Iran, Pakistan Explore Ways To Boost Bilateral Trade – OpEd
Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mohammad-Ali Hosseini and Pakistani Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar discussed the ways for increasing trade between the two countries in a meeting in Islamabad on Sunday.
Expressing their satisfaction that the trade between the two countries exceeded US$2 billion, the two sides emphasized the need to take more effective steps to strengthen economic cooperation and help expand trade relations.
During the meeting, the minister said that Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with the friendly and brotherly country of Iran.
Appreciating the efforts of the Iranian ambassador during his diplomatic mission in Pakistan in order to strengthen the brotherly relations between the two neighboring countries, Senator Ishaq Dar praised the measures taken especially in the commercial and economic fields.
Expressing their satisfaction with the value of trade between Iran and Pakistan, which has exceeded US$2 billion, the two sides emphasized the need to identify new ways to help increase trade and develop economic cooperation.
Emphasizing the country’s economic outlook, Pakistan’s finance minister expressed confidence that despite economic challenges, Pakistan is on the path of progress and development.
Iranian ambassador to Pakistan for his part, appreciated the cooperation and support of the Pakistani government for the development of bilateral relations in various fields, and stated that the potential capacities of Iran and Pakistan are the main factor for the expansion of joint cooperation.
He added that bilateral trade between Iran and Pakistan has now reached US$2.4 billion, but it is not compatible with the good political and people relations of the two neighbors and more efforts should be made to support the business community of the two countries.
Back in January, Iran and Pakistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate bilateral trade between the two countries.
The MOU was signed by Head of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) Alireza Peyman-Pak and Head of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Muhammad Zubair Motiwala.
Based on the MOU, which was signed on the sidelines of Iran’s Exclusive Exhibition in Karachi, the parties pledged to exchange business information, support each other’s private sectors, and provide the conditions and context for the presence of their trade delegations in the other country.
It was also agreed that both sides would take all the necessary measures to facilitate holding exhibitions in the opposite country, whenever required.
Speaking in the signing ceremony, Peyman-Pak said that signing this MOU was indicative of the two sides’ determination for removing the obstacles in the way of bilateral trade and prepares the ground for the businesspersons of both sides to bolster cooperation.
He considered the holding of exclusive exhibitions, exchanging trade delegations and investment in joint production units as positive steps for knowing the capacities and needs of the two countries and expressed hope that such events would continue.
The TPO head further mentioned some obstacles and infrastructural problems that are hindering the two countries’ mutual trade, including lack of banking relations, problems related to sea transportation and logistics, and tariff-related issues, saying that the Iranian government is willing to resolve such problems in collaboration with the Pakistani government.
Motiwala, for his part, said that the signed MOU is regarded as a major step to enhance bilateral trade to reach the target of US$5 billion annually.