Mirjaveh-Taftan crossing reopened at Iran-Pakistan border

Iran and Pakistan fully reopened Mirjaveh-Taftan border to facilitate bilateral trade after it was temporarily closed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

20 June 2020
ID : 22439
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Iran and Pakistan fully reopened Mirjaveh-Taftan border to facilitate bilateral trade after it was temporarily closed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Pakistan trucks entering Iran through Mirjaveh-Taftan border crossing.

Iran and Pakistan fully reopened Mirjaveh-Taftan border to facilitate bilateral trade after it was temporarily closed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Pakistan interior ministry announced the reopening on Thursday 18 June saying obstacles have been removed for border trade with Iran to be resumed.

Taftan border will be open seven days a week, according to the statement by the interior ministry.

As per instructions, the implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) has been declared mandatory during activities on the border.

Meanwhile, Deputy Head of Iran-Pakistan Joint Chamber of Commerce Amanollah Shahnavazi said the two countries’ border bazaars are gradually resuming activities following the reopening of the border crossings.

The border markets of Iran and Pakistan are mostly based in Sistan-Baluchestan Province in southeastern Iran. The bazaars of the province are located in Mirjaveh, Kuhak, Pishin, Jaleq, and Riman.

"More than basic goods and foodstuff, other goods are also expected to be traded between the two sides in the coming week," Shahnavazi said.

Mirjaveh-Taftan and Pishin-Mand are the main border crossings for trade between Iran and Pakistan.

Border trade between Iran and Pakistan was suspended over the past four months due to the restrictions imposed by Islamabad after the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Pakistan first closed its eastern and western borders with Iran, Afghanistan, and India on March 15 to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Pishin-Mand, the other boder crossing between Iran and Pakistan, is currently active with limited hours, handling border trade three days a week. 

Iran’s borders with Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan region, Turkey, Armenia, Afghanistan and Pakistan have been reopened as of June 20, months after they were closed over the pandemic outbreak.

Meanwhile Iran and Turkmenistan authorities have agreed to adopt joint measures that could ease movement across the borders as they seek to restore trade exchanges hampered by the new coronavirus pandemic. The border between Iran and Azerbaijan has remained to be closed for the past four months, however.

Iran-Pakistan trade

According to Pakistan Business Council (PBC), bilateral trade between the two neighboring countries stood at $369 million as of 2018.

Pakistan exports paper and paperboard, rice and stationary products to Iran while it imports liquefied petroleum gas, other mineral fuels and electrical energy from Iran.

The potential for trade between the two countries, however, is estimated at $10 billion.

Iran sells 1,000 megawatts of electricity to Pakistan and plans to increase this up to 3,000 megawatts to cover some 4,000 megawatts of shortfall in the country.  

Pakistan has yet to complete its part of a gas project to pipe Iranian gas to the country. The $7 billion project, dubbed the “peace pipeline”, was conceived in the 1990s to connect Iran’s giant South Pars gas field to India and Pakistan, but New Delhi under pressure for the US quit it in 2009.

Iran and Pakistan have agreed to develop a mechanism for electronic exchange of bilateral trade data in a bid to curb misreporting.

Under the agreement, the two neighbors would trade documents on real time basis for exports of goods and advance information on goods and passengers at Mirjaveh- Taftan and other border stations.

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