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KARACHI: Gholamhosein Shafeie, president of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) on Wednesday stressed the need for enhancing barter trade between Pakistan and Iran, hoping that the ongoing deliberations between the business communities of the two countries will yield fruit.

During the visit of the Iranian business delegation to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), he said that Karachi, which is the commercial hub of Pakistan, is important for the Iranian business community.

Leading an Iranian delegation comprising four members of the Iranian parliament (Islami Majlis-e-Shura), he said that barter trade has no limit; hence, the business communities of both countries need to help each other to increase it at a considerable level.

He said that although the relations between both countries are deep, they could not capitalize it for bilateral trade, unfortunately. He urged the business communities of both countries to come forward and take decisions to find the best solutions of mutual interest.

He proposed to establish a 10-member committee to extend the barter trade and added that Pakistan and Iran are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Council and both countries had a common role in the Ukraine conflict. “Our current progress is leading us towards free trade agreement,” Gholamhosein said.

Iran needs wheat, rice, cotton, etc., and Pakistan wants to overcome its energy crisis; however, both countries could cater to the required needs of each other through barter trade, he added.

Hassan Nourian Consul General of Iran in Karachi said that they are going to organize a single country exhibition in the Karachi Expo by January 2023 to exhibit Iranian products in Pakistan.

Earlier, Tariq Yousuf, President KCCI said that both countries were unable to extend bilateral trade due to trade sanctions on Iran and hoped that this visit of Iranian businessmen would help increase trade between the two countries.

Moreover, he said that the bilateral trade volume between the two countries, which is supposed to be increased at a considerable level, is facing decline and added that although border trade has commenced between the two countries, only for fruits and vegetables. He requested the authorities concerned in both countries to increase the barter trade till the normalization of banking channels between Pakistan and Iran.

Similarly, Zubair Motiwala, chairman of BMG said that both countries were huge markets for each other; hence, joint border markets should be extended. He suggested constituting joint businessmen committee for the purpose.

He said that 32 points for bilateral trade had been agreed between Pakistan and Iran should be shared with the business communities of both countries and added that Iran, which showed interest in CPEC, should be a part of this game-changer project.

He requested the US government to allow Pakistan to get gas supply from Iran on humanitarian grounds as the country is going to face serious gas scarcity in winter that will lead to the gas load shedding for residential and commercial consumers.

He also assured the Iranian business delegation that the Pakistani business community was capable to cater all their needs if the terms of bilateral trade were favourable for them.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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