PESHAWAR: Iranian Consul General in Peshawar Hamid Reza Ghomi said on Wednesday that efforts were initiated to sign a free trade agreement between Iran and Pakistan.

Addressing businessmen at Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he said that Iran wanted to boost bilateral trade and economic relations with Pakistan to strengthen regional economy.

The Iranian diplomat said that despite Covid-19 pandemic, the Iranian consulate facilitated the Pakistani businessmen and issued visas to them within a short span of time.

He lauded the efforts made by Pakistani ambassador in Iran, saying he played vital role in increasing trade volume between the two countries.

He added that Iranian ambassador in Pakistan would soon visit Peshawar to hold a meeting with the businessmen to know their problems.

The envoy asked the Peshawar-based businessmen to cement trade relations with Mashhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry to take benefits from each other’s experience and boost trade activities between the countries.

Hamid Reza Ghomi asks SCCI to cement ties with Mashhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The meeting was also attended by SCCI senior vice president Engineer Manzoor Elahi, Iranian Second Consul Seyed Ebrahim Dehnadi and other officials of Iranian Consulate in Peshawar.

Earlier, the businessmen led by Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Sherbaz Bilour discussed a number of issues for improvement of the bilateral trade volume with the envoy.

Both the sides agreed to further strengthen bilateral trade between the two countries by signing a free trade agreement (FTA), installation of an effective banking channel, establishment of markets at border region, elimination of illegal trade, exchange of business delegation and organising joint trade exhibitions.

It was also agreed that a webinar between SCCI and Mashhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry would be organised after Eidul Fitr to exchange views.

Sherbaz Bilour invited the Iranian businessmen to invest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in hydel power generation, marble, mining, match, furniture, honey, gems and other sectors.

He said that promotion of regional trade was need of the hour.

“There’s huge potential to further boost trade between Pakistan and Iran, which currently stands at $359 million,” said Mr Bilour.

He called upon Islamabad and Tehran to take serious initiatives to remove hurdles to bilateral trade.

He said that Iran should take benefits from China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects. He said that youth could play pivotal role in bolstering mutual relationships between the two brotherly Islamic countries.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2021

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