ISLAMABAD – Minister for Commerce Engineer Dastgir Khan on Friday told the Senate that Pakistan being the member of World Trade Organization (WTO) has extended Most Favoured Nation (MFN) to all WTO member countries, except India and Israel.
Replying to a question here in Upper House he said, there is a total of 164 members of WTO, adding, since 2006 fourteen new members have joined it. Hence, he said, Pakistan has granted MFN status to 14 countries in the last ten years.
MFN status is given by all the WTO member states at moment of on accession; he said and added. Therefore 14 new countries to WTO have given MFN status to Pakistan in the last ten years.
Under the WTO agreements- General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)-countries cannot normally discriminate between their trading partners, he added. This principle, the minister said is known as most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment.
The term means the country which is the recipient of this treatment must receive equal advantages as the”most favoured nation by the co-trade such treatment, he said.
Dastgir said, the purpose of granting MFN status to WTO members is to bring uniformity and predictability to international trade and to remove the barrier to trade through reduction of tariffs and eliminating of discriminatory NTBs.
It also aimed at to provide level playing fields for foreign producers at par with the local producers to ensure efficient production for consumers, he added. –APP