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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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Employee Training and Development Becomes One of the Most Disruptive Megatrends That Is Shaping the Future of Work

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Employee training

There is no question about the effectiveness of employee training and development. It’s incredibly important to help your staff advance their skills and knowledge to help grow a business, but the impact of employee learning has often been understated and even neglected. However, companies are now suggesting that employee training and development is one of the biggest megatrends that have completely transformed the future of work. It has overhauled how businesses should be developing and engaging with employees, and it’s leading to an incredibly diverse and talented workforce that is capable of wonderful new things.

Part of the problem of employee training and development is that it’s difficult to measure its impact on the workplace. Employee performance often isn’t a quantitative measurement that is easy to read and link to their output. This is one of the reasons why the effectiveness of employee training and development has been questioned by management experts.

Thankfully, new strategies have been developed to help measure workplace learning and its impact on companies. Below, we’ve included a helpful infographic that covers some of the most important measurements, such as return on investment and how it is calculated in the context of employee learning and development. It should put the effectiveness of employee training into perspective and will help you better understand when training is needed and how development actually improves your business and its productivity.


Infographic by: Ezra Coaching
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Top 10 Simple Health Changes To Boost Your Well-Being

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It does not matter how old you are, where you live, or what your occupation is, your health should always be a top priority. However, most of us are a little bit guilty of letting our well-being slide from time to time. With that being said, read on to discover some of the simple ways you can give your health a boost today.

  1. Get rid of at least one item in your life that contains toxic chemicals – You may be shocked by just how many items in your life contain toxic chemicals. This includes everything from air fresheners to bed sheets. Get rid of one of these items and replace it with something natural instead. This is something you should make a habit to do every few months or so. You will be surprised by just how much of a difference this can make. 
  2. Deep breathe for at least five minutes – Throughout the day, you should make sure you take the opportunity to deep breathe for at least five minutes. Why? Well, there have been numerous studies that have shown that deep breathing can help to lower stress hormone levels. This means that you will feel better, get an improved night’s sleep, and you will have less anxiety too.
  3. Drink more water – You probably expected this to be on the list, but the importance of drinking more water should never be ignored. Your body needs water for almost every function. If you are dehydrated, this could be the cause of headaches, pains, aches, and a number of other symptoms.
  4. Have one veggie night per week – A lot of people eat far too much meat, red meat especially. So, why not have a veggie night once a week? Not only is this good for your health, but it will be good for your bank balance too. There are so many great recipes online that can give you ideas regarding tasty and creative dishes that do not incorporate any sort of meat or fish. Once you start off with one night per week, you may then decide that you want to up it to two nights, and so on. However, it always helps to start off small so that it is easier and more manageable, and you can then get used to it.
  5. Sign up for an online pharmacy – Nowadays, you can easily order your prescriptions and medications over the Internet via an online pharmacy. This can help you to boost your health because it ensures you never experience delays with your medication. If you are someone who often doesn’t take their recommended course of tablets because you cannot get to the doctors in time for a repeat prescription, then this is definitely a good suggestion for you. Your medication will be delivered to your door with a click of a button.
  6. Make a dedicated effort to lower your stress levels – There is no denying that we live in a very stress-filled world at the moment! The world we live in is one that has heaps of pressure, and it can be difficult to stay on top of everything and keep those stress levels low. However, it is vital that you find a way to do so. After all, if you don’t adrenal fatigue and health can start to take a tumble, which is the last thing you want. For those who are unaware, adrenal fatigue relates to a group of different symptoms that impact people who are under a lot of physical, emotional, or mental stress. From being a single parent to having a stressful job, there are a lot of different reasons why you may be struggling. Therefore, we recommend that you look for different ways to reduce those stress levels so that you can enjoy a more calming and peaceful life. Whether it is doing some breathing techniques or taking more regular breaks so you can have moments for yourself, there are a lot of different ways that you can make sure you are keeping your stress levels to a minimum. The importance of this should not be overlooked, as stress can impact our mental and physical health in so many different ways. 
  7. Do something nice for someone every day – You will be surprised by how good this makes you feel, and by how much this has a positive impact on your health. It’s all about mental well being. When you do something nice for another person, you are benefitting their health, as well as your own. First and foremost, there is no denying that it feels good to hear some nice words for someone or to get a helping hand when you need it. You feel recognised and appreciated, and this is something we all need. At the same time, doing something nice for someone else and seeing their reaction can make you feel amazing too. After all, doing something good for someone is a gift for yourself at the same time. You will find that the deed continues throughout the day, making you feel great and happy within yourself. 
  8. Incorporate some movement into your commute – If you do not have an active job, this is particularly important. Sitting at a computer all day can be bad for your health. One way to combat this is by incorporating some movement into your commute. If you can walk or bike to work, you should give this a go. If not, start parking your car further away from your place of work so that you have to walk there and back. You should also start using the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can.
  9. Start meal planning – You will find it much easier to eat healthily if you plan your meals. At the start of every week, make a menu of what you are going to cook for dinner every evening, as well as what you are going to make for your lunches every day. Not only will this help you to eat better, but you will save money too. Make sure you incorporate some healthy snacks into your food prep for work. This will stop you from going to the vending machine whenever you are bored or your energy is zapped. The great thing about the times we live in at the moment is that you can easily get recipes and meal prep inspiration online. So, if you are struggling, simply do a little bit of digging online and we are sure that you will find a lot of different options when it comes to meal ideas and clever food prep suggestions for the week ahead. Not only is this going to help you to be more organized, but you will find that it actually saves you quite a bit of money in the process. After all, when we do not have a food plan for the week ahead, we tend to spend a lot of money on items we do not need. Food can end up going in the bin because we do not use it. This ends up in an awful lot of waste, and we should all be looking to reduce this, so meal prep is great in many ways.
  10. Keep a journal – Last but not least, keeping a journal is good for a person’s mental health. You should write down your thoughts. It doesn’t need to be a long entry; you can simply jot down a few bullet points every evening. This will help you to articulate your thoughts so that they do not wear you down. After all, it can be very difficult to sleep if you have lots on your mind. A lot of experts advise this approach for people who suffer from insomnia. One of the main reasons why a lot of people struggle to get the hours of sleep they need is because they cannot shut off when they go to sleep; their minds are still going at a million miles per hour. They are thinking about what they need to do the following day and any worries or concerns that they may have. Because of this, it very much makes sense to keep a journal so you can offload some of these thoughts and worries and you can have a much more restful night of sleep. Once you get into the habit of doing this, you will see that it actually does make a significant difference when it comes to drifting off and enjoying a good night of rest. 

