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LAHORE: President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) and head of 13-member delegation to Iran Mian Nauman Kabir said that strong trade and business ties with Iran will not only help Pakistan’s economy, but will also lead to greater stability and economic prosperity in the region.

The LCCI chief expressed these views during the meetings with Rice Importers Association, LPG Exporters Association, Acting Deputy of Export Market Development Alley Tabatabai and President Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture Gholamhossein Shafeie on second day of the visit to Iran.

Mian Nauman Kabir said that Iran is important economy of Middle East while Pakistan secures ideal geographical location in South Asia. He said that both the countries are abundant with natural and human resources and a strong economic partnership would be equally beneficial for the two countries.

He said that Iran and Pakistan have always enjoyed smooth development of friendly and neighbourly relations as well as mutually beneficial cooperation. We take Iran as an important neighbouring country and a potential trading partner. We have been maintaining strong cultural and diplomatic relations with brethren country of Iran.

Mian Nauman Kabir said that both the countries have large domestic markets and unique geo-strategic competitive advantages.

He said that no one can deny the importance of regional integration and its fruits in terms of expansion in trade. EU, ASEAN and NAFTA are the shining examples. Now is the time that we should revive the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). ECO was established in 1985 with the aim to strengthen economic, social and cultural relationships. Unfortunately, it could not serve its purpose. Serious efforts are needed to develop medium-term and long-term plans for free market access, common markets and large business ventures.

He said that there is no formal and authentic trade data available as a lot of undocumented trade is going on between Pakistan and Iran. It is the fact that some economic embargoes and lack of sound Banking Channels are the prime causes of such a low trade volume. We are of the view that both countries should set up their respective financial institutions to support mutual trade. It is also a high time for Pakistan and Iran to make progress in Barter Trade mechanism for facilitating trade. Rice for LPG barter can definitely be a good option in this connection.

Mian Nauman Kabir said that tourism is another area of cooperation. He recommended that Iran should offer special deals and packages for the Pakistanis who want to visit holy places in Iran. This can boost the Iranian tourist industry as well. Special trains and buses should be started for pilgrims during holy months. Likewise, we welcome tourists from Iran to visit our Northern areas which are considered few of the beautiful places-to-visit in the world.

“At LCCI, do have excellent working relations with various eminent Iranian chambers of commerce including Iran Chamber of Commerce, Mashhad Chamber of Commerce, Isphahan Chamber of Commerce, Shiraz Chamber of Commerce and Tehran Chamber of Commerce etc,” the LCCI President quoted. The LCCI delegation also visited Roudaki Foundation

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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