Iran wants promotion of digital markets with Pakistan: envoy
ISLAMABAD: Iran and Pakistan have great scope to enhance mutual trade relations and should consider setting up digital markets to boost bilateral trade up to the potential of both countries.
This was stated by Syed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan, while interacting with the business community during his visit to the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) along with Qadyanlo Commercial Attaché and Beheshti Secretary, a statement said.
Hosseini said that Iran-Pakistan bilateral trade was around $1.5 billion before the Covid-19, which has now come down to less than $1 billion.
The foreign sanctions on Iran were a problem for the promotion of trade; therefore, the establishment of Pak-Iran digital markets and joint border markets could be the better options to improve two-way trade volume.
Hosseini said that Iran and Pakistan have agreed to set up three border crossing points that would help increase bilateral trade. However, he said, facilitation and exemptions by the government of Pakistan for border markets would support the Pakistani business community further enhance trade with the Iranian counterparts.
The Iranian envoy said the lack of better connectivity between the private sectors of Iran and Pakistan was one of the factors for low trade volume and stressed the need of close cooperation between Iran-Pakistan chambers of commerce to develop strong business linkages between the private sectors of the two countries.
By implementing the TIR Convention, Pakistan can promote its exports through Iran to Russia and other regional countries, the Iranian ambassador said, and highlighted the need for exchange of trade delegations for trade promotion and assured that the Iranian Embassy was ready to help in introducing more Pakistani products in the Iranian market.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, president of the ICCI, said that Pakistan-Iran bilateral trade was much lower than the actual potential and both the governments should cooperate with the private sectors to take it to higher levels.
Many Pakistani products, including pharmaceuticals, textiles, fruits, pink salt, IT products and services, surgical instruments, leather products, steel and pipes, sanitary and crockery could find a good market in Iran at cost-effective prices.
Hosseini said that the Iranian investors should explore joint ventures and investment opportunities in the special economic zones (SEZs) being established in Pakistan that provided long tax holidays.
Pakistan has reduced duties on the tourism industry and the Iranian entrepreneurs should take advantage of them by developing close cooperation with Pakistan in the tourism sector.
Organising trade fairs on reciprocal basis, holding chambers level zoom meetings during the Covid-19 and promoting exchange of students between the two countries would be helpful in strengthening trade and economic relations, he added.
Fatima Azim, senior vice president of the ICCI, Aslam Khokhar, Omais Khattak, Saeed Khan, Usman Khalid, Muhammad Shakir, Ali Akram Khan, Javed Iqbal, Sheikh Pervez, Khalid Chaudhry and others were also present in the meeting and shared useful ideas for promoting bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Iran.
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