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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran will hold a two-day Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting on August 17-18 to discuss wide range of issues except starting of formal banking system due to opposition by the State Bank of Pakistan.

The sources said, both sides will discuss the possibility of bilateral trade, Free Trade Agreement (FTA), removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers under Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), and to hold a Joint Business Council (JBC) meeting.

Both sides will discuss Customs cooperation-declaration of Rimdan Border as designated TIR border for International Transit Trade, removal of the quantity limit from Pakistani citrus and allowing its trade through open market and establishment of border sustenance market places, participation of Iranian professionals in training course at NIBAF, repatriation of profit of Pak-Iran Investment Company (PAIR) to Iran, and opening of representative/Liaison Office in Pak-Iran Investment Company (PAIR) in Tehran.

Proposal for holding investment webinar between BoI and Organization of Investment and Technical and Economic Assistance (OIETA) and proposal for Pakistan-Iran Bilateral Investment Treaty is also part of the agenda.

Both sides will deliberate on a proposal for invitation to an Iranian business delegation to Pakistan's Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

The following proposals on cooperation in Information Technology, Telecommunication, Education and Science & Technology will be discussed: (i) signing of draft MoU in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT); (ii) establishment of optical fiber Link between the two countries; (iii) signing of a fresh instrument/programme of cooperation between Pakistan Science Fourdation (PSF) and Ministry of Science Research and Technology, Iran; (iii) MoU on Mutual Reorganization between Iran National Standard Organizations (INSO) and Pakistan Standards Quality Control Authority (PSEQA); (iv) sharing of information about each other’s educational policies, procedures and practices; (v) enhancement of collaboration between Pakistani and Iranian HEI’s through conclusion of MoUs; (v) virtual meetings between Higher Education Officials of Pakistan and Iran; and (vi) signing of a fresh instrument/ Programme of Cooperation (PoC) between Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) and Ministry of Science Research and Technology, Iran.

Both sides will also discuss establishment of Joint Working Group in the field of cultural heritage, handicraft and tourism, exchange of cultural troupes - signing of draft MoU on Museum Cooperation, agreement to prevent restitute/ repatriate the illicit import, export and transfer to culture-historical property, signing of agreement on cooperation in the field of Veterinary and Animal Health between Pakistan and Iran.

Proposal for facilitating Pakistani meat export, proposal for cooperation between Tourism Agencies, proposal participation of public and private tourism exhibitions and proposal for promotion of religious and technical tourism will be discussed.

Discussion on following different road, railway and transport matters will be held: (i) operationalisation of Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul container train; (ii) upgradation of Taftan-Quetta Railway Section and improvement of Taftan-Quetta Highway; (iii) holding joint experts meeting to review the provisions of agreement signed during 1959 between Railways of both countries; (iv) improvement of Quetta-Taftan Highway; (v) holding 4th Meeting of Joint Committee on ports, Shipping and Maritime Cooperation; (vi) signing of MoU Maritime and Rescue - Commencement of Ferry Services; (vii) MoU on Recognition of Seafarer’s Certificate of Competency in unlimited voyages; (viii) proposal for special incentives to the investors for setting industries in Gawadar;(ix) proposal for investment in shipping sector in Pakistan - proposal for exchange of experience and enhance cooperation in knowledge sharing; (x) proposal for exposure on cargo handing proposal for providing fuel card to the Pakistani transports travelling in the territory of Iran for bilateral as well as transit transport.

Both sides will discuss update on Pak Iran Gas Pipeline, joint project between OGDCL and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), pending issues between NTDC, CPPA-G and TAVANIR, mechanism for payment of outstanding amount to TAVANIR and proposal for establishment of Joint Working Group in mineral sector.

Cooperation in industrial sector by state owned organisations, cooperation in SME sector - engineering sector, - surgical instruments and sports goods will come discussion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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