Iranian, Pakistani Traders Call for Bartering to Overcome Sanctions
IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK
TEHRAN – Some of Iranian and Pakistani business activists yesterday in a webinar exchanged views for boosting trade and both sides emphasized bartering goods as a means of overcoming the sanctions.
In the webinar which was held in collaboration between Iran’s Tehran Chamber of Commerce and Pakistan’s Lahore Chamber of Commerce, economic activists of both countries explored ways for boosting trade relation and removing hurdles in way of their trade.
In the meeting, both sides pointed to the problems resulted by the U.S. sanctions and emphasized using bartering goods, removing non-tariff hurdles and boosting the border trade and preferential trade.
Both sides also expressed their dissatisfaction over the trade volume of both countries despite having huge potentials and called for boosting the bilateral trade to $5b.
Addressing the webinar, Head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce Masoud Khansari pointed to the commonalities and historic relations of both countries, adding that both countries enjoy good economic relations while they have bigger potentials for strengthening their bond.
He further said Pakistan has turned into Iran’s major and trustable trade partner, adding that despite huge potentials of both countries, their trade volume is not satisfactory while there is capability to increase the trade exchange of both countries to the set target of $3b, and holding such events and meetings will help this to materialize.
Khansari then pointed to the visit of a delegation from Tehran Chamber of Commerce to Pakistan and city of Lahore in February 2020, saying that it was a fruitful visit and expressed hope by containing the COVID-19, these visits would continue in the near future. He said Lahore as the second economic pole of Pakistan and a vast industrial city can play an important role in expansion of bilateral relations.
He also asked for taking some initiatives to overcome problems resulted by high tariffs as well as lack of banking channels for trade. He also called for improving the infrastructures for reaching the maximum trade capacities of both sides. Khansari also said joint ventures, developing industrial parks near borders and transfer of technology can be the key to the success in developing trade relations.
He said by launching a mechanism for bartering goods, both sides can overcome the consequences of lack of financial and banking channels, adding that in fact, bartering can include all exporting goods like iron, dried and fresh fruits, crude oil, petrochemical products, transformers, raw skin and carper from Iran n exchange with goods like rice, mango, banana, meat, medicines, textiles, leather products and mechanical machines from Pakistan.
Khansari also said both countries should create other mechanisms like using national currencies and launching joint bank which will ease bilateral trade.
He also added that preferential tariff agreement between Iran and Pakistan can turn into a free trade agreement and this move can boost the trade volume between both states as well as controlling smuggling the goods from their borders, and announced Tehran Chamber of Commerce’s readiness for supporting economic activists of both countries for developing and easing trade and resolving problems.
Meanwhile in the meeting, Head of Lahore Chamber of Commerce Tariq Misbah pointed to the decline in the world trade volume, and called development of joint investment between Iran and Pakistan a good opportunity.
He said Iran and Pakistan despite having abundant cultural and religious commonalities have not been able to take advantage of their potentials for boosting trade relations in the past years, as the trade of goods between Iran and Pakistan has been estimated around $400m and there is a long way to reach the $5b target.
Misbah also noted that banking problem has led to the decline in trade between both states, stipulating that Iran and Pakistan should look for a financial mechanism for increasing their trade. He added presence of Iranian and Pakistan financial institutes and bartering trade can materialize the increase in bilateral trade, adding that exchange of trade delegations is another way for boosting economic cooperation.
Meanwhile trade and investment counsellor of Pakistan Embassy in Tehran Masood Ahmed for his part pointed to the bilateral trade which has faced ups and downs in recent years and called for boosting sustainable trade between both countries.
He emphasized removing the non-tariff hurdles, and talked about systematic problems in Tehran-Islamabad relations, noting that due to the sanctions and lack of banking channels, the border trade and preferential trade should continue.