ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran on Friday agreed on the need to constitute a committee to identify goods for promotion of barter trade.
The decision was reached at the concluding session of the 8th Pakistan-Iran Joint Trade Committee. The Pakistani delegation was led by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood while Iranian side was led by Minister for Industries, Mine and Trade Reza Rahmani.
It was suggested that for barter trade to begin, the two countries should select few items having competitive advantage. In this regard, Pakistan can enhance exports of wheat, sugar and rice and fruit to Iran.
The Iranian side acknowledged the fact that Pak-Iran trade relations were not matching the real potential, particularly in agriculture, food products and pharmaceuticals.
Iran showed interest in import of 500,000 tonne rice from Pakistan and urged that a necessary mechanism for early shipment must be devised.
The Iranian delegation extended its full support to work on removal of potential bottlenecks to increase trade and jointly develop a way forward. Further, they also requested the Pakistani government to open more border points, mainly at Ramadan, Pishin and Korak, which will further enhance bilateral trade.
Dawood suggested removal of various taxation measures such as road and loads taxes on vehicles/trucks which are crossing the borders to facilitate trade.
He promised to establish a dedicated desk at the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan in Islamabad with the commitment to address the prevalent issues forthwith.
The two sides agreed to resolve issues including removing barriers which have made Pak-Iran Preferential Trade Agreement (signed in 2006) ineffective.
Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2019