decision to grant the much sought-after MFN status to India can lead to multi-fold increase in the bilateral trade of USD 2.6 billion, India Inc said on Wednesday.
Describing the decision by the Pakistan Cabinet as "momentous", the Indian industry said the move also "augurs well for discussions" at the forthcoming SAARC Summit at Maldives, beginning November 10.
The Most Favoured Nation (MFN
) status would mean that Pakistan will give trade treatment to India at par with its other economic partners.
It would also give a boost to the bilateral trade which can go up to $8 billion in the next five years, industry body CII said.
According to Assocham, the bilateral trade could go up to $6 billion by 2014.
"The move could also lead to negotiations on opening of the mutual investment," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.
The Chamber is sending a high level delegation, comprising well-known industry leaders like KP Singh of DLF and Sajjan Jindal of JSW to Pakistan later this month.
Ficci Secretary General Rajiv Kumar said "the stage is now set for direct exports to Pakistan. Earlier, India used to export to Pakistan via Dubai (third country exports)."
Kumar said with the grant of MFN status to India by Pakistan, the reciprocal trade barriers will disappear.
India had granted Pakistan the MFN status way back in 1996 without getting a reciprocal response.