Pakistani traders urged to take advantage of Iran trade potential

Islamabad, Jan 23, IRNA - President of Iran’s Urmia Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture urged Pakistani businessmen to take full advantage of huge trade potentials of Iran.

Behnam Tajedini said this while addressing the business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

A delegation from Urmia Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture also accompanied the President. The Iranian delegation is currently on a visit of Pakistan to promote trade ties between the two friendly states.

Behnam Tajedini in his remarks said that West Azerbaijan province of Iran annually produces 6 million tons of fruits and agriculture products. He said that Urmia city and West Azerbaijan province are considered to be a business hub.

Tajedini pointed out that the province shares 900 kilometers of borders with three countries, including Turkey.

He added that high tariff barrier is a serious challenge for the two countries. “We are here to expand trade ties with Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” said the Iranian trade activist.

The Iranian businessman said: 'We will definitely raise the issues of tariff, customs and border related matters with the Iranian government and we also request Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry to pursue these issues with their government.'

“We desire win-win situation for the traders of Iran and Pakistan and both countries should take more steps to facilitate the businessmen of the two friendly states,” noted Behnam Tajedini.

He pointed out that Iranian traders do face some difficulties to import agriculture products from Pakistan. “We must solve such issues to enhance trade between Iran and Pakistan,” said the Iranian trader.

The businessman on behalf of his delegation extended invitation to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry to visit Urmia Chamber of Commerce in Iran.

“We want Pakistani businessmen to take benefit from the opportunities available in Urmia. We are interested to enhance trade with Pakistan and also desire direct border trade with the country,” viewed the Iranian trader.

Sheikh Amir Waheed, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the occasion said that Iran and Pakistan being neighboring states must take more steps for the expansion of bilateral trade. He added both countries must hold constructive talks to remove barriers hampering bilateral trade.

He said tariff and non-tariff barriers are one of the main hurdles in promotion of trade between the two countries. The trader noted that lack of banking channel is also another problem for the traders of the two countries.

“We have to promote legal trade between Iran and Pakistan and for this we have to strengthen the banking ties between the two countries so that Pakistani and Iranian banks can open branches in respective countries,” Sheikh Waheed pointed out.

He added in 2006 'we had signed an agreement with Iran regarding import and exports'. Sheikh Waheed added that agreement covered textile, leather, vegetable and rice, but the high tariff rates affected rise in bilateral trade.

“We have to review the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) agreement and also sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for the expansion of trade between Iran and Pakistan,” he viewed.

Sheikh Amir Waheed, said border trade markets should also be established. He added that both countries need to make more steps to enhance the bilateral trade. “We should encourage delegation exchange programs and single country exhibition,” he advised.

Sheikh Waheed went on to say that the private sectors of the two countries should increase their cooperation and sign more MoUs to promote bilateral trade.

“We will visit Iran in future to improve trade ties Iran, especially the Urmia chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture,” Sheikh Amir Waheed said.

During the meeting, businessman from both sides discussed ways and means to enhance trade between the two countries.

One of the Pakistani businessmen during the session urged the Iranian government to facilitate more and more visas for the businessman of Pakistan so that they can frequently travel to Iran without any difficultly.

A representative of the Iranian embassy expressing his views said that a major purpose of the Iranian embassy in Pakistan is to promote trade ties with Pakistan. He added that the embassy encourages Pakistani businessmen to travel to Iran and because there is no difficulty for the Pakistani businessmen to obtain Iranian visa.

A businesswoman taking part in the discussion expressed desire for research joint ventures between the Iranian and Pakistani exporters.

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