8th Pakistan-Iran JTC & bilateral trade
Pakistan and Iran have huge potential in agriculture which is not yet exploited so far. Pakistan intends to deepen bilateral trade and economic ties and underlines the importance of the issues, pertaining to bilateral trade, which was discussed during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s last visit to Iran and expected a positive response from the Iranian side. Therefore, there is need to explore the unexplored avenues of bilateral trade and economic cooperation between both the countries. Both the countries have a number of bilateral forums to discuss the current state of bilateral trade as well as to further accelerate the pace of economic cooperation.
In this connection, both the countries made a positive step and held the 8th Pak-Iran Joint Trade Committee (JTC) in Islamabad and the forum noted with concern that bilateral trade between the two countries was not up to the available potential and urged both sides to take necessary steps to remove non-trade barriers so that real potential of bilateral trade could be realised. The Iranian side appreciated the advisor’s stance on the bilateral trade issues and agreed to accelerate efforts to enhance trade with Pakistan in order to increase the economic well being of people of both countries. Being brotherly and neighboring countries, both must further strengthen existing trade ties for the well being of the people of the two countries.
These issues include removing barriers which have made Pak-Iran PTA signed in 2006 ineffective and working out barter trade mechanism in order to increase bilateral trade in agricultural/food products and pharmaceutical. To start the barter trade, at the first instance both the countries should select a few items having a competitive advantage. In this regard, Pakistan can enhance export of wheat, sugar and rice and fruit to Iran. The Iranian side acknowledged the fact that Pak-Iran trade relations are not matching the real potential.
Iranian side extended full support to work on the removal of potential bottlenecks to increase trade and jointly develop a way forward. Iranian side requested the Pakistani government to open more border points between Pakistan and Iran mainly at Ramdan, Pishin, and Korak, which will further enhance the bilateral trade.