Iran, Pakistan aim to reach $5 bn in trade volume per annuum
Trade officials announced they signed several agreements in a bid to enhance trade relations between the two countries.
Iran's Consul General Hassan Nourian said on Saturday that Iran and Pakistan are aiming to achieve a trading volume of $5 billion per annum considering that the current volume of $1.5 billion was deemed "unsatisfactory".
In order to achieve that target, the two countries signed two MoU: one for setting up a Joint Business Council between Iran and Pakistan, and the second to facilitate the arbitration of commercial disputes.
The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Isfahan Chamber of Commerce signed an additional MoU for improving joint cooperation in the two countries' business communities.
The Iranian Consul said that during his visit to KCCI, one of the most notable development was the removal of banned commodities from the list of items to be imported from Pakistan under the Iran-Pakistan PTA.
All three agreements were signed during a meeting that was attended by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan’s Chief Executive Zubair Motiwala, KCCI President Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, Senior Vice President Touseef Ahmed, Vice President Muhammad Haris Agar, Chairman of Diplomatic Missions and Embassies Liaison Subcommittee Zia ul Arfeen, former presidents Majyd Aziz and Iftikhar Vohra.
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According to the Iranian official, the 1,000-km shared border would allow both countries to meet each other’s demands which include the supply of Iranian natural gas, crude oil, and petrochemical products to Pakistan and for Pakistani agricultural products to reach Iran.
He added that Iran has suggested that the Pakistani government and the State Bank allow trade via the national currencies of both countries as a means of solving the lack of banking channels which are the main obstacle to smooth trade transactions.
By opening an Iranian bank branch in Karachi and devising a barter trade mechanism, the two countries would further contribute to overcoming that obstacle.
Despite that a barter trade agreement was signed between the trade ministries of both countries, barter trade has yet to commence amid some technical issues that remain to be solved.
He added that the Chairman of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Alireza Peymanpak is invited to visit Karachi on January 16 to sign an MoU with TDAP to remove trade barriers and explore ways to enhance trade relations.
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Peymanpak is also expected to participate in Iran’s Single Country Exhibition at Karachi Expo Center on January 16.
While TDAP's Chief Executive Zubair Motiwala welcomes Iran’s initiative to hold an exhibition in Karachi, he assured of his association's full support, along with KCCI’s assistance, in holding the landmark event.
“KCCI, which is regularly holding My Karachi Exhibition for many years, has the required expertise for staging such events and is ready to fully assist Iran so that its solo exhibition could be organized in an impressive manner,” he said.
He added that some of the many products Iran is well renowned to produce, namely confectionary, petroleum, plastic, and many other products, can be imported to Pakistan.
On the other hand, tea, rice, fabrics, garments, and several other products can be exported to Iran.
Motiwala expressed hope that the agreements would set forth sound procedures of cooperation to help achieve mutual targets between the two chambers.
He further emphasized the necessity to expand the barter trade basket by adding more products to capitalize and facilitate importers and exporters of both countries.
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