Pakistan-Iran can increase trade up to $10 billion

English: Iran فارسی: ایران

English: Iran فارسی: ایران (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ISLAMABAD: 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 dollar.

This was stated by Iranian visiting Consul General, Abbas Ali Abdollahi during his meeting with Haji Fazal Kadir Khan Sherani President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) at Federation House Karachi, says a press release issued here Saturday.

He said that Pakistani textiles products reached Iran via third country it should be export to Iran directly, adding that due to financial and banking sector sanctions on Iran has reduced our trade drastically.

Earlier Pakistan and Iran have 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, Haji Fazal Kadir Khan 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 & OIC.

The Iranian Government has pledge $ 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 emphasized the harmonization 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 President FPCCI.

Sheikh Shakeel Ahmad Dhingra, Vice President FPCCI 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 Yaha Ale Ishaq, President, Tehran Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Mines will visit Pakistan in September this year.