ISLAMABAD: An Iranian delegation led by Minister for Industries, Mine and Trade Reza Rahmani called on Advisor to PM on Commerce, Textile, Industries & Production, and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood here on Thursday. During the first session of 8th Pak-Iran Joint Trade Committee, the advisor informed the Iranian delegation that bilateral trade between the two countries was not up to the available potential and urged the Iranian side to take necessary steps to remove non-trade barriers so that real potential of bilateral trade could be realised.
The Iranian minister 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, he added, they should further strengthen existing trade ties for the well being of the people of the two countries. He resolved to address all the issues which are hampering bilateral trade and assured to create win-win situation for both the countries.
The advisor informed the delegation that Pakistan intends to deepen bilateral trade and economic ties. He underlined 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. 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, he asserted. 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.
They emphasised the requirement of the constitution of a committee for barter trade. Both the countries have huge potential in agriculture which is not yet exploited, they highlighted.
Iran showed interest in import of five lac ton rice from Pakistan and asked the Pakistani side to devise a necessary mechanism for early shipment.
The Iranian delegation extended its full support to work on the removal of potential bottlenecks to increase trade and jointly develop a way forward. Further, they also 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.