Apr 25, 2021, 4:27 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 84308374
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Iran-Pakistan JEC reactivation termed vital to benefit from opening of new border points

Islamabad, April 25, IRNA -- A senior member of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has called for reactivation of Iran-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) to benefit from increasing border crossing points’ openings.

FPCCI ruling group’s Chairman Mian Anjum Nisar during an interview with local media said Pakistani business community is very pleased on the opening of third border crossing point between Iran and Pakistan which would generate economic activities in the area and boost bilateral trade.

The suggestion of the former president of the FPCCI came at a time when Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami while opening Pishin-Mand crossing had announced Tehran’s readiness to host the next meeting of the JEC.

**Efforts stressed to achieve Iran-Pakistan annual trade target of $ 5 billion

Mian Anjum Nisar said we need to reactivate Iran-Pak JEC to get the real benefit of border point’s opening, exploiting the full potential to achieve $5 billion annual bilateral trade target between the two countries.

He noted Pakistan and Iran have several times agreed to enhance their trade relations and improve rail connectivity to achieve a target of $5 billion annual bilateral trade through the platform of Pak-Iran Joint Economic Commission.

A senior member of the FPCCI observed the opening of Iran-Pakistan new border crossing at Pishin-Mand is a historic step, especially for the people of Balochistan, which would further strengthen and deepen bilateral cooperation in terms of trade with Pakistan.

"Through this step the exporters of both the countries would be able to get direct access to the consumers of each other's countries border markets," he said.

Mian Anjum Nisar said "we need to expand economic cooperation with Iran", especially the implementation of gas pipeline project.

He reiterated the need for developing and deepening bilateral relations in various fields, including economic relations and trade, as well as development and strengthening of border markets.

He pointed out that Pakistan faced the challenge of trade deficit with lower exports, besides balance of payments deficit, development of energy sector and lower foreign investment, which can be resolved by enhancing regional trade.

**Emphasis on actual potential to strengthen bilateral trade

The former president of the FPCCI said we must enhance bilateral trade by making real use of each other's common capacities and capabilities."

He said reasons for low volume of trade between two countries, is mainly lack of each other’s potential and non-utilization of the territorial connectivity.

Tariff and non-tariff barriers are also major obstacles in the way of trade improvement, he said. All the traditional transportation means are available for bilateral trade between and Pakistan and Iran including road, air, sea and rail but unfortunately none of these ways of transportation are efficiently and economically utilized presently.

Mian Anjum Nisar said transport licenses should be issued to allow vehicles move freely across the border.

Anjum Nisar said Iran and Pakistan are member of emerging regional trade blocks. Geographical locations of both the countries affect their neighboring countries, he said. Both countries should seek various avenues of cooperation for penetration of their products in these markets.

He went on to say the business community in the two countries would have to increase interaction to share their experiences in the larger interests of the people of two brotherly nations.

The 20th Session of Joint Economic Commission (JEC) was held in Tehran on April 17-18, 2017, while the 8th Joint Trade Committee (JTC) was held in Islamabad on July 4-5, 2019.

Mutually it was agreed that issues pertaining to banking channels, establishment of industrial towns along borders, smooth flow of traffic across borders and railway cooperation will be discussed in the forthcoming meetings.

The two sides showed keen interest to take mutual trade forward by removing the bottlenecks.

Pakistan has a very high capacity to increase the quantity and quality of trade relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and estimates show that by creating the necessary infrastructure, trade between the two countries can increase up to billions of dollars a year. Pakistan and Iran also have high potential for joint ventures.


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