Iran keen to develop ties with Pakistan by focusing on enhanced trade: Iran envoy

Islamabad, Dec 9, IRNA - The Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost has said that Iran is keen to develop its ties with Pakistan by focusing on enhancing trade which continued to grow each year.

Ambassador Honardoost during his visit to Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) said lack of information amongst the business communities of Iran and Pakistan was hindering trade but the situation has been improving as the bilateral trade volume improved by 31 percent last year.

“Business communities of both countries are totally unaware of each other’s capabilities and opportunities. Therefore, we have to focus on exchange of information, and trade delegations and other promotional activities between the two countries,” he said.

Iranian Consul General in Karachi Ahmad Mohammadi and President of KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik were also present on the occasion.

Iranian ambassador said that both countries have so many commonalities and similarities which simply could not be found between any other countries of the entire region.

There is a huge potential of cooperation between Iran and Pakistan, he said.

He was of the view that the regional problems like terrorism, human trafficking and narcotics trafficking should be solved by the regional countries, which have common perception, common interests and common concerns.

Honardoost added that Iran was keen to develop its ties with Pakistan by focusing on enhancing trade which continued to grow each year. Exporting electricity to Pakistan, implementing Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline, signing of Free Trade Agreement and commencement of banking transactions between the two brotherly countries reflected this approach.

“Your rivals are much faster and more active than you so you also have to take steps accordingly. You have to grab some more portion of the Iranian market which has a lot of potential for Pakistani goods and services. We are also ready to share almost everything with our Pakistani brothers and sisters”, he added.

“IP project can completely change the face of Pakistan’s economy as cheaper gas being supplied under this project can be used as raw material by industries which would create a lot of job opportunities; whereas, it can also be used for cheaper power generation”, he said.

Referring to high-level meetings between the political leaders of the two neighboring Islamic states and visits of delegations, the ambassador said that increase in exchange of delegations indicate that the horizon for enhanced trade ties is ‘bright and clear’.

He opined that China-Pakistan Economic Project (CPEC) was a multi-functional project which could bring peace and prosperity in the region. All countries of this region would become part of this project.

President KCCI Muffasar Atta Malik informed the Iranian ambassador that Karachi, which is the economic hub of Pakistan, offered profitable opportunities and facilities for investment and joint ventures to investors from Iran.

He was of the view that relations between Pakistan and Iran have improved significantly giving way to further enhancement of bilateral trade.

Meanwhile, Honardoost, during his visit to Karachi Press club said Iran wants to develop strong trade ties with Pakistan and other regional states.

He said Iran will never allow its soil to be used against Pakistan. He said that though India and Afghanistan are part of the Chabahar Port development project but the importance of Pakistan cannot be ignored.

The envoy said that Iran and Pakistan are two brotherly Muslim countries which have deep-rooted ties.

The diplomat added that Chabahar Port will open new opportunities of cooperation among the regional states. He added that Iran desires strong ties among the Muslim countries. He called for expansion of trade ties between Iran and Pakistan.

“We have inaugurated the first phase of Chabahar Port rejecting American pressure because it is in the interest of the region,” he noted.

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