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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran on Tuesday stressed the importance of enhancing banking channels while highlighting the significant opportunities for bilateral trade through barter arrangements.

A high-level delegation from Iran led by Ali Fekri, Deputy Minister and Head of OIETAI called on the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq here on Tuesday.

Ali Fekri, Deputy Minister and Head of the Organization of Investment, Economic and Technical Assistant of Iran (OIETAI), met with Sadiq to discuss bilateral economic cooperation and strengthen ties between the two nations. The meeting took place at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and marked an important step towards enhancing trade and investment opportunities between Pakistan and Iran.

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The Iran side expressed keen interest in joining the projects of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in Pakistan.

Both sides acknowledged the significance of enhancing bilateral trade volume and pledged to facilitate the business communities of both countries in tapping the immense opportunities available for economic cooperation.

Sadiq apprised that Pakistan values its longstanding and amicable relations with Iran and aims to strengthen bilateral ties fostering trade and economic prospects that will contribute to regional stability and prosperity. Additionally, the minister highlighted that the prompt execution of agreements/MoUs reached during the 21st Session of the Pak-Iran Joint Economic Commission will bolster economic cooperation and facilitate enhanced people-to-people connectivity with progress in all modes of transportation.

The Deputy Minister and Head of OIETAI expressed Iran’s keen interest in collaborating with Pakistan and shared their plans for investment in various sectors including energy projects and infrastructure development. He acknowledged the favourable investment climate in Pakistan and the government’s commitment to providing a business-friendly environment.

He also expressed keen interest in joining the projects of the IsDB in Pakistan. This collaboration aims to facilitate the introduction of Iranian companies in Pakistan and foster stronger bilateral relations between the two nations. The importance of enhancing the banking channel between Pakistan and Iran was stressed while highlighting the significant opportunities for bilateral trade through barter arrangements.

The discussions in the meeting primarily focused on exploring avenues for increased trade, investment, and technical cooperation in various sectors, including energy, agriculture, infrastructure development, manufacturing, and technology. Specific emphasis was placed on the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India (TAPI) gas pipeline project and the Pakistan-Iran Gas initiatives and to accelerate their implementation and ensure successful completion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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