- Also launch Mand-Pishin Border Sustenance Marketplace
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President of Iran Seyed Ebrahim Raisi jointly inaugurated the Mand-Pishin Border Sustenance Marketplace as well as the 100-MW Polan-Gabd electricity transmission line at the Mand-Pishin border crossing point on Thursday.
“This is an auspicious day for Pakistan-Iran friendship,” PM Shehbaz said while addressing a press briefing.
He added that the inauguration of the marketplace would not only enhance bilateral trade between the two sides but would also bring prosperity to the nearby region.
“In coming years, these markets would emerge as major trade points,” said PM Shehbaz.
On talks with the Iranian counterpart, PM Shehbaz said the two sides “had very constructive discussions with Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, on all bilateral issues between the two countries”.
“Both the neighbouring countries need to move forward in all aspects including trade, agriculture, Information Technology and other economic aspects.”
“We have decided to finalise the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries at the earliest,” said the prime minister.
The premier said that there is a lot of capacity for electricity transmission from Iran to Pakistan. “On my advice, the Iranian President has assured me that there is ample scope on solar energy,” he said.
Shehbaz said that the two sides also held discussions on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The prime minister said that he has extended an invitation to Raisi to visit Pakistan, which the Iranian leader accepted. “Moreover, delegations from Pakistan and Iran would visit each other as well,” he added.
Shehbaz said the 100-MW Polan-Gabd electricity transmission line project, which will provide energy to Gwadar, was completed in a record time.
Earlier, Pakistan’s Foreign Office had said that one of the six border markets to be constructed along the Pak-Iran common border, the Mand-Pishin Border Sustenance Marketplace will provide a platform for increasing cross-border trade, fostering economic growth and opening up new avenues of opportunity for local businesses.
“The Polan-Gabd Electricity Transmission Line plays a pivotal role in meeting the energy needs of the region, including households and businesses, by bringing-in additional 100MW electricity from Iran,” the FO said in a statement.
“The joint inauguration is a manifestation of the strong commitment of Pakistan and Iran to uplift welfare of residents of the neighbouring provinces of Balochistan and Sistan-o-Baluchestan, respectively. It also serves as a significant stride forward in the bilateral relationship between the two countries,” it added.