The Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mining and Agriculture Trade Delegation, led by Morad Nemati, highlighted the great potential for expanding bilateral trade between Pakistan and Iran.
“Preferential trade agreements exist between Iran and Pakistan, but a free trade agreement (FTA) is needed to further improve trade volumes,” said Nemati during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). I emphasized it while talking to business leaders when I did. .
“Industry believes that FTAs have been on hold for a long time, and in order to remove barriers to imports and exports, it is necessary to shape FTAs urgently.”
The Express Tribune met with Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAM) President Zulfikar Thaver, calling Iran a brother country and stressing the need to finalize FTAs, strengthen border trade and create currency swap agreements.
“FTAs are needed for the purchase of chemical and petroleum products because we need oil supply on credit,” Saber said.
Pakistan and Iran on Monday signed 39 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to promote economic ties and cooperation in various sectors such as transport, tourism, fisheries, mining and minerals.
The two sides agreed that the Zahidan Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture and the Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry will jointly invest in developing necessary infrastructure in the fields of customs, trade, transportation and aviation.
The MoU aims to increase bilateral trade to $5 billion annually, open an additional border crossing at Kohak Panjugul, increase the number of items on the PTA, and reduce tariffs. Efforts to reduce import tariffs on fresh fruit are already underway.
KCCI senior vice president Touseef Ahmed said: “Despite great brotherhood, bilateral trade is below potential and could be pushed up to $5 billion a year.
He argued that the FTA would bring Pakistan-Iran trade to a high level and lead to deep financial and economic cooperation. “The existing barter trading basket should also be expanded to include more products to facilitate imports and exports and further enhance economic integration.”
KCCI Vice President Harris Agger stressed the need to establish banking channels that would significantly increase transaction volumes as the business community was unable to send and receive payments directly.
Published in The Express Tribune on January 19th2023.
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