TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Seyyed Mohammad-Ali Hosseini said his country does not consider Chabahar and Gwadar ports as competitors, and asserted that linking the two ports will bring regional prosperity and boost bilateral trade between the two countries.
The ambassador told Business Recorder on Friday that Pakistan’s Gwadar and Iran’s Chabahar are two important ports, adding that if they become more active, the two ports will bring regional progress and prosperity.
He said Pakistan was working on the infrastructure of Gwadar port to boost economic activity, while Iran had also specific programs to make Chabahar port more active.
“Some are trying to present these two ports as competitors to each other, while we do not take it as a competition but a compliment to each other,” he asserted, adding that the potential of the two ports could be utilized better by connectivity through rail.
He said Iran had announced its readiness to provide electricity for Gwadar port.
“We believe that further progress of these ports will bring prosperity in the region and the trade volume will also increase automatically. In fact, we see the progress and security of Pakistan as the progress and security of Iran,” the Iranian envoy said.
He said that the people of the two countries, especially at the border, can benefit from trade activity.
At present, he said the trade volume between Pakistan and Iran was $1.3 billion, but due to COVID-19, the volume went down as the pandemic has badly affected the overall economic situation across the world.
In view of existing potentials, he added that the two-way trade could be increased even further. Due to COVID-19, the border between the two countries is closed; there has been the closure of transportation and transit between two countries.
“While the problem has been resolved, I hope that with cooperation and participation by the two countries, routine business at the border will resume and we will witness a re-growth in trade cooperation,” he added.
He identified various fields for investment between the two countries, such as energy, gas, electricity and oil, adding, that Iran had a very good potential in the energy sector. “We can have significant amount of exports in these areas to Pakistan,” he added.
Regarding the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, the Iranian envoy said the IP gas pipeline project was signed between Iran and Pakistan in 2009, adding that Iran had undertaken its part of work despite illegal US sanctions and other economic pressures and constraints.
“We are looking forward towards Pakistan to fulfill their commitment in this regard. If we can execute this investment project, there are a lot of other fields in which we can have growth,” he added.
At the moment, he said Iran was exporting a small amount of electricity to Pakistan, adding that his country had already announced its readiness to export more electricity to Pakistan.
In other fields such as tourism, health and pilgrimage, he said that the two sides could have the investment to increase the number of traveling passengers to both countries.
“The future of Pakistan-Iran bilateral relations is very bright as the motive and resolve of the leadership along with the interest of the people of these countries is that they should boost their relationship in various fields despite the enemies and ill-wishers,” he said.
- source : Iran Daily