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RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Ambassador to Iran Asif Ali Khan Durrani on Monday said that Pakistan could overcome electricity and gas crisis with the assistance of Tehran.

“Pakistan and Iran has an old history and they are culturally, historically, linguistically and religiously attached to each other. There are tremendous opportunities to improve the trade relations between the two countries. Pakistan is facing a huge energy crisis and Iran has an enough power source in term of electricity and gas,” he stated this while speaking to traders during his visit to the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI).

“Sanctions against Iran have now been lifted, opening up opportunities for Pakistani businessmen to explore trade with Iran. Pharmaceutical, information technology, petro chemical and commodities can serve as key areas to improve bilateral trade,” he said.

He said, “Iran is a big market for Pakistani goods which have a good reputation and value there. There is a big demand for Pakistani basmati rice.”

However, he said there was a need to improve the banking channels to address the Letter of Credit (LC) issues and air links with direct flights from Tehran to Islamabad and other cities.”

“We are aware of these facts and working hard to address them,” he said and informed the participants about the upcoming “Aalishan Pakistan Expo” in Iran to be held on March 4-7.

In his address of welcome, the RCCI President Raja Amer Iqbal said that the exchange of delegations was important. Single country exhibitions can be a great source of introducing products in each other’s markets, he said.

He assured that RCCI would participate in upcoming “Aalishan Pakistan Expo” in Tehran. The RCCI president said that the business community was ready to improve bilateral trade and business activities between Pakistan and Iran.

However, he urged the government to take immediate steps to resolve the issues like, customs tariffs, clearance, third currency, banking channel and better railway links.

Published in Dawn, December 20th, 2016