TEHRAN (Iran News) –Head of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mine and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Gholam-Hossein Shafei expressed his satisfaction that soon the free trade between Iran and Pakistan will be finalized and said that setting up a joint arbitration committee between the two countries is important as chambers of commerce of both countries have reached agreement.
Leading a trade delegation to Pakistan, Shafei met with President of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and in the meeting both sides explored ways for boosting ties.
In the meeting and in the First Pakistan-Iran Joint Business Council, Shafei called Iran and Pakistan as two great nations in the region who have fought for their independence. He added that it is better both countries to make most of this historic close and sincere ties and boost the ties.
He expressed hope for materialization of the 5-billion-trade target between the two countries and stipulated that ICCIMA is in Pakistan for finding ways for advancing economic cooperation between the two states and taking positive steps for broadening trade and diversifying cooperation.
He termed the joint trade council of Iran and Pakistan which is to be launched as a special opportunity and invited all traders of both countries which cooperate or intend to cooperate with each other to join the council and advance the trade through exchange of information and views.
Shafei added that Iran is one of the biggest energy suppliers of the world and it can meet the rising energy demands of Pakistan. He then termed transit as the other capacity for cooperation between the two countries, noting that and in recent years special cooperation has been shaped in this field and if some problems are resolved and required facilities for electronic TIR are provided, then a fast East-West Corridor will be available.
He noted that due to closeness of Chabahar Port to Pakistani ports like Gwadar and said that it helps trade in the region to develop through creating sea transportation.
He then pointed to some obstacles which do not let trade relations between Iran and Pakistan be satisfactory and named trade tariffs and some restrictions by governments as the major hurdles.
Shafei went on to say that according to the agreements, the free trade agreement between Iran and Pakistan will be soon finalized, and except some goods which both countries are sensitive on them, other trade items can be traded with lower tariffs.
He also pointed to tourism as one of the grounds for cooperation between the two countries and said that existing commonalities between Iran and Pakistan, joint borders, religious and cultural commonalities make Iranians and Pakistanis consider both counties as their own second home and called for planning on this issue through the chambers of the two countries.
He then said that both chambers have reached agreement for the formation of the joint arbitrary committee and the agreement will be signed.
He expressed hope the statesmen of the two countries by eliminating hurdles and preparing required infrastructures would help broadening of trade exchanges between Iran and Pakistan.
Then Chairman FPCCI’s Pakistan-Iran Business Council Mr. Najam Ul Hassan Jawa, for his part, blamed lack of banking relation is the main hurdles in way of trade cooperation between Iran and Pakistan. He added that there are great capacities for joint investment and pointed to the successful experience of Iranian economic activists in Pakistan in fields of tile and ceramic industry. He added that such productions in Pakistan will provide capacity for exporting these products to other countries and it can also resolve Iran’s sanctions problem.
He then pointed to the significance of barter trade between the two countries and said that the forex and liquidity sources of both countries is limited and according to it, using national currencies of Iran and Pakistan can be a solution. He reiterated that of course what is important in trade is export and import together and while we think of exports we should think of buying from the counterpart country.
Najam Ul Hassan Jawa added that Iran can take seriously investment in Pakistan in the field of foodstuff and today, Chinese and Turkish traders are active in this field in Iran but Iranians have not taken action in this field while foodstuff is one of the best markets in Pakistan.