LAHORE, Nov 13 – Pak business community hailed the decision of Iran government for opening another border point to increase volume of bilateral trade between two Muslim countries.
Talking to a high level delegation of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry jointly led by its Senior Vice President Hanif Gohar and Vice President Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal Arain here today ,President SAARC Chamber of commerce and Chairman United Business Group veteran trade leader Iftikhar Ali Malik said that it’s good decision of Iran to further strengthen and deepen bilateral cooperation in trade with Pakistan.
The volume of two-way trade between Pakistan and Iran is negligible and the mutual trade of two countries does not match their respective potentials,” he said. Currently, the bilateral trade stands at $359 million including exports to Iran amounting to $36 million against its imports at $323 million he added.
Iftikhar Ali Malik said In recent times, both countries are making serious efforts to overcome persistent irritants for stronger bilateral relations. Both sides are committed to exploring areas of mutual economic interests including trade and gas pipeline projects. Iran, being rich in its natural resources of oil and gas, is crucial for an energy deficient country such as Pakistan.
Hanif Gohar SVP FPCCI said that increased bilateral cooperation, particularly better trade and economic ties, would be mutually beneficial for the two countries.He said Iranian proposed new state of the art modern “Rimdan” border crossing point is believed to be suitably located for export and import of fruits,livestock,construction material and petroleum products.
Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal Arain said that it’s another good omen that both sides mutually agreed to set up joint economic commission for steering bilateral trade and economic ties.He said Pakistan faces a serious challenge of trade deficit with exports around $21 billion and imports $48.51 billion. Moreover, given demographic challenges, Pakistan’s latest challenges include; the balance of payment deficit, development of the energy sector, and increase in foreign investment to reach the optimal economic growth required for the employment of the increasing urban population, particularly those under twenty-five he concluded.