KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has advocated promotion of barter trade between Pakistan and Iran as the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between two countries was not fully utilized due to international sanctions on Iran.
President FPCCI Daroo Khan Achakzai, in a statement, appreciated the Prime Minister visit to Iran and stated that it would open opportunities for enhancement of bilateral trade and economic relations between both nations.
“Presently Pakistan and Iran enjoys Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA); wherein the concessions on 18 percent of items are given but this PTA was not fully materialized due to international sanctions on Iran and Pakistan lost its market of mangoes, rice, citrus fruit and other agriculture items”.
He urged on the promotion of barter trade between both nations as Pakistan has huge potential in exporting of agriculture products and edible fruit and vegetables while in return Iran has potential to export of crude oil and petroleum products.
While quoting the statistics, President FPCCI indicated that the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Iran’s stood at $398.5 million; wherein the volume of Pakistan’s export to Iran was $21.0 million and import from Iran was US$ 377.4 million.
FPCCI also suggested opening of financial channels between two nations as transactions through third country increased the cost of doing business and affected competitiveness of Pakistan and Iran.
He stated that the stronger trade and business ties with Iran would not only help Pakistan’s economic situation, but also lead to greater stability and economic prosperity in the region. “Moreover, both countries should promote trade through land borders by opening new trade routes like Gabd-Reemdan and Mand-Pashin; which will help in improving the economy of Baluchistan. Internationally, it has been proved that opening of new trade border among the neighboring countries boosts bilateral trade which can be seen in case of India that opened its borders with Bangladesh and Nepal”.
Talking about the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project, he emphasized the need of early completion of gas pipeline from Pakistan. He also praised Iran for starting export of electricity to Baluchistan to help in resolving the energy crisis.
He also stressed on holding of commercial activities between the private sector for business to business relations and enhancement of trade.