So there you have it: some of the best ways to give your health a boost. The suggestions that have been provided are really simple and easy, so there is no excuse not to give yourself a bit of TLC. we are sure that you will start to notice a difference as time goes on. However, as is the case with anything, it requires patience and persistence. You cannot expect to turn your health around in one night.

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Why Buy A Business, Rather Than Start One

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There are good and bad sides to buying a business and starting your own business from scratch. For lots of people, the positives of buying an established business outweigh the positives of starting a business. Here are the reasons why buying an existing business could be the right choice.

Easier To Secure Finance

All businesses will need finance. Unless you can fund your business yourself, you’ll need to secure financing from investors. Most lenders will be more willing to lend money to an established business that they can already see is doing well, rather than risk an unknown factor. 

Income From Day One

One of the downsides of starting a business is that most start-ups will go through an early stage where they don’t make much, if any, money. For some entrepreneurs, this stage can last for several years. 

During this stage, you will need to pay out for things like your premises, as well as equipment, installation of equipment, stock, materials, fixtures and fittings, legal and professional fees, a license, uniforms, and more. 

If you don’t have finance in place or another form of income, this stage can be very tough for a new business owner. If you buy a business, you can start earning from day one, and avoid this tricky period where you might be out of pocket.  

Established Brand

When you buy a business that already exists, you are also buying into a brand that is already known, recognizable, and has a track record. You get the business complete with all the trademarks, copyrights, and websites associated with it, as well as the business locations

This means that your business will already have customers, lenders, suppliers, and other contacts that are confident in the business already. 

Instant Customer Access

An existing business also has customers already, which can help you succeed straight away. You can use a range of strategies and marketing to build on the existing customer base, but won’t have to struggle to build a customer base from scratch. 

Established Network Of Contacts

When you start a business from scratch, a lot of your time and energy has to be put into building up a network of contacts. 

All businesses need to have supplier and marketing contacts, so buying an existing business that already has those contacts in place allows you to hit the ground running.

Like money lenders, suppliers and marketing companies are more likely to offer you more favourable terms if your business has been around for a while and they know it.  

Focus On Growing The Business

When an entrepreneur starts a new business, they will have to put a lot of their energy into getting their business off the ground. This takes a lot of time and can be very tiring. 

On the other hand, when you take over a business that is already established, you’ll be freer to focus on the areas of the business that most need your attention, aiding the growth of the business as a whole. 

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