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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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Keeping up with house trends

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Home is the place where you should feel more comfortable. Thankfully, you can get all the confort without having to sacrifice style. Nowadays it is easy to remodel your house within a budget, making it accessible to any user. If you also keep up with the last trends, your house will surely be in everybody’s mouth.

Updating the living room 

The heart of every household is, without any doubt, the living room. It is the place were the family reunites to spend the time together. We generally use the living room on our free time, so it is important to feel as comfortable in it as possible. After all, nobody wants to be in an uncomfortable place when it comes to watch a movie or spend quality time talking with your significant other. Latest trends are aware of this. 

One of the most significant changes that have been happening on living rooms over the last years is that regular sofas have become outdated. Their crucial spot in the room has been taken all over by the chaise longues. Chaise longue is a kind of sofa that includes an extra long piece of sofa in one of the sides. Thanks to this additional piece, you can lay down more easily and relax. They are very versatile pieces of furniture and, the best thing about them, is that they come in all designs and patterns, so finding one that matches your style is easy.

Becoming one with your garden

Although most users would prefer spending their spare time in the living room, as the good weather arrives, the garden becomes a strong contender. A beautiful garden is every family dream. Over the last years, nothing has increased the value of properties like a stunning pool in the garden. The pool design therefore is one of the most important aspects of a house. 

Choosing the right tiles for your pool can make a dramatic change on the pool appearance and durability. Lately, decorators all around the world have found a new favorite type of tile regarding pool tiles: the glass pool tile

Glass pool tiles have beaten the traditional porcelain ones used on pools by many aspects. The most important one is that they reflect the light of the sun better, giving the pool a cleaner and brighter look. Glass pool tiles used to be made of materials that could not handle the cold weather well, but thankfully this has changed over the last years.  Glass pool tiles are now made of very resistant materials making they appropriate for any kind of weather. 

Glass pool tiles are really easy to install and come in all sort of different colours and designs. However, do not let this big variety overwhelm you. A trend in colours seem to be settling in at the moment: turquoise pool tiles. They reflect the sunlight very well while giving your pool a modern feeling.  Immersing yourself in a pool with turquoise tiles after a long day at work can give you a relaxing ocean feeling. If you are looking to get yourself some turquoise pool tiles, we recommend you look for respectable sellers like Buy Home Tile, which is an online store famous for providing only quality materials. 
Another important thing to take into account regarding your pool is the area around it. Experts like Buy Home Tile recommend you use river rock mosaic tile. This kind of tile gives a rustic but elegant feeling to your outdoors areas. Since it is made of river rocks, they are very resistant and can last you a lifetime. Their top quality durability make it a wise decision, not only for pools and garden areas, but also for your bathroom or shower floors. People around the world are choosing river rock mosaic tiles for multiple elements in their homes, so do not miss the chance of joining those who make wise decorative decisions.

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SkyBridge Receives “Exporter of the Year” award from Global Chamber Phoenix

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The SkyBridge air logistics project received the “Exporter of the Year, Services” award, granted by the Phoenix Global Chamber within its annual Grow Globally Fair, which brings exporters and importers together, along with international investors.

The award was presented to SkyBridge, a company chaired by Ariel Picker and directed by Felipe Monroy. The effort to position www.skybridgeaz.com as one of the leaders in the international logistics sector within the business community in Arizona has been coordinated by Marco Lopez, president of Intermestic Partners.

SkyBridge is planned to become the first international air cargo hub to house Mexican and US Customs in the United States.

Its operations are based at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and will allow e-commerce companies and manufacturers, among others, to do business in Mexico and throughout Latin America, with a more efficient and profitable transport of goods between countries, thorough inspections and adequate security controls.

The development of this project will create 17,000 new direct and indirect jobs, as well as more than 3.5 million SF of development which will include industrial, aeronautical, office and commercial real estate.

The construction plan will detonate other benefits in the border region. Arizona’s proximity to Mexico and its surroundings are highly favorable for business, and they make the state a natural center for air cargo companies, large and small, eager to see their businesses grow on both sides of the border.

In this sense, Grow Globally Fair gives global business leaders the opportunity to see what’s new, who is new and how they can grow better.

With that purpose, the Phoenix Global Chamber awards prizes in honor of the success achieved in international markets and in the United States, whose categories are: Exporter of the year, product; Exporter of the year, services; Importer of the year; Landed Company to see; Cross-border consulting; Transcendent leader of the community; International banking; International commercial law; Immigration lawyer; Diplomat of the year; Translation and localization; International logistics; International accounting and taxes; International finance and insurance; International Emerging Risk; International Talent and Payroll: International Real Estate Leader; International wealth management; International business training and discourse; International IT services; International market; International education; Collaborating Organization; International nonprofit; International business city; an Elected leader with global mentality; Young Global Leader, and Global Leaders of the tribe of the year.

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Axel Andorff and Carsten Isensee, new SEAT Vice presidents for R&D and Finance

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The Spanish car company, SEAT is betting on the future by hiring two prestigious new executive vice presidents. The company hired Axel Andorff as the new executive vice president of R&D (research and development), and Carsten Isensee has been appointed as the new executive vice president for finance. With both appointments, SEAT is focusing on Innovation and securing the company’s record profit and investment figures.

Who are Axel Andorff and Carsten Isensee

Research & Development and Finance are two of the most important areas on a car company. The new vice presidents of these areas, are both executives with international experience and extensive knowledge on the car market. Axel Andorff will be replacing Dr. Matthias Rabe (who will run the technical development operations area at Volkswagen), and Carsten Isensee, who is taking over for Holger Kintscher (who will be working as head of IT and finance at Volkswagen).

Let’s see who are these two new incorporations to the SEAT executive staff. 

Axel Andorff (R&D Vice president)

Axel Andorff is a German economic and mechanical engineer (from the German University of Kaiserslautern), with 20 years of experience at the car market, where he worked for Mercedes and held various positions in the research & development area of that company.

New responsibilities at SEAT

The new R&D vice president will be in charge of the company’s innovation projects, especially those involving connectivity and car electrification, developing technologies and new forms of mobility. He is in charge of the SEAT Technical Centre, who is focused on R&D. It has an area of 43,000 square meters, prepared and equipped (of a total area that covers a surface of 200,000 square meters). More than 1000 qualified engineers work on this center, using advanced technology (simulations, virtual reality…) to create modern and reliable cars, and developing new car technology.

In 2018 SEAT allocates 862 million euros on total investments and R&D expenses, 47% more than in 2017.

Carsten Isensee (Executive Vice-President for Finance)

Carsten Isensee has a degree in business management from the German University of Wilhelmshaven, and he has made his entire career in the Volkswagen company. His last charge was in China as an executive vice president for finance.

2018 was a historic year for SEAT. Sales have grown by over 10%, increasing from 468,400 sold vehicles in 2017 to 517.600 in 2018. With the incorporation of Carsten Isensee to the company, they expect to continue increasing their sales along 2019 and the next years.

New responsibilities at SEAT

The Finance vice president joins the Spanish car company with the objective of reinforcing the company’s profit record and investment figures, and to strengthen its financial basis for future Automotive (LINK NOFOLLOW) projects.

The car market is a very competitive sector. Last years SEAT increased its figures on sales, profits and investments. With the new vice presidents incorporations, the company is focusing on increasing these figures and securing its position on the market.

As SEAT president Luca de Meo said: “It’s time to look to the future with the ambition to grow”.

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