ISLAMABAD, Aug 29: Pakistan and Iran have agreed to enhance co-operation in steel industry. During a meeting with Chairman of Pakistan Steel Mills Lt-Gen Qayyum, Iranian Deputy Minister for Mines and Industry Mustafa Moazenzadeh offered to provide technical assistance of experts to Pakistan in the exploration of iron ore and expansion and modernization of steel production plants at Pakistan Steel in Karachi.
The two sides also discussed ways and means to benefit from each others' experiences in the field of steel. According to a message received here on Sunday from Tehran, the chairman Pakistan Steel also extended an invitation to the Iranian minister to visit Pakistan at his convenience.
He informed the Iranian dignitary that with take off and increased growth rate of Pakistan economy, the requirements for more steel for Pakistan's industry had to be ensured. Iron ore for the purpose was being imported from different sources from Australia, Mauritania, India and Iran, he said and added Pakistan was the first country which started importing iron ore from Iran a couple of years ago.
He said the Pakistan Steel was keen to import more iron ore from Iran provided it met the international quality standards. He highlighted relatively low quantum of trade between Iran and Pakistani at US$ 92 million exports from Pakistan to Iran and US$ 265 imports from Iran during the financial year 2003-04.
Gen Qayyum and Mr Moazenzadeh emphasized the need to expand the scope of bilateral trade between the two brotherly countries. Mr Moazenzadeh assured the PS chairman that Iran would honour its contractual obligations of supply of iron ore to Pakistan and expressed the optimism that the private companies working in the field of steel in Iran would like to make investment in various economic, industrial and mining sectors in Pakistan.
The Iranian deputy minister agreed to send a delegation of experts to Pakistan to examine and discuss the areas of co-operation between Iran and Pakistani steel industry. Besides, the minister accepted the proposal to train Pakistani steel engineers and technicians in Ispahan Steel Industry which was founded by ex-Soviet Union and later expanded by the Iranian authorities. He also accepted the invitation to visit Pakistan in the near future.
CNG SECTOR: A five-member delegation of CNG Industry of Pakistan headed by Iftikhar Ahmed, additional secretary, ministry of petroleum and natural resources visited Iran during Aug 20 to 25 to explore avenues of co-operation between Pakistan Iran in the field of CNG.
Other members of delegation included Hilal A Raza, director general, Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan, Khuda Baksh Malik, chairman CNG Station Owners Association, A Sami Khan, chairman FPCCI committee on oil, gas and CNG and Aamir Hussain, chief executive, Tesla Industries.
Pakistan has already established more than 550 CNG stations all over the country and more than 550,000 cars are now running on CNG. On the other hand Iran is planning to establish 7,000 CNG stations over the next 10 years. Hence both countries can benefit from each other. It was decided that Pakistan will host a joint Pakistan-Iran Workshop in November to bring together CNG industry personnel from the two countries. -APP