FREE-TRADE’ MECHANISM TO FURTHER ENHANCE PAK-IRAN MUTUAL TRADE, SAYS ENVOY

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From Our Correspondent 

PESHAWAR: The Islamic Republic of Iran is devising a holistic mechanism to carry out free-trade with Pakistan, so if the policy would be implemented that can help to further strengthen mutual economic and trade relations between the two brotherly Islamic countries, says Hamid Raza Ghomi, Consul General of Iran in Peshawar.


This, he said while talking to President Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hasnain Khurshid Ahmad here at the Chamber’s House, according to an official communique issued here on Friday.  


SCCI senior vice president Imran Khan Mohmand, former president Faiz Muhammad Faizi, former senior vice president Ziaul Haq Sarhadi, first Consul Iranian Consulate Peshawar Hossein Maliki, PS to Consul General Peshawar Imtiaz Ali, Spokesman Dr Fazal Azeem, executive member Ghulam Bilal Javed were present during the meeting.  


Both sides on the occasion have agreed to make joint efforts to further enhance bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Iran.


The Iranian diplomat noted the Pak-Iran are enjoying cordial relations owing to common culture, religion and Muslim countries. He noted the mutual trade and economic ties between the two brotherly Islamic countries has also much improved after enforcement of the Transport Internationaux Routier (TIR) system.


Mr Ghomi informed that his country has worked on a joint mechanism to carry out free trade with Pakistan if the policy would be implemented, so it can easily achieve the set 5 billion dollars mutual trade target between the two countries.
However, he said the option of barter trade is also available to cement the mutual relationship between Iran and Pakistan.


On the occasion, the Iranian envoy suggested signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) between the Sarhad Chamber and Mashhad Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines in Iran to joint initiatives for promotion of bilateral trade between the two countries.


Following an agreement between SCCI and Iranian Diplomat Mr Ghomi, the chamber has sent a MoU draft, signed by its president Hasnain Khurshid Ahmad to Mashhad Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines in Iran.  
Earlier, the SCCI chief while speaking on the occasion emphasized that joint efforts should be made to further enlarge mutual trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Iran.


Hasnain Khurshid pointed out that it is making it quite difficult to achieve mutual trade targets owing to lack of proper banking channels between the two countries. 
He stressed the need for early completion of the Pak-Iran Gas pipeline project.


An ambitious 5 billion dollars mutual trade target is being set between Pakistan and Iran, but in the last year, 504million dollars trade was carried out between the two countries, the SCCI chief noted.
However, he expressed high optimism that after the constitution of commission or mechanism of free trade that would be assisted to achieve the afore-stated set Pak-Iran mutual trade target.


Furthermore, he emphasized that exchange of business delegation, holding of joint exhibitions, signing of agreements between chambers and taking benefits from each other’s experiences and launching of joint ventures to further cement bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and Iran.


Mr Ghomi informed that a high-level delegation led by Speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Mushtaq Ghani will soon visit Iran, therefore, he asked the Sarhad Chamber to become part of this delegation that would also ensure representation of the business community.  


On the occasion, the Iranian diplomat fully agreed with the proposal of the SCCI president and other participants of the meeting and said the SCCI should practically materialize to sign an agreement with Mashhad Chamber and assured that he will assist the chamber in this regard at every level.