Jun 30, 2019, 10:36 AM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 83374616
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Pakistani traders welcome resumption of banking ties

Islamabad, June 30, IRNA -- Secretary of Iran-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry Manzoor Ahmed Khokhar says that Pakistani traders welcome resumption of banking ties and better connectivity with Iran.

In an interview with IRNA, Khokhar said that prospects for Iran-Pakistan trade are promising and bright and both countries are making serious efforts in this regard.

The interview was taken at a time when Iranian Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani is scheduled to pay an official visit to Pakistan next week.

Manzoor Ahmed Khokhar said that for the day one of Pakistan-Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry we are trying our level best to promote Iran-Pakistan trade ties and facilitate the business of the two countries as much as possible.

The trader said no doubt there are some issues hampering the promotion of bilateral ties but we would be able to overcome all these challenges with our joint efforts.

He added that lack of banking channel between Iran and Pakistan is real problem in boosting of economic ties.

“Despite our hectic efforts the banking channel between Iran and Pakistan has not been resumed yet and this is our major problem,” Manzoor Ahmed noted.

“We have conveyed our concerns regarding the issue to higher authorities in both Iran and Pakistan; we are also regularly interacting with the Iranian business community to find a workable solution to the banking problem,” the trade activist said.

He said that another issue that the businessmen of Iran and Pakistan are facing is the lack of fast road connectivity between the two neighboring states. He proposed a direct air link between Pakistani city of Quetta and major business hubs of Iran.

Pakistani businessman welcoming the upcoming visit of Iranian Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani to Pakistan said that it would open new vistas of cooperation between the two friendly neighboring states.

Manzoor Ahmed expressing his views said exchange of high level delegations is very important to promote bilateral ties in all sectors. “Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan during his Iran visit paid special focus on promotion of economic ties between Iran and Pakistan and resolution of problems in the area,” said the trade activist.

He said that Iran and Pakistan should focus more on strengthening of economic ties which would bring economic stability in the region.

He added that Iranian trade minister should also visit Quetta and interact with the business community of Balochistan.

The trader went on to say that sanctions are also affecting the trade between the two states but we do hope that the issues would be resolved in near future.

“The future of Iran-Pakistan economic ties is very bright as our leaders have already agreed to enhance the bilateral trade volume to five billion dollars,” added the businessman.

He noted that since the creation of Pakistan-Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2015 the trade between Iran and Pakistan has witnessed a growth of 34 percent.

Manzoor Ahmed said that Iranian proposal of opening of more border points between Iran and Pakistan should be implemented as early as possible. He noted the step would help in boosting bilateral trade.

He was of the view that Pakistan government should complete Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project to overcome its energy crisis.

The businessman said Iran has already completed its portion of the gas pipeline project and they are also willing to export electricity to Pakistan, so we should take full advantage of these opportunities for our own future.

“I don’t know why our higher authorities are not focusing on these things,” he said.

He added that Pakistani traders also face some difficulties from the Iranian side and this is giving room to illegal trade. “Tax ratio should be reduced to stop the illegal trade,” he viewed.

Manzoor Ahmed added that Iran and Pakistan should provide more facilities at Taftan border for the local traders. He said that sometimes Iranians close the border gate for longer period of time which affects the border trade.

The trade activist said that Iran’s testing laboratory for Pakistani products is in Tehran and it takes two to three days to clear the products which can affect the quality of the products especially the fresh fruits. He called upon the Iranian authorities to establish a testing laboratory at Taftan border to facilitate the Pakistani exporters.

He also called upon Pakistani custom officials to facilitate Iranian and Pakistani businessmen instead of discouraging them with heavy taxes.

He said that future of Iran-Pakistan trade is very bright but we have to remain steadfast. He added that trade between Iran and Pakistan is beneficial for both the countries.

The trader added that Iran and Pakistan should also explore the sea route to enhance their trade because the sea route is cheap and there are fewer chances of damages to the products. “This would benefit both the countries,” he said.

He was of the view that Chabahar and Gwadar ports are complementary to each other.  He said that many Pakistani businessmen from Balochistan are investing in Chabahar and they are setting up industries units over there.  


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