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KARACHI: Consul General of Iran Hasan Noorain has said that the volume of bilateral trade has reached 2 billion US dollars in the last 10 months, while the target has been set at 5 billion US dollars.

However, due to the absence of a banking channel, trade is facing difficulty. He expressed these views during a meeting of Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI).

He said that the visa policy has been relaxed and 6 new border markets have been established to promote trade with Pakistan. He said that progress is also being made in barter trade. In this regard, all the preparations are complete on Iran’s side, while on Pakistan’s side, FBR is developing software that will make barter trade possible.

The Iranian Consul General further said that there are friendly and brotherly relations between Pakistan and Iran but unfortunately the trade between the two countries has not developed as it should have.

He said that all obstacles to the free trade agreement between the two countries have been removed, after which Iran-Pakistan trade in 600 products will be possible. He said that the trade delegation of Iran had a successful visit recently after which a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).

Hassan Noorain said that under the agreement with Pakistan, the National Logistics Cell (NLC) has been allowed to access the European market through Iran. KATI President Faraz-ur-Rehman said that there are friendly relations between the two countries. We are happy that several agreements have been concluded with the Iranian trade delegation.

However, due to the global crisis, there has been a big difference in trade. There are immense opportunities for trade between the two countries. The absence of a banking channel is a major problem that needs to be solved urgently.

President KATI said that the shortage of petroleum products and gas in Pakistan can be met by Iran. There is a need to promote barter trade between the two countries.

Recently, Iran’s Single Country Exhibition brought awareness to Iranian products. However, Iranian products are being used frequently in other parts of the country including Balochistan.

Deputy Patron-in-Chief Zubair Chhaya said that due to the global economic crisis and lack of foreign exchange, Iran and Pakistan can increase trade transactions through these products in local currency by exchanging a list of items based on exports and imports in their countries.

Zubair Chhaya said that there is a lot of consumption of petrochemical products from Iran in Pakistan. He said the issue of the lack of a banking channel should be resolved immediately.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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