SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — Iran trades with a large numbers of countries but Iran wants to improve its bilateral trade ties with Pakistan further, as Iran and Pakistan can increase trade up to $10 billion.
This was stated by Iranian visiting Consul General Abbas Ali Abdollahi during his meeting with Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) President Haji Fazal Kadir Khan Sherani at the Federation House here on Saturday.
He said Pakistani textiles products reach Iran via third country, they should be exported to Iran directly, adding that due to financial and banking sector sanctions Iran has reduced trade drastically.
Earlier, Pakistan and Iran had agreed to barter trade in rice, wheat, meat and fruit, vegetable, oil and iron ores. He also informed that our consul offices are issuing multiple visa of six month to Pakistani businessmen, suggesting that the two countries should start trading in their local currencies instead of any other currency.
Speaking on the occasion, Sherani said that Pak-Iran relations are deeply rooted in the history and heritage, adding that both countries are amongst the founding members of ECO and OIC.
The Iranian government has pledged $330 million through the Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) initiative. Pakistan and Iran have implemented PTA in 2006; however, the current volume of bilateral trade between the two countries is not reflective of the true potentials of the two countries, he added.
Current volume of bilateral trade is $265 million approximately during 2011. Pakistan’s exports to Iran during the same period are $136 million while imports are $129 million.
New items in present PTA should be included and increase extent of concession on some items already in the PTA. Both countries should enhance trade promotion activities under the existing Preferential Trade Agreement, he added.
Sherani also emphasised the harmonisation between the rules and regulations of the two countries required to determine the balanced strategies regarding trade cooperation.
He further added that Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline between energy deficient Pakistan and energy rich Iran is a feasible and doable project. Visa for businessmen on the recommendation of chambers should be issued immediately and also established separate counter for business visa also proposed by the FPCCI president.
FPCCI Vice President Sheikh Shakeel Ahmad Dhingra stated that currently trade is badly suffering due to smuggling, as smuggled products from Iran are available even in Karachi, adding that both countries should take measures and discourage smuggling.
For the promotion of trade, single country exhibition, and exchange of delegations were proposed during the meeting. It was also informed that a delegation from Iran headed by Tehran Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Mines President Yaha Ale Ishaq will visit Pakistan in September this year. ppi