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Iran a gateway towards future development: Pak trade activist

Islamabad, President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry says Iran is a future getaway of Muslim countries and Pakistan must take benefit from the emerging economic opportunities of Iran.

In an interview with IRNA Sheikh Amir Waheed said that Iran and Pakistan being two neighboring states must take more steps for the expansion of bilateral trade.

We should do more business with each other because our bilateral trade volume is far below than its actual potential, he pointed out.

The businessman expressing his views said that Pakistan can export rice and many other commodities to Iran. We can also import pharmaceutical raw material from Iran, we can export surgical goods, textile goods, mangoes, oranges etc to Iran, he said.

He said Pakistan is right now importing oil from other countries which can be imported from Iran on much cheaper rates.

We have to promote legal trade between Iran and Pakistan and for this we have to strengthen the banking ties between the two countries so that Pakistani and Iranian banks can open branches in respective countries, Sheikh Waheed pointed out.

The trader noted that lack of banking channel is also another problem for the traders of the two countries. We can increase trade through proper banking channel, he said. He noted that many neighboring countries of Iran are doing more business with Iran than Pakistan.

The businessman said that currency swap agreement signed between Iran and Pakistan last year should be implemented as soon as possible so that we can have more business with Iran.

He said that Iran and Pakistan should sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for the expansion of trade between the two countries.

He said that Iran should also become part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project as early as possible so that Chabahar and Gwadar ports can complement each other.

We should also increase our trade with Iran through well developed road and rail network, noted the ICCI President. He added both countries must hold constructive talks to remove barriers hampering bilateral trade.

The trade activist went on to say that Iran and Pakistan can also do barter trade with each other which is another way to increase the trade. We can sell rice to Iran and can buy oil from Iran, so there are many ways through which can increase trade with Iran, he said.

Sheikh Amir Waheed said textile products of Pakistan hold major share in country's economy which can be exported to Iran. He said that leather goods of Pakistan are also very fine and preferred all around the world.

He added that Iran and Pakistan are two Muslim countries and share common culture and history. He said that Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project is very important for the future of Pakistan's industry and should be completed at the earliest.

Unfortunately we are importing LNG from other countries but we can save our revue if the IP is completed, he said. Sheikh Amir Waheed added that Pakistan should also buy electricity from Iran.

ICCI President said border trade markets should also be established to promote legal trade between the two countries. We should encourage delegation exchange programs and single country exhibition, he said.

We should also have cultural exchange programs and through culture we can improve our trade, he viewed.

He went on to say that the private sector of the two countries should increase their cooperation and sign more MoUs to promote bilateral trade.

I am very optimistic about the future of both the countries, said the ICCI President.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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