RAWALPINDI - Iranian ambassador Mehdi Honardoost has paid a visit to the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) here on Wednesday.

He was accompanied by Economic Section Head Mahdi Abedin. RCCI President Raja Amer Iqbal, Senior vice president Rashid Waien, Vice President Asim Malik, Group leader Sohail Altaf, former president Amanullah Khan, members of the executive committee and a large number of traders and industrialists were also present on the occasion. In his address, the Iranian ambassador said that Pakistan and Iran has an old history and they are culturally, historically, linguistically and religiously attached with each other. There are tremendous opportunities to improve the trade relations between the two countries, he added. He said sanctions from Iran have been now lifted up by the world powers, adding that Pakistan can tap in lucrative incentives offered by the Iranian government in different sectors including Energy, Pharmaceutical, Auto and Information Technology.

Ambassador Honardoost showed his government’s resolve to reactivate bilateral trade relations and said that joint commission is working hard to finalise the draft of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and it is in final stage of completion. “A good news is here that direct flights between Tehran and Islamabad will be started in June 2017,” he added.

The Iranian envoy said that Iran is a big market and Pakistani goods have a good reputation and value in Iranian market. There is a big demand of Pakistani Basmati rice, he added. “We are improving the banking channels, which is one of the major hurdles in promoting bilateral trade , he said. He emphasized on the improved relationship between chambers-to-chambers. Honardoost assured his full cooperation and said that Iran is keen to further strengthen relations with Pakistan, which are mutually beneficial to the people of both countries.

In his welcome address, the RCCI president said that the trade volume between the two countries is less than a half billion dollar and it is a very low figure, adding that it has to be increased.

 

Joint ventures in Poultry, Marble, Pharmaceutical and Information Technology sector can help both countries to increase the trade volume, he added. Single country exhibitions can be a great source of introducing products in each other’s market, he said.

A short summary was also given to the Iran’s ambassador related to the RCCI upcoming and past events. A cake cutting ceremony was also held to mark Pakistan-Iran Business day.