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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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Understanding The Risks That Come With Driving A Truck

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Being a truck driver is often seen as one of the easiest jobs around, with a lot of people assuming that this role is just a matter of going from A to B. In reality, though, the truck drivers that everyone relies on to transport food, goods, and other essentials have one of the most challenging jobs around. There are loads of risks that come with taking on a role like this, and this post will be exploring them to give you an idea of what the average truck driver has to contend with. 

Theft & Robberies

Many of the world’s criminals don’t plan their attacks. Instead, they will act when they see an opportunity, and a heavily laden truck can be a clear invite to someone who is willing to break the law. Truckers have to work hard to protect their cargo, especially when they make overnight stays, with many professionals in this field choosing to sleep in their truck to make sure that they don’t find themselves with nothing to deliver. 

Accidents & Crashes

Accidents are becoming increasingly common on modern roads, with more and more drivers increasing the risk that a truck will hit something. If you ever find yourself in this position, you can discuss your case with an expert truck accident lawyer to make sure that you can get the help you need. This process can be hard, and drivers are often left without their truck while they work to get compensation. This can make it impossible to work, making an accident the last thing any trucker wants.

Accidental Death

Trucks are usually very large, carrying huge amounts of weight around with them over long distances. It can be all too easy for a simple mistake to result in someone dying, with pedestrians and other drivers to worry about. Causing an accidental death can be almost as bad as doing it on purpose, with people often going to prison when this sort of issue occurs. Taking advanced truck driving courses can be a good way to lower this risk.

A Dangerous World

It’s no secret that the world can be a dangerous place, and truck drivers often have to visit places that are nowhere near as safe as their home to get their job done. This puts a huge amount of risk into the job, especially for truckers that carry expensive goods through places that don’t have the right legal infrastructure to help them in an emergency. This sort of problem occurs quite often, but this is much rarer than the other issues on this list, as many truck drivers stick within their home country.

As time goes on, the role of a truck driver is going to change quite a bit. Autonomous trucks are already in development from several key companies, making it only a matter of time until the largest vehicles on the road are largely controlled by computers. Until this point, though, you are going to have to rely on your truck drivers for the items you need.

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4 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

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We all know how important it is to take care of your home to make sure that it lasts for as long as you want to live there (and beyond, too). But, when it comes time to move, you want to make sure you can get as much money as possible from your home. To do this, you need to think of how you can add value to your home now, and here are four of the best ways to do that. 

Add Some Luxury 

Luxury is not something everybody wants from their home. Some people prefer the modest and rustic styling of a family home, away from all the minimalist nonsense. However, there is the other side of this, and for others, luxury is a dream for homeowners. 

There are plenty of luxury options available, too. These can include a home gym, a welcoming spa or large bathtub, or even an outdoor pool. You must research the best companies to install this, and find adequate Waterproofing and Concrete Supplies to make it a success, but whichever luxury options you add to your home, you’re guaranteed to increase its value. 

Make It Rentable 

If your kids have moved out and it’s just you, your partner, and the goldfish left, you can consider making your home rentable if you want to increase its value. Transforming your child’s old room into a place for someone to stay during their travels is an easy way for you to make some money, but you can also take it a step further. 

If you want to increase the value of one property, there are few better ways than to transform it into several properties. If you convert the upstairs area into an apartment, you (almost) double the property’s worth, especially if you’re in an appealing part of the city. 

Consider Curb Appeal 

Curb appeal is arguably one of the most effective ways to increase your property value without spending too much money. Often, it only takes a quick mow of the lawn and replacing the flower beds to make it more attractive. You can also add a fresh coat of paint that will make your home stand out, and this will immediately attract the right kind of attention, especially compared to the drab colors of other homes on the block. 

Expand the Space 

Renovations and extensions are two excellent ways to maximise your home’s value as they will immediately add more space. This is perfect if you want to modernise your home by upgrading the kitchen or adding an en-suite to the master bedroom. 

However, some renovations can be more hassle than they are worth. So, before you do anything, make sure you research reliable construction companies in your area so you don’t get taken for a ride. 

Boosting Value 

Improving your home’s value can be expensive, but hopefully, the work is good en0ugh that it adds at least a zero to the end of your property’s price when it goes up on the market. If you can’t afford a substantial renovation or installation, there are also small but effective options to consider. It’s all about what you want, what you can afford, and how much you need to spend on your new home.

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How To Offer Further Value To Your Clients

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It’s important to never take your clients for granted. That said, sometimes businesses can get lazy, especially when it comes to taking care of their most loyal. It can even be that businesses make riskier decisions as a result, or just expect their clients to follow them everywhere.  

If 2020 has proven anything, it’s that businesses simply cannot rely on the past to dictate their future. For this reason, moving into the new year can provide us all with a chance to consider how to make the most of our presence, and how to keep those who trust us as a firm around. For this reason, figuring out a few ways to offer further value to your clients can only be a good thing. Not only will this allow them to recommend you more sincerely, but they will retain their consumer confidence for now and throughout the rest of this year, which is never something to be taken for granted as everyone is having to manage their financial affairs more tightly.

But how could you achieve this/? Let’s consider:

Offer A Modular Service

It can sometimes be that offering a modular service is best. That is, changing your packages to ensure staff can buy what amount of your service or product set they want can be a great idea. For instance, if you sell desks, why not also sell desk parts so people can upgrade? This way, you can encourage purchases that may not have otherwise happened. It can also help you better appeal to more people, people who believe that a modular service is the essence of business promotional confidence.

Use Outsourced Help Where Appropriate

It can be a great idea to offer certain services that may go above your reach, just to go the extra mile for certain clients. For this, you might not have to completely refer them to another service. Using an outsourced helper, such as a graphic designer, printer or someone with technical or consulting capacity, can really help you deliver the best of the best. They may also help you better your services through advice and direct assessment of your services, helping you avoid learning the hard way. Contractors can help you out in a pinch, or serve as long-term aids. That can be a boon for many businesses through and through.

Listen To Their Needs

Of course, you can think up a million methods to help your clients, but do you actually know what they want? It can’t hurt to ask sometimes. This doesn’t mean the customer necessarily knows what they want, or how they are best served, but it’s worth taking their opinions into consideration when designing your future. This might influence you when making the tough decisions, or when considering your future marketing, or even if just wanting to determine who cares enough to respond to your survey. It can truly make a huge difference going forward.

With this advice, you’re sure to offer further value to your clients, and to connect with them more readily, through and through.

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