Iran private sector urges free trade deal with Pakistan

President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Gholam Hossein Shafei, in a webinar to discuss economic and trade cooperation with Pakistan, underlined the need for signing a free trade agreement with the southeastern neighbor of Iran.

16 October 2021
ID : 33159
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President of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines, and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Gholam Hossein Shafei, in a webinar to discuss economic and trade cooperation with Pakistan, underlined the need for signing a free trade agreement with the southeastern neighbor of Iran.

During the webinar, the participants also discussed the establishment of barter trade system, removing banking obstacles, and the problem of trucks on Mirjaveh joint border crossing. 

The Iran Chamber chief referred to reopening the border terminals of Mirjaveh and Taftan between Iran and Pakistan, noting that it was a positive sign for expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries.  

The volume of trade and economic cooperation between Iran and Pakistan is not satisfactory, Shafei said, adding that bilateral trade between the two neighboring countries is far from the level of expectations of both sides and the existing capacities.

He regretted that each country have a low share of less than two or three percent of the market of the other side.

Referring to Iran’s joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), he said that Iran should take the chance to increase transactions with Pakistan which he said is a key SCO member country.

Iranian and Pakistani lorries cross the two countries' border near the city of Mirjaveh in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchistan (Credit: Tasnim News Agency, Vahid Ahmadi)

Shafei complained about failing to fully implement a preferential trade agreement between Tehran and Islamabad and imposing high tariffs on some items by both sides, noting that signing a free trade agreement and refusing from imposition of some trade curbs can remove many obstacles.  

In the meantime, Mohammad Reza Karbasi, the ICCIMA deputy for international affairs, said that Iran Chamber of Commerce will do its best to remove or reduce all obstacles to the development of economic cooperation between the two countries.

Noting that Iran-Pakistan Joint Trade Committee is due to convene on November 9, Karbasi said that Iran private sector is ready to expedite trade between economic operators of the two countries.  

He also said that Iran and Pakistan will also have a virtual trade conference of businesspersons from both countries in October. 

A report by Trade Promotio Organization of Iran (TPO) in early March suggests that trade between Iran and Pakistan stood at $1 billion during the first 10 months of the previous Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2020-January 19). 

 

 

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