Islamabad:  President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday said that granting Most Favoured Nation-status to India was a "paradigmatic shift in policy driven by the business sectors on both sides of the border".
   
Zardari made the remarks at a dinner hosted by the Lahore Chambers of Commerce and Industry at the presidency in Islamabad.
   
"The decision would reconstruct the region's economies and increase its stability," he said.
   
The dinner was attended by envoys, diplomats, members of the LCCI executive committee, several Governors, federal ministers and parliamentarians.
   
Pakistan recently switched over to a negative list regime for trade, paving the way for MFN-status to be granted to India by the beginning of new year. Under the new regime, the import of only 1,209 Indian items has been barred by the government.
   
Zardari said Pakistan is committed to promoting an investor-friendly environment and is offering the most liberal investment policy regime in the region. The incentives include full repatriation of capital, capital gains, dividends and profits, he said.
   
He listed poor infrastructure, power cuts and an inadequate gas supply among the major challenges to Pakistan’s economy. Another major issue was the lack of access to international markets, which would allow Pakistan to focus on trade and not aid, he said.
   
Zardari called on the international community to invest in Pakistan and said his government will provide the "best possible enabling environment for foreign investments".

(Agencies)

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