On Friday, Federal Commerce Minister informed the Senate that Pakistan has extended the offer of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) to all WTO member countries, except India and Israel. Pakistan itself a signatory to WTO has so far granted MFN status to 14 countries during the last decade.

 “MFN status is granted by all the WTO member states at moment of accession,” he added.

“Therefore 14 new member states to WTO have granted MFN status to Pakistan in the last 10 years,” Khurram said.

“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-favoured-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 a 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.