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LAHORE: Iranian Consul General Muhammad Raza Nazri on Monday said that still Pakistan had kept Iran in "C category" in terms of Corona, which was adversely affecting flight operations and bilateral trade.

While talking to Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI) President Mian Nauman Kabir, Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan and Vice President Haris Ateeq at the LCCI, the Iranian CG said there was no such restriction from the Iranian side so Pakistan should also remove the "C category" for Iran.

He said Lahore and Quetta Chambers should give their suggestions regarding inclusion or exclusion of the items in barter trade list. He said that with regard to barter trade, it was decided that rice and denim etc would be exported from Pakistan to Iran and in return it would buy electricity from Iran but the SBP had refused to facilitate in that regard due to which that case was still pending.

The CG said Iran had abundant with LPG and natural gas which it wanted to supply to Pakistan under barter trade, adding, "Now it is up to the Pakistani government to take any step."

He said that considerable facilities had been created for the export of mangoes from Pakistan to Iran so that Pakistani mango exporters could take full advantage of them. He said Pakistan has imposed 50 percent duty on Iranian apples while in Afghanistan that duty is 10 percent. Pakistan should also reduce this duty.

The CG said Pakistani Consulate in Iran delayed the issuance of visas to Iranians while the Iranian consulate in Pakistan issued without any delay, adding the Pakistani consulate should also expedite visa process.

He said there was a lot to trade beyond US sanctions on Iran, adding Iranian trucks should be allowed to enter into Pakistan.

LCCI President Mian Nauman Kabir said the Iranian Consulate should send all issues related to barter trade to the LCCI, which would be raised with the PM Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood.

He said LCCI strongly condemns all kinds of terrorism. He said that joint venture between Pakistani and Iranian traders could play an important role in promoting bilateral trade, adding that both the countries should focus on market research and give priority to each other in terms of imports and exports.

Mian Nauman Kabir said there were some bottlenecks in the way of increasing trade between two countries which were required to be addressed on priority basis.

LCCI Senior Vice President Mian Rehman Aziz Chan and Vice President Haris Ateeq said the Iranian Consulate should send the names and other details of the members of the Barter Trade Committee in writing so that further progress could be made easily. They said Iranian Consulate should cooperate for the Persian language course in the LCCI.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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