PESHAWAR: Iranian consul general Hamid Reza Ghomi on Thursday said his country was keen to increase trade with Pakistan, mainly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, so it had finalised a free trade policy for Pakistan, which would be implemented shortly.
Addressing businessmen at the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Thursday, Mr Ghomi said Iran was taking serious steps to strengthen economic and commercial relations with Pakistan and business meetings in Karachi and Lahore were part of those efforts.
He said a MoU would be soon signed between Mashhad and Sarhad chambers of commerce and industry to increase trade between the two countries.
The Iranian consul general said the policy would effectively increase bilateral economic and commercial relations.
He said participation of the SCCI in business meetings scheduled to be held in Karachi and Lahore would be of great significance.
“The proposed MoU will be signed by the Mashhad chamber and SCCI in those meetings to boost trade between Iran and Pakistan,” he said.
Earlier, SCCI president Mohammad Ishaq underlined the importance of free trade between the two countries for better economic and commercial relations.
He said Islamabad and Tehran should take pragmatic steps to rationalise tariff regime to improve the bilateral trade’s volume.
SCCI senior vice-president Shahid Hussain, vice-president Ejaz Khan Afridi, first consul and commercial attache at the Iranian consulate in Peshawar Hossein Maliki and other relevant officials of the Iranian consulate were also present on the occasion.
Mr Ishaq said there were vast opportunities to enhance economic cooperation between Pakistan and Iran.
He urged both countries to bring their business communities closer to each other by holding trade expos and business-to-business meetings, and promoting barter trade and easy access to manufacturing products of both countries in the local markets.
The SCCI leaders made ways and means to enhance Pak-Iranian trade. The Iranian diplomat welcomed proposals and promised initiatives to promote bilateral trade.
Mr Ishaq said improvement of Pakistan-Iran trade was part of his plan under which a joint trade exhibition would be held in Peshawar.
He stressed the need for making the Pakistan-Iran joint chambers of commerce and industry functional and said Pakistan had attached great importance to its trade with Iran.
The SSCI president called for the early signing of a free trade agreement between the two countries.
Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2022