Pakistan, Iran agree to boost trade ties

darISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran Monday reiterated their resolve to strengthen economic relations with special focus on trade promotion.

Federal Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar and Iranian Minister  for Economic Affairs and Finance Dr. Ali Taieb Nia expressed the resolve during a meeting before the start of 19th Pakistan-Iran Joint Economic Commission (JEC) proceedings. Respective delegations were also present in the meeting.
Dar and Taieb Nia, later, chaired the inaugural session of  JEC and reviewed various proposals for promoting bilateral trade.
Speaking on the occasion, Ishaq Dar said the top leadership of
two countries was serious in taking the relationship to a new level.
“We have endeavoured to materialize what our leadership feels
and we will not only try to expand the existing trade, economic and
bilateral ties in other areas but also make efforts to stabilize
them.”
Regarding the sanctions against the brotherly Islamic country,
the Finance Minister said Pakistan had been supporting Iran at the international fora and argue with the world community to open trade with
the country on humanitarian goods.
“At least export of food items to the friendly country should be on till the sanctions are relaxed,” he added.
The Iranian Minister for Finance reciprocated the feelings and said that he was pleased to be in Pakistan to lead his side at the 19th JEC.
He reiterated that measures should be taken for expansion in trade volume between the countries.
He expressed the resolve to cooperate with Pakistan in the areas of energy import, transport and communication, mining, agriculture, health
and banking sector development, through a comprehensive framework agreement.
During the technical session that started soon after adoption of agenda in the presence of the two ministers, the main items discussed included review of the bilateral trade and proposals for its enhancement, review of tariff and non-tariff barriers hampering bilateral trade,
opening of bank branches, revitalization of joint business council, visa facilitation for businessmen of Pakistan and lifting of ban on the import
of fruits from Pakistan.
The JEC will also consider the issue of banking problems with Iran
due to sanctions imposed by the United States and the United Nations
etc.
Discussion will also be held on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project
(to expedite its implementation), up-gradation of Quetta-Taftan railway track and improvement of Noshki-Dalbandin section of N-40 Highway.
On the import of energy from Iran, both the sides will discuss the
import of 74MW power from Iran for Makran division (Balochistan),
100 MW for Gwadar and 1000MW for Balochistan and the national grid.
Discussion will also be held on pending memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and it is expected that out of the 12 MOUs under consideration four will be signed during the current JEC.

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