer data became a mandatory issue to be addressed both by companies and the government.

As a leading European company in the processing and printing of cards and identification documents for security systems, Matica Technologies is dedicated to granting safety and technological solutions to businesses dealing with financial transactions online. According to the CEO and founder of Matica, Sandro Camilleri, the advent of digital payments is a revolution similar to that which technology has caused and is currently causing in other areas, such as transports. “It is an inevitable revolution, which citizens will have to get used to, and which must therefore be managed in order not to risk unintended consequences, being the key issue obviously safety,” he argues.

Camilleri stresses that there are two different phases when it comes to digital payment security. A first one is about information and personal data storage, one of the greatest topics of our time and also a potentially enormous market sector. The second, less discussed though equally important, is guaranteeing strength and security for the financial transaction itself — and this is a purely technological issue. “The use of chips that are equipped with incredible memories, high precision lasers and holograms makes it extremely difficult, not to say impossible, for any attacker to clone a card produced by us. Secondly, the transaction must be secure thanks to specific and constantly updated software,” explains Matica’s CEO.

Now, when it comes to privacy, Camilleri states that people must be aware of what is at stake when data is leaked and why such occurrences are so alarming. With more and more appliances being automated and connected to computers and to the internet, such as is the case for cars and home security systems, cyberattacks could lead to consequences that are not only terrible, but tragic. 

In such situations, Matica’s CEO believes that only biometric data could spare individuals from having their systems hacked, though this data must be filed with care and used only for strictly necessary purposes. In any case, Camilleri argues that using biometrics is becoming day by day more inevitable with the increasing rhythm of automation, and this is a feature that can already be found in some of Matica’s available systems, such as is the case of the passport series.

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The Importance of Branded Clothing

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When it comes to the basics of branding, it’s essential that you don’t skip out one of the most important aspects of your store; clothing. When it comes to creating a professional image for your business, first impressions count and you want your customers to believe that you are a credible and reliable business. The best way to achieve this excellent first impression is to pay more attention to the appearance of your staff and creating a consistent company image.

So here are a couple of tips that will explain the importance of branded clothing and why you should invest in it.

Creating a sense of team spirit

One of the biggest advantages of having branded clothing in the workplace is inspiring a sense of team spirit. It’s important to have everyone on board when it comes to running your business. It could be your brand message, commitment to customer service or even your values as a business. Whatever the case is, having everyone wear the same uniform can help promote teamwork in the workplace.

It’s an inexpensive way to show professionalism

It’s surprisingly cheap to purchase customer embroidered badges to sew onto plain shirts. This is an inexpensive way to create a branded uniform and also means that you can remove the badges when the shirt is ruined and then stick it to another shirt. It also means you can just buy blanks in different sizes instead of having multiple shirts printed. This is usually a much better option than pre-printing a bunch of shirts and hoping that they fit a new staff member. If you take this approach, you’ll find that you can easily create a sense of professionalism on a budget.

Showing who the staff members are

When you first walk into a store, it’s easy to tell who the staff members are if they’re wearing branded clothing. They’re easy to identify and recognize which enhances the customer service, especially in a relatively large store. For instance, if you run a clothing store with multiple floors, then having staff members in uniform will ensure that your customers know who to speak to if they need assistance.

It inspires confidence in your shoppers

You might not notice it immediately, but people will react more positively to your brand if they see that you and your staff are proud of your work. Having a branded uniform means that your staff are more than happy to represent your business, and this inspires a sense of confidence in shoppers that is difficult to achieve in other ways. They want to see that your staff have faith in your brand and a branded uniform can show this in a subtle way.

At the end of the day, a business doesn’t need to force its staff to wear a specific uniform. We’ve probably all seen or experienced it before; a store clerk or staff member that isn’t wearing a specific uniform. However, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t create a consistent and professional brand image with your clothing.

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5 Main Advantages of Colocation Hosting for Your Business

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Your organization requires a data center business plan if it is going to move forward to expand smoothly. Thus, you must look at your IT needs and decide what is to come so that your business can grow. If you are not sure whether outsourcing to a colocation facility is right for your organization or not, read on to learn what to consider.

1. Many Connectivity Options

Rather than building a private data center, which is a major capital expenditure, many companies choose a migration of their data instead. The range of connectivity choices available makes colocation a great choice in several cases, particularly if expanding the company’s infrastructure is necessary. Rather than laying down and integrating expensive cables, it is often more budget-friendly to use colocation facilities that easily connect to leading providers of internet services, network services, and more.

2. Scalability

When your current data solution is no longer enough, then it is time to consider scaling the IT infrastructure so that your business can continue to grow. Using a colocation provider allows you to agree together on service terms that allow you to scale services as necessary. If you’re interested in this scalable solution, check this page out for more information.

3. Less Downtime

A big benefit of colocation hosting is less downtime. An outage is costly for any company because it means less work is being done then, which equals fewer sales. Significant work must go into catching up on operations afterwards too. Thankfully, colocation data centers reduce downtime and maintain hardware because they have many supports, including different power sources and physical security.

4. Data Security

This point is essential. Your business has data that you need to ensure is secure for your customers and for the organization generally. Keeping patented data out of competitor hands is important, and you have an ethical obligation to your customers to safeguard their personal details too. Thankfully, colocation data centers have cutting-edge security measures in place. The colocation facility also has many policies that align with compliance regulation for various types of data, which means you won’t have to worry that you are vulnerable to lawsuits.

5. Lower Costs

Finally, colocation reduces costs in many ways for your growing organization. For example, you will save money as you will consume much less power after the relocation. Not only that, but you won’t have to own and operate hardware for networking because that is taken care of by the trusted colocation provider.

Deciding to Make the Move to Colocation Hosting

If your business has complex needs for an internet infrastructure, colocation can offer significant benefits, including saving money, state-of-the-art security methods, and scalability. It’s nice not to have to worry about infrastructure anymore too.

When your business moves to a colocation data facility, you can then focus on daily operations and an expansion strategy, rather than spending time managing an on-site data center. You can spend your time efficiently by outsourcing in this way, which makes it a successful part of building your company’s future.

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