Sep 5, 2020, 2:12 PM
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Pakistan keen on highest level of trade with Iran: Pakistani Advisor

Islamabad, Sept 5, IRNA -- Pakistan’s Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment announcing his participation in the upcoming 9th meeting of Iran-Pakistan Joint Trade Committee, to be held in Tehran, says that Pakistan is determined to take trade relations with Iran to the highest level.

Abdul Razak Dawood a senior politician and a well known business personality made the remarks during an exclusive interview with IRNA on Saturday.

After the formation of the incumbent government of Pakistan, he was appointed as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Advisor on Commerce and Investment.

He has served as Minister of Commerce in the cabinet of former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf from 1999 to 2002. In May 2019, he and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan paid a two-day visit to Iran, during which he met with Minister of Industry and Trade Reza Rahmani.

The Advisor to the Prime Minister hosted the Iran’s Minister of Industry and Trade and delegation in Islamabad in mid-July last year, and the two countries held detailed talks on deepening trade and economic relations in the 8th round of the Joint Trade Committee.

**Tehran hosts Iran-Pakistan Joint Trade Committee meeting

Abdul Razak Dawood during the interview said he is looking forward to next Iran-Pakistan Joint trade Committee meeting and hopefully it would be held in the first week of October.

“Yes I will represent Pakistan in the next joint trade committee meeting in Tehran,” he noted.

He said we have many ideas to enhance trade with Iran which we will discuss when the next joint trade committee meeting will be held.

He added that at the conclusion of the 8th Joint Trade Committee hosted by Islamabad we signed an MoU to enhance bilateral trade adding that Pakistan is willing to export more rice to Iran.

**Pakistan's seeks development of maritime trade with Iran

Abdul Razak Dawood said Pakistan wants to export rice to Iran through sea routes which would help in boosting the trade between the two countries.

“We are prepared to export more rice, however Iran wants these shipments by trucks but we want to ship the commodity by sea so this is going to be one of the agendas during the next trade meeting,” he said.

“How can we increase the quantum of rice, just by shipping through trucks it is difficult rather we would ship 50,000 tonnes by sea,” he viewed.

The advisor added obviously there is issue of payment between Iran and Pakistan, so I hope that whatever we have achieved upto now we will be able to further enhance it after the next joint meeting.

“We have ideas to solve the payment issue and we want to discuss them with our Iranian friends because the way the situation is now the quantum of trade is limited and I personally don’t want to limit it,” said the Advisor.

** Pakistan's desire to import more Iranian goods

The Advisor expressing his views said:  “I have every desire to enhance trade I have a desire to import more Iranian goods and selling more to Iran. I think our two brotherly countries must be interlocked more economically,” he said.

“We can work out on doing trade in local currencies. There are many options, toman and Pakistani Rupee,” he noted.

He said: I always believe that whenever you establish a border market, first do it one, get it operational, make it successful, learn all the procedures, improve the procedures improve the facilities and then move on to next one.

“For me to open three or four and then if they are not satisfactory, it is better to concentrate on one. Ultimately in principle we have no issue in opening more borders,” added Abdul Razak Dawood.  

**Pakistan desires to take trade with Iran to the highest level

He said we want to do as much trade as possible with your country. “We feel Iran is a neighbor, we look upon Iran as a major market for us and we see Iran as a supplier of goods for us, so I really want to increase trade with Iran,” he said.

The minister went on to say we have seen an increase in trade but our trade has two baskets, one is our bilateral trade and the other one is the border market. 

He added the border market is slightly different market, where the people living in that area should be able to have access to Iranian and Pakistani goods.

“I believe the government of Balochistan has now constructed the market and we are now in a process of getting more and more goods that make life easier for the people on both sides of the border,” he said.

He said it is nice to see we are getting more and more vehicles crossing the Taftan border. “We have no inhibitions of increasing it and I would like to see more trade with a brotherly country like Iran,” he said.

Dawood noted that number one issue to trade between Iran and Pakistan is the financial arrangement between the two sides.

However he said Pakistan is determined to enhance the volume of bilateral trade to the highest level.

**Pakistan welcomes 24-hour border trade with Iran

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment expressing his views said I have no problem to it Iran wants to continue the trade activities at the border for 24 hours.

“These are the topics which I want to raise when we have a meeting because in principle I have no problems and for us to keep our borders open for trade with Iran 24/7 we have no issue,” he stated.

In the conclusion he praised the performance of the Iranian government in fight against Covid-19. “Iran handled very difficult international situation and we feel very confident in your leadership,” he said.

“I have nothing more to say except immense good will for the people of Iran and that the traders from both sides must meet more to enhance our overall trade,” he said.


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