EghtesadOnline: Iran wants stronger trade and economic ties with Pakistan, and believes barter trade is equally beneficial for both countries.
These views were expressed by Iran Consul General Reza Nazeri while addressing Pakistan's business community at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday.
The consul general highlighted that Pakistan and Iran shared borders and cultural bonds and Iran had always tried to strengthen bilateral relations with neighboring countries, Financial Tribune reported.
“Pakistan is its (Iran's) first preference in this regard,” he was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.
He extended the Iranian Consulate's full support to prospective trade delegations, adding that Iran would organize an exhibition of its products in Punjab.
“Oil, chemical, gas and other sectors of the economy should be focused on mutual trade,” he said.
“Pakistan has a distinguished status in milk production and Iran’s experience in the dairy sector can be beneficial in this regard.”
Nazeri pointed out that Iran had massive construction potential and could cooperate with Pakistan in that area. He underlined that both countries should join hands for the promotion of tourism as the two had immense potentials in that sector.
Answering a query, he conceded that lack of banking channels between the two countries was troublesome.
“Last year, Iran signed an agreement with the previous Pakistan government in this regard,” he recalled. “I will contact the current Punjab government to reactivate this agreement.”
Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Almas Hyder pointed out that over the years, the chamber and Iran's Consulate had worked hand in hand. He appreciated efforts of the Iranian consul general in aiding the ease of doing business through frequent direct flights between the two countries.
“Both countries have huge domestic markets and a unique geostrategic competitive advantage. In order to utilize each other’s strength, Pakistan and Iran will have to work jointly,” he said.
Hyder recalled his visit to Iran at the head of a business delegation in 2016 and said great potential existed for Pakistani products in Iran.
> MoU to Improve Border Trade
Iran and Pakistan signed a 29-article memorandum of understanding to improve border trade in Pakistan’s Quetta on Wednesday.
The two sides agreed on holding regular meetings between customs and border officials of the two countries, setting the date for a meeting between customs representatives in Tehran to finalize an agreement for sharing electronic information on trade relations, expediting the inauguration of new border crossings and improving cooperation in fishing industry in Pakistan's Gwadar Port and Iran’s Chabahar.
The creation of banking ties and mechanisms to ease transfer of money between traders of the two countries, offering facilities to rail and road transportation sectors and taking measures to accelerate the exchange of goods have also been included in the MoU.
The chambers of commerce of Quetta and Zahedan agreed to form a taskforce to address financial issues of traders and they underlined the importance of launching Quetta-Zahedan direct flights, IRNA reported.