Jul 1, 2019, 3:28 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 83376873
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Pak businessman urges govt to support Iran against US sanctions

Islamabad, July 1, IRNA -- Vice President of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) strongly believes that Pakistan should support Iran against the US unjustified sanctions.

In an interview with Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Abdul Waheed said that Iran is "our brother and stronger economic ties with the country is in our interest".

He added Iran and Pakistan are two close neighbors which share common history, culture and religion.

"Iran is like an elder brother to us who with its rich resources can help Pakistan in many ways," Waheed added.

The trader said Pakistan is purchasing many items from different countries on higher rates which are available in Iran at much cheaper rates. “We are doing this only because of the US pressure,” he said.

He said that if India is doing business with Iran so Pakistan should also focus on its trade with Iran without any hesitation.

Waheed also urged upon the Iranian government to help Pakistan in this time of need. He added that Pakistan with its huge population can become a very big market to Iranian products.  

“We can purchase dry fruits, gas, petroleum products and in return can sell rice, edible oil, fresh fruits and many other products,” he said.

Vice President FPCCI welcoming the upcoming visit of Iranian Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani to Pakistan said that it would help in removing obstacles in Iran-Pakistan financial ties.

The businessman went on to say that Iran and Pakistan during the visit should hold frank discussions to improve the bilateral trade and remove all barriers in this regard. “There should be more interaction of the business communities of the two states," viewed the trade activist.

He added that Pakistan should do more and more trade with Iran which would benefit the economy of Pakistan.  "Iran is very near to us and trade with Iran is more cost-effective than to any other country of the world,” said the trader.

“We should not bother about the US pressure on us as far as our trade with Iran is concerned," he stated. 

He said: We have to solve all problems in trade with Iran as early as possible. "The US lobby is trying to affect our trade with Iran, but we should not pay any heed to that and continue to strengthen our economic ties with Iran,” he stressed.

Abdul Waheed was of the view that Iran and Pakistan should pay more focus on barter trade. He added that lack of banking channel between Iran and Pakistan is a major hurdle in trade ties which can be resolved through negotiations.  

He added that stronger trade and economic ties with Iran is the vision of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Expressing his views, the trader said that Iran should also join China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as their rich natural resources can benefit the whole project.  

He said that more border points between Iran and Pakistan should be opened to boost the bilateral trade. Vice President FPCCI added that the future of Iran-Pakistan trade is very bright.

Waheed said that Pakistan is taking measures to curb smuggling at its borders, adding that after fencing of Afghan border smuggling has come to zero. “We should also promote border markets with Iran to encounter the problem of illegal trade,” he said.

Waheed was of the view that Chabahar and Gwadar ports are complementary to each other.  He said that first China wants to develop Gwadar, but in future it would need more ports to handle the cargo and Chabahar would be their first choice in this regard.

He said more facilities should be provided at Pakistan-Iran border in Taftan region for the traders. He added that traders of both Iran and Pakistan should be facilitated at the border and there should be no restrictions on the business communities of Iran and Pakistan.

The businessman stressed upon the unity of Muslim Ummah to encounter the western conspiracies. “We should follow the teachings of Imam Khomeini regarding unity of Muslims,” he viewed.

He said that during the 80s Persian language was taught at school level in Pakistan, but unfortunately it was replaced by English language due to west's influence.  

Waheed said Persian language should be promoted in Pakistan as it would not only bring the people of the two countries closer to each other, but it could also play an important role in boosting the trade between Iran and Pakistan.  

272**2050

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