Private Sectors of Iran, Pakistan Ready to Implement FTA
IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK
TEHRAN – Iranian and Pakistani economic activists in a webinar held jointly by Chambers of Commerce of Tehran and Lahore explored ways of expanding economic cooperation, and both sides announced readiness for implementing the free trade agreement signed by both countries.
Speaking in the webinar, Pakistan Ambassador Rahim Hayat Qureshi said both countries are striving to implement the free trade agreement, and pointed to the opening of the joint border market between both countries this week and stipulated that governments of both countries are trying to launch more joint border markets.
He pointed to the solutions of head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce regarding establishment of a barter trade system between both countries and defended the mechanism and noted that chambers of commerce of both countries can take the helm of this mechanism and devise operational solutions.
He also pointed to the launch of preferential tariff agreements between Iran and Pakistan, saying that the agreement should be fully carried out by both sides. He added that both governments are currently talking on the free trade agreement and it is on the verge of being finalized.
Meanwhile addressing the webinar, Head of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture (TCCIMA) Masoud Khansari emphasized efforts of chambers of commerce of both countries for launching the barter trade mechanism and said achieving the free trade agreement is a long stride towards improving the economic relations between Iran and Pakistan.
He also announced the formation of a joint workgroup between private sectors of both states for identifying the obstacles in way of trade between both states and resolving them, and noted that by creating opportunities for joint talks and exchange of views and solutions by the private sectors, achievement of 3-billion-dollar trade will be possible.
Khansari added that strengthening and equipping the infrastructure for the connection of both countries and joint investments for launching industrial parks in the areas near borders are of the solutions for developing bilateral economic relations.
He also pointed to reopening of two border markets in recent days, and said lack of bilateral banking and financial interactions has overshadowed the trade between both states, saying that to resolve this problem and with reliance on barter trade, both countries can expand their economic relation beyond what is now.
Khansari also said using national currencies in trade and establishing joint banks are of the solutions that Iran’s private sector and chamber of commerce offer which can solve a major part of problem in bilateral trade.
He also called for bolstering joint cooperation in developing Chabahar Port development, noting that connecting it to Gwadar Port of Pakistan is an essential step for improving economic relations of both countries. He then pointed to the preferential tariff agreement signed between both countries and said it is now time to implement it and even move further.
Meanwhile Vice-President of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mr. Shamsul Islam Khan, for his part, termed smuggling is the major woe in way of trade between both states and noted that both countries can overcome the woe of smuggling by launching the joint border markets.
He also called for establishing joint industrial towns in joint border areas and said it is very crucial in boosting job creation for citizens of both countries and expansion of trade exchanges.