The Indian industry is hopeful that the Pakistan government will do away the existing positive list of 1,938 items and replace it with a negative list of limited items during the forthcoming four-day visit of union commerce and industry minister, Anand Sharma to Pakistan beginning February 13.
"Indian industry is quite confident that the Pakistan government would adopt the negative list approach at the earliest and subsequently grant MFN status to India," said R V Kanoria, president, FICCI, on Friday.
Kanoria said he is hopeful that an appropriate investment and trade policy will be worked out soon to promote investments by the businessmen of the two nations. Presently, there are no investments that have been made by the companies on either side.
Kanoria said many Indian companies in sectors such as pharma, information technology, automobile ancilliaries, chemicals and plastics are keen to make investments in Pakistan provided there exists a proper investment and trade promotion agreement between the two nations.
Kanoria said that FICCI has been suggesting a bilateral treaty on investment promotion and protection. This should remove the apprehension in Pakistan about being flooded with Indian goods and directly add value to their GDP enhancing the level of their industrialisation.
He said the delegation will visit Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad for close interaction with Pakistani CEOs and officials, in what is being described as a "a landmark initiative" for removing the irritants to two-way trade so that the volume of bilateral trade reaches its potential of $10 billion in the next three years.