News ID: 203281
Published: 0349 GMT October 28, 2017

Islamabad, Tehran reaffirm commitment to enhancing trade ties

Islamabad, Tehran reaffirm commitment to enhancing trade ties

The ambassador of Iran and Pakistani businessmen reaffirmed commitment to enhancing trade and economic ties between the two neighboring states.

Ambassador Mehdi Honardoust and a delegation from Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, during a meeting in Islamabad, agreed to work closely to expand trade between the two countries which currently stands at $1.2 billion, IRNA reported.

The Pakistani businessmen said that Pakistan and Iran need more private sector cooperation to improve industrial ties so that both countries can benefit from each other's experience.

They added that huge potential between Iran and Pakistan must be exploited for the benefit of the people of the two countries.

Honardoust, expressing his views, said that business between Iran and Pakistan is a tangible part of bilateral relations. "I request and recommend to all of our brothers, please be in more touch with our embassy and receive more information about your counterparts as lack of information is the major problem that we are facing right now," he said.

He said there are lots of opportunities for Pakistani traders in Iran and the embassy is ready to link them to relevant departments in private or state sectors in Iran.

"If we say that doors are open it means they are open, Iranians are ready to work with Pakistanis," he said.

He added, "Iran is a great market and also you can use Iran's transit potentials to access markets that are far from you."

The diplomat noted that Pakistani rice is more hygienic, also better in taste and has very good quality. "Why don't you go to Iran and meet private sector to import items which are required in Pakistan," Honardoust said.

A member of Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Reza Rahim said only 32 companies from Sialkot, which is a major export hub of Pakistan, are registered in Iran. "Our companies are regularly exporting goods to Iran and they are very happy, but the issue is long term visa otherwise we will be frequently traveling to Iran to meet our trading partners over there," he said.

He added most of the companies doing business with Iran use a third country for exports to Iran which is not good for traders of both the countries.

Honardoust noted that the Iranian embassy always welcomes the businessmen. "We are ready to improve trade ties with Pakistan, our bilateral trade currently stands $1.2 billion which should be increased in future, the big market of Iran requires big customers and giant companies, so Pakistani businessmen should seize this opportunity," he pointed out.

He said, "Yes, due to American sanctions, we have problems on dollar transactions, but it can be done in other currencies such as euro and Japanese yen. Another option we have is the barter trade."

He noted, "You can open accounts in national currencies since the two sides have already agreed to this.

"We are facing problems in opening of L/Cs and our central bank has written a letter to its Pakistani counterpart to introduce some Pakistani banks to Iran but we are still awaiting the response from the Pakistan side. Last year, both sides also agreed to open a branch if Bank Melli in Karachi but it is yet to materialize."

The Iranian envoy said that the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project should be completed as it is a very important project; it can change the face of Pakistan's economy.

   
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