PESHAWAR - Sarhad Chamber of Comerce and Industry (SCCI) President, Maqsood Anwar has stressed the need for further cementing trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Iran.

“Islamabad and Tehran should bring relaxation in their policies, revision in tariffs and make joint efforts to remove potential bottlenecks coming in the way of bilateral trade,” said the SCCI chief in a meeting with Iranian Consul General in Peshawar, Muhammad Bagher Beigi at the chamber house on Tuesday.

Shahid Hussain, senior vice president of the chamber, executive committee members Ihsanullah, Shams ur Rahim, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Altaf Baig, Iranian Deputy Consul General in Peshawar, Syed Ibrahim Dehandi, Protocol Officer Imtiaz Ali, members of the business community were present in the meeting.

Mr Maqsood said that bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and Iran stood at less than $1 billion, which have the potential to further enhance by removing non-tariffs barriers, reduction in duties, freights, and exchange of business delegation, launch of joint business ventures and revision in policies on both sides. He said that the Pak-Iran bilateral trade should be further strengthened with joint cooperation of Gwadar and Chahbahar, a sister ports.

He also suggested the establishment of joint chamber between Pakistan and Iran, and invited the Iranian businessmen to make investment in potentials sectors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“Both the countries (Pakistan-Iran) are enjoying cordial relations due to their common religion, customs and traditions”, Maqsood said. He stressed the need for promotion of formal and organized trade between the two countries.

The SCCI chief termed the Pak-Iran gas pipeline project a milestone initiative between the two countries, which would ensure supply of 1000MW electricity to Pakistan that will usher a new era industrialization, economic prosperity and development in the country.

On the occasion, Mr Bagher Beigi said that the lack of banking channel between Iran and Pakistan is the major hurdle to give boost to bilateral trade between the two brotherly Islamic countries. He said both the countries had made commitments to enhance mutual trade, but satisfactory steps were yet not taken in this regard.

The diplomat further said that both the countries will soon fulfill their joint commitments to strengthen mutual trade. He said Iran-Pakistan have potentials to enhance bilateral trade up to $5billion.

He asked the Pakistanis investors, especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa business community to take full benefits from incentive, which were given by his country to foreign investors and make investment in potentials sectors in Iran. He also informed that Iran’s joint economic commission is working to review the tariffs with Pakistan.