EghtesadOnline: Pakistan’s Federal Commerce Minister Pervaiz Malik is hopeful that with the opening up of formal banking channels in the near future, trade with Iran can reach as high as $2 billion.
“State Bank of Pakistan has assured us that formal banking channel will be open soon. And we will have Iran as a good trading partner and market in our neighborhood,” the minister told The News in an interview.
“We can trade with Iran with the already existing roads, or rail route and even through air cargo. But the major hurdle till this date was a formal banking channel, and with this opening, we will have a good market to build our trade relations.”
According to Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost, Iran’s commercial exchanges with Pakistan reached $1.3 billion in the last fiscal year (March 2017-18), marking a rise of close to 15% compared to the year before, Financial Tribune reported.
“Iran’s exports to the neighboring country grew by 16% in value and 5% in tonnage year-on-year, going up from $795 million to $924 million,” he was recently quoted as saying by IRNA.
As per the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration’s data, Pakistan was Iran’s 13th biggest trading partner last year.
Exported goods mainly included pistachio, tar, steel, fruit juice concentrate, apples and tomatoes.
IRICA’s data show Pakistan exported 363,851 tons of goods worth $392.82 million to Iran last year, up 6.10% and 7.78% in tonnage and value YOY respectively.
Pakistan’s imported goods to Iran mainly included semi-milled rice, wholly-milled rice and sesame seed